A RARE bat that was only thought to live on mainland Australia has been discovered thriving in the Torres Strait.
The fawn leaf-nosed bat, which was previously only known to exist on Cape York, was recorded in a biodiversity survey on Badu Island, 80km northwest of Cape York.
The insect-eating bat, which is listed as “vulnerable” in Queensland, was found to be at roost on the island in substantial numbers.
The survey recorded a total of 124 animal species, which is regarded as a particularly high number, confirming the region’s healthy environment.
The survey also uncovered robust populations of native rodents called grassland melomys, and the Cape York melomys, in some areas.
Rangers from Badu, Moa and Mabuiag islands participated.
Torres Strait Regional Authority chairman Joseph Elu said a range of plant and animal knowledge was also documented throughout the survey, to be shared across several agencies.
“The local knowledge and hard work of the TSRA team was invaluable to the success of the survey ... and for future surveys ’’ he said.