Research priorities for the ghost bat (Macroderma gigas) in the Pilbara region of Western Australia

Viki A. Cramer, Kyle N. Armstrong, Robert D. Bullen, Sophie L. Cross, Lesley Gibson, Nicola Hanrahan, Chris G. Knuckey, Kym Ottewell, Scott Reiffer, Laura Ruykys, Robyn E. Shaw, Rujiporn Thavornkanlapachai, Scott A. Thompson, Suzi Wild, Stephen Van Leeuwen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The ghost bat (Macroderma gigas) is Australia's largest echolocating bat. It is restricted to several disjunct populations in the north of the continent, including a population in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. In 2016 the ghost bat was listed as Vulnerable under Australian federal legislation, owing to declining numbers across many regional populations. The most severe threat to ghost bats in the Pilbara region is the destruction and disturbance of habitat due to mining operations, but disturbance to their roosts from other infrastructure developments and changes to and loss of foraging habitat also pose significant threats. A set of research priorities for ghost bats in the Pilbara was developed during a workshop attended by mining industry representatives, environmental consultants, scientists and government regulators. Five research priorities were identified: (1) identify and characterise critical diurnal roosts and foraging habitat; (2) improve knowledge of the distribution, movement and dispersal patterns of ghost bats in the region; (3) improve knowledge of population size, persistence and long-term trends; (4) better understand the cumulative, direct and indirect impacts of mining and other development activities; and (5) better understand the threats posed by fence entanglements, cane toads and feral cats.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalAustralian Mammalogy
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes


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