Pipistrellus murrayi Andrews, 1900
Christmas Island pipistrelle
Taxonomy & Nomenclature
Synonym/s: Pipistrellus tenuis murrayi Andrews, 1900 (used by Koopman 1973, 1993)
Extinct (Woinarski, 2018; Low & Booth, 2023)
Last record: 27 August 2009
IUCN status: Extinct
The species declined dramatically during the 1990's after 90 years of having a seemingly stable and abundant population (Schulz & Lumsden, 2004). However, this cannot be satisfactorily attributed to any particular cause, or causes, as only one instance of predation on the Christmas Island Pipistrelle has been recorded (Ibid.). However, it is likely that predation occurred quite regularly as the species was nocturnal and therefore hard to observe for long periods.
The government attempted to trap and remove the last Christmas Island pipistrelles to captivity in the hopes that ex-situ conservation could save the species (Garrett, 2009). However, this was unsuccessful and the last known individual (which was encountered on several occasions), was last located on the 27th of August, 2009.
Christmas Island, Indian Ocean, Australia
Biology & Ecology
Original scientific description:
Andrews, C. W. (1900). Mammalia, pp. 22-33. In: Andrews, C. W. (ed.). A Monograph of Christmas Island (Indian Ocean). British Museum of Natural History, London, UK.
Beeton, B., Burbidge, A., Grigg, G., How, R., McKenzie, N., and Woinarski, J. 2009. Revised Interim Report Christmas Island Expert Working Group to Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts.
Beeton, B., Burbidge, A., Grigg, G., Harrison, P., How, R., Humphries, B., McKenzie, N. & Woinarski, J. (2010). Final report of the Christmas Island Expert Working Group to the Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts. Brisbane: Christmas Island Expert Working Group.
Christmas Island Expert Working Group. (2009). Revised Interim Report: Christmas Island Expert Working Group to Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts. pp.41-74.
Director of National Parks (2007). Christmas Island Biodiversity Monitoring Program: Research into the Conservation Status and Threats of the Christmas Island Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus murrayi). Unpublished internal report.
Garrett MP, The Hon Peter, Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts,The Hon Warren Snowdon MP, Minister for Indigenous Health, Rural and Regional Health & Regional Services Delivery Member for Lingiari. MEDIA RELEASE (PG /301): 1 July 2009 CHRISTMAS ISLAND ECOSYSTEM RESCUE.
Helgen, K.M., Armstrong, K.N., Guzinski, J., How, R.A. and Donnellan, S.C. 2009. Taxonomic status of the Christmas Island Pipistrelle, Pipistrellus murrayi Andrews, 1900, as assessed by morphometric and molecular phylogenetic investigations of Indo-Australian Pipistrellus. Report to the Commonwealth Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts.
Hill, J. E. and Harrison, D. L. 1987. The baculum in the Vespertilioninae (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) with a systematic review, a synopsis of Pipistrellus and Eptesicus, and the descriptions of a new genus and subgenus. Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) Zoology 52(7): 225-305.
Jackson, Stephen and Groves, Colin. (2015). Taxonomy of Australian Mammals. Clayton South, Melbourne: CSIRO Publishing. 529 pp. [p. 275]
James, D. J. 2005. Christmas Island Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus murrayi): An Interim Assessment of Conservation Status and Threats. Biodiversity Monitoring Programme: Parks Australia North, Christmas Island. Australian Government: Department of the Environment and Heritage.
James, D. J. and Retallick, K. 2007. Research into the conservation status and threats of the Christmas Island Pipistrelle Pipistrellus murrayi, 2004-2006. Biodiversity Monitoring Programme: Parks Australia North Christmas Island. Department of Finance & Administration and Department of the Environment and Water Resources, Canberra, Australia.
Koopman, K. F. 1973. Systematics of Indo-Australian pipistrelles. Periodicum Biologorum 75: 113-116.
Koopman, K. F. 1993. Order Chiroptera. In: D. E. Wilson and D. M. Reeder (eds), Mammal species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference, pp. 137–241. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D. C., USA.
Low, Tim and Booth, Carol. (2023). GONE: Australian animals extinct since the 1960s. Invasive Species Council Inc.
Lumsden, Lindy. (2008). The Christmas Island Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus murrayi) at risk of extinction within one year. The Australasian Bat Society Newsletter 31: 5-6. [automatic download]
Lumsden, Lindy. (2009). The extinction of the Christmas Island Pipistrelle. Australian Bat Society Newsletter 33: 21-25.
Lumsden, L. F. and Cherry, K. 1994. Report on a preliminary investigation of the Christmas Island Pipistrelle, Pipistrellus murrayi in June-July 1994. Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Parks Australia North, Christmas Island.
Lumsden, L., Racey, P.A. & Hutson, A.M. 2017. Pipistrellus murrayi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T136769A518894. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-2.RLTS.T136769A518894.en. Downloaded on 15 October 2017.
Lumsden, L. and Schulz, M. (2005). Submission to the Threatened Species Scientific Committee to elevate the Christmas Island Pipistrelle from Endangered to Critically Endangered. Unpublished report.
Lumsden L. and Schulz M. (2009). Captive breeding and future in-situ management of the Christmas Island Pipistrelle Pipistrellus murrayi. Unpublished report. Arthur Rylah Institute.Victoria.
Lumsden, L., Schulz, M., Ashton, R. and Middleton, D. (2007). Investigation of threats to the Christmas Island Pipistrelle. A report to the Department of the Environment and Water Resources. Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Department of Sustainability and Environment, Heidelberg, Victoria. [automatic download]
Lumsden, L., Schulz, M., James, D., Ashton, R. and Middleton, D. (2006). The rapid decline and imminent extinction of the Christmas Island Pipistrelle Pipistrellus murrayi. Abstracts from the 12th Australasian Bat Society Conference, Auckland, 19-21 April, 2006. The Australasian Bat Society Newsletter 26: 25-26. [automatic download of whole issue]
Lumsden, L., Silins, J. and Schulz, M. (1999). Population dynamics and ecology of the Christmas Island Pipistrelle Pipistrellus murrayi on Christmas Island. Report for Parks Australia North – Christmas Island. Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Heidelberg, Victoria.
Lunney, Daniel, Law, Bradley, Schulz, Martin and Pennay, Michael. (2011). Turning the spotlight onto the conservation of Australian bats and the extinction of the Christmas Island Pipistrelle, pp. 485-498. In: Law, Bradley, Eby, Peggy, Lunney, Daniel and Lumsden, Lindy. The Biology and Conservation of Australasian Bats. Mosman, New South Wales: Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales.
Martin, Tara G., Nally, S., Burbidge, A. A., Arnall, S., Garnett, S. T., Hayward, M. W., Lumsden, L. F., Menkhorst, P., McDonald-Madden, E. and Possingham, H. P. (2012). Acting fast helps avoid extinction. Conservation Letters 5: 274-280. [Abstract]
Richards. (2008). Status of the Christmas Island pipistrelle on the mining leases and environs in the north west of CI. [incomplete citation]
Schulz, M. and Lumsden, L. F. (2004). National Recovery Plan for the Christmas Island Pipistrelle Pipistrellus murrayi. Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra.
Tidemann, C. (1985). A study of the status, habitat requirements and management of the two species of bats on Christmas Island (Indian Ocean). Report to Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service, Canberra.
Woinarski, John C. Z. (2018). A Bat's End: The Christmas Island Pipistrelle and Extinction in Australia. Clayton South, Victoria: CSIRO Publishing.
Woinarski, John C. Z., Braby, M. F., Burbidge, A. A., Coates, D., Garnett, S. T., Fensham, R. J., Legge, S. M., McKenzie, N. L., Silcock, J L. and Murphy, B. P. (2019). Reading the black book: The number, timing, distribution and causes of listed extinctions in Australia. Biological Conservation 239: 108261. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2019.108261
Woinarski, John C. Z., Garnett, Stephen T., Legge, Sarah M. and Lindenmayer, David B. (2016). The contribution of policy, law, management, research, and advocacy failings to the recent extinctions of three Australian vertebrate species. Conservation Biology. doi: 10.1111/cobi.12852 [Abstract]