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Oberlin College

Publication Date

Fall 2007

Program Name

Australia: Natural and Cultural Ecology


The loyalty of Nyctimene robinsoni to its daytime roosting sites at the end of the dry season was assessed using radio tracking in Cape Tribulation, far north Queensland, Australia. N. robinsoni is a solitary roosting bat which specializes in figs. Bats were netted in front of a female fruiting Ficus congesta and glue-on transmitters were attached. Bats were then tracked to their daytime roosting sites and GPS coordinates were recorded. Night time positions were also monitored to gather information about how far from its roosting site each bat was foraging. A total of five bats were tagged although only two remained in range long enough to collect long term data. Of the two bats with long term transmitters one used a total of 7 different sites over 23 days. The second used 3 sites over 24 days. A study performed 20 years ago at the same location found N. robinsoni to be very faithful to their roosting sites although it varied from individual to individual (Spencer and Fleming 1989). This study found N. robinsoni not very loyal to a specific site but generally very loyal to a small section of the forest. Some reasons for this difference likely include a shift from a largely grassland study area to one generally covered with successional rainforest, creating more available roosting sites, and a generally wetter climate than in 1987, which encourages more trees to fruit.


Animal Sciences


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