Shedding new light on old species identifications : morphological and genetic evidence suggest a need for conservation status review of the critically endangered bat, Saccolaimus saccolaimus

Milne, Damian J., Jackling, Felicity C., Sidhu, Manpreet and Appleton, Belinda R. 2009, Shedding new light on old species identifications : morphological and genetic evidence suggest a need for conservation status review of the critically endangered bat, Saccolaimus saccolaimus, Wildlife research, vol. 36, no. 6, pp. 496-508.

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Title Shedding new light on old species identifications : morphological and genetic evidence suggest a need for conservation status review of the critically endangered bat, Saccolaimus saccolaimus
Author(s) Milne, Damian J.
Jackling, Felicity C.
Sidhu, Manpreet
Appleton, Belinda R.
Journal name Wildlife research
Volume number 36
Issue number 6
Start page 496
End page 508
Total pages 13
Publisher CSIRO Publishing
Place of publication Collingwood, Vic.
Publication date 2009
ISSN 1035-3712
1448-5494
Keyword(s) bat
conservation genetics
conservation management
conservation planning
conservation status
echolocation
endangered species
genetic structure
geographical distribution
morphology
wildlife management
Summary Information based on the accurate identification of species is a vital component for achieving successful outcomes of biodiversity conservation and management. It is difficult to manage species that are poorly known or that are misidentified with other similar species. This is particularly problematic for rare and threatened species. Species that are listed under endangered species classification schemes need to be identified accurately and categorised correctly so that conservation efforts are appropriately allocated. In Australia, the emballonurid Saccolaimus saccolaimus is currently listed as ‘Critically Endangered’. On the basis of new observations and existing museum specimens, we used a combination of genetic (mitochondrial DNA sequence) and morphological (pelage characteristics, dig III : phalanx I length ratio, inter-upper canine distance) analyses to identify six new geographic records for S. saccolaimus, comprising ~100 individuals. Our analyses also suggested that there are likely to be more records in museum collections misidentified as S. flaviventris specimens. The external morphological similarities to S. flaviventris were addressed and genetic, morphological and echolocation analyses were used in an attempt to provide diagnostic characters that can be used to readily identify the two species in the field. We recommend genetic testing of all museum specimens of Australian Saccolaimus to clarify species’ distributions and provide data for reassessing the conservation status for both S. saccolaimus and S. flaviventris. Museum curators, taxonomists and wildlife managers need to be aware of potential species misidentifications, both in the field and laboratory. Misidentifications that result in misclassification of both threatened and non-threatened species can have significant implications.
Language eng
Field of Research 069999 Biological Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2009, CSIRO
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30047939

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Institute for Frontier Materials
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