The social and spatial ecology of the ghost bat: Filling the knowledge gaps to facilitate accurate assessment of mining impacts on ghost bats

    Project: Research

    Project Details

    Description

    Ghost bats (Macroderma gigas) and mining are often interlinked in the Northern Territory due to the propensity of ghost bats to inhabit historical mine adits. Reworking of these adits and surrounding areas has the potential to displace ghost bat colonies and impact population numbers. It is currently difficult to quantify this impact as little is known about ghost bat population size and distribution, movement across the landscape, the behaviour of bats after disturbance/exclusion and the identification of ‘important’ roost sites. The potential impact and the uncertainty around this impact have major consequences for environmental approvals for new mining activities. This proposal is for a new research program, based at Charles Darwin University (CDU) and funded by Agnico Eagle Mining (within the CDU – NT Mining Operations Pty Ltd Collaboration Agreement), to provide new information on the ecology of the ghost bat in the Northern Territory. The broad aims from a practical perspective are to evaluate the outcomes of a set of innovative environmental mitigation actions relating to Agnico Eagle's Union Reefs North Underground Project, contribute to ‘de-risking’ future mining proposals by enabling well-informed assessment of potential impacts on ghost bat populations, and contribute to improved outcomes and community engagement with ghost bat conservation in the Pine Creek area. The project will address a subset of actions identified in the Action Plan for the management of Ghost Bats in the Union Reefs project area.
    Short titlespatial ecology of the ghost bat
    StatusActive
    Effective start/end date16/01/2316/01/28

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