Cape Range Bush Blitz

by Ryan Ellis
in Blog
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A black-flanked rock wallaby (Petrogale lateralis lateralis) from Cape Range as part of the Cape Range Bush Blitz.

Photo by Ryan Ellis

More information regarding Bush Blitz can be found at the following link: http://www.bushblitz.org.au.

Cape Range Bush Blitz

by Ryan Ellis
in Blog
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Biologic Senior Zoologist, Ryan Ellis, is currently in the Cape Range of Western Australia as part of the Cape Range Bush Blitz. Bush Blitz is a continent-wide biodiversity discovery partnership between the Australian Government, BHP and Earthwatch Australia, with the main focus being searching for new species of plants and animals, documenting biodiversity (including pest species) and providing data to land managers. We will be posting photos from Ryan over the coming week.

More information regarding Bush Blitz can be found at the following link: http://www.bushblitz.org.au.

Photo by Ryan Ellis: The short-range endemic keeled millipede, Boreohesperus capensis Shear, 1992, restricted to the North West Cape. Identification by Dr Mark Harvey, Western Australian Museum.

Investigating the diet of the Ghost Bat

by Brighton Downing
in Blog
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The Ghost Bat is Australia’s largest microbat and one of the Pilbara’s threatened species frequently encountered by mining developers of the region. As with all appropriate management, understanding the species ecological requirements is an integral step in avoiding impacts. However, there remain many things still unknown about this enigmatic species. 

Until recently, very little was understood about the species’ diet in the Pilbara. As part of survey work being conducted by Biologic, faecal samples were collected from known roosts throughout the region. DNA from these faecal samples was extracted and analysed to investigate the diet of the species as part of an industry collaboration with staff from the University of Western Australia, Curtin University, Perth Zoo, regional specialists and Morgan O’Connell, Director of Biologic.

The study revealed that Ghost Bats prey on 46 vertebrate taxa. Among the favourites are Budgerigars and Little Buttonquail, common birds of the region. Understanding the Ghost Bats’ dietary preferences will provide insight into how this species is coping with the effects of anthropogenic change, to ensure its’ continued survival within the region.

Arteaga Claramunt, A. M., White, N. E., Bunce, M., O’Connell, M., Bullen, R. D., & P.R, M. (2018). Determination of the diet of the Ghost bat (Macroderma gigas) in the Pilbara region of Western Australia from dried prey remains and DNA metabarcoding. Australian Journal of Zoology.

Link to article here: http://www.publish.csiro.au/ZO/ZO18040.