Thomas’s big-eared bat was known only from 45 original specimens collected in 1890.
In 2012 an individual was captured during a fauna survey of the Abau District in Papua New Guinea. The species is thought to be critically endangered, as it went undetected for over 100 years, but also because it comes from a rapidly changing portion of south-eastern Papua New Guinea. Papua New Guinea is a biodiversity hotspot that is under severe threat from rapid population growth and habitat loss. This discovery highlights how little is known about the region and how important scientific surveys are.
Thomas’s big-eared bat is also known as the New Guinea big-eared bat.
- Order: Chiroptera
- Family: Vespertilionidae
- Population: Unknown
- Trend: unknown
- Size: 47-50mm
Known only from Kamali Central Province, south-eastern Papua New Guinea
Habitat and Ecology
They live in lowland woodlands. Little is known of the ecology of this species. It is not known whether these bats roost in trees or caves.