18 Jun 2014

Bat recorded extinct discovered alive in PNG

6:34 pm on 18 June 2014

A 'microbat' thought to be extinct has been discovered in Papua New Guinea.

The Pharotis Imogene, most commonly known as the New Guinea big-eared bat, had not been recorded since 1890 until two students from Australia's University of Queensland discovered it in 2012.

Twenty-four-year old Catherine Hughes was doing research for her Honours project and twenty-five-year old PhD student Julie Broken-Brow, was there assisting her.

Ms Broken-Brow says after consulting with other microbat scientists in Australia and Papua New Guinea who could not identify it, they ethically euthanized the bat and registered it with the PNG National Museum.

"It took some time and negotiations between Papua New Guinea Museum and Australian Museum and we had an excellent advocate for the bat in Dr Harry Parnaby who works with the Australian Museum. He was the one who compared it to the specimen that we had in the Australian Museum. And he was the one who positively identified it and he rang us up with the great news."

Julie Broken-Brow, a student at the University of Queensland.