Microbats play an important role in urban and natural environments. They are numerous in
taxa and distribution, which identifies them as a major contributor to regional mammal
diversity. They may also be important indicators for the health of the environments they
inhabit. The present study aimed to conduct a survey of microbats to i) identify which species
are present at Southern Cross University’s Lismore campus and within the Lismore city
limits and ii) identify which habitats are utilised most frequently.
From November 2012 to January 2013, 18 transects (9 at SCU, 9 within the Lismore LGA)
were surveyed from three broad habitat types; vegetated (>40% canopy cover), near water (≤
40m of a water body) and urban (2 - 5 building ha-1 including areas lit with lights at night).
Transects were surveyed at night using ultrasonic equipment.
Seventy six individual records were analysed. Nine species were identified, including four
that are recognised as Vulnerable in New South Wales. Vegetated transects accounted 65% (n
= 49) of the data while 32% and 3% were attributed to the near water transects (n = 24) and
urban transects (n = 3) respectively. Abundance was higher in the broader Lismore LGA
(86% (n = 65)) compared to SCU, however, species richness was the same at both SCU and
within the Lismore LGA (n = 6).
An increase in urban density resulted in a decrease in species richness and abundance. The
results suggest that the retention of vegetated areas (both of natural forests and replanted
“green” areas) within the urban landscape may be important for complete bat assemblages.
Additional surveys are necessary to provide a more complete understanding of the species and their distributions.