Australia's ugly mammals fail to catch the eye of scientists, study shows

Australia's ugly mammals fail to catch the eye of scientists, study shows

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An Australian native animal known as a Ghost bat can be seen in this handout picture taken July 19,  …

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An Australian native animal known as an Orange leaf-nosed bat can be seen in this handout picture ta …

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An Australian native animal known as a Ghost bat can be seen in this handout picture taken August 28 …

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Pushed out of the limelight by cuddly koalas & kangaroos, Australia's less glamorous native bats & rodents have failed to catch the eyes of scientific researchers, a new study shows.

Just 11 percent of scientific studies on Australian wildlife since 1901 have looked at native bats & rodents, although they make up 45 percent of all species, says the study published in the Mammal Review Journal.

Australia has already had some unique bat species become extinct & there is a risk more could follow without anyone noticing, said Trish Fleming, a wildlife biologist from Murdoch University.

p> "Research funding goes on huge animals which are iconic & attract people's attention because they are cute & charismatic," Fleming told Reuters. "It's very complex to make a tourist attraction of a rodent."

Fleming's study focused on trends in Australia research, analyzing 1,400 university & government funded research papers since 1901.

Australia's unique & obscure marsupials & monotremes, such as the spiky echidna & the duck-billed platypus, which are the only egg-laying mammals in the world, attracted 77 percent of research over the period.

While native bats & rodents have distant relatives on the Asian continent, there is still an significant need for studies & conservation efforts for unique Australian species, said Fleming.

"Microbats, for example, are really significant in terms of managing insect populations, yet we know almost nothing approximately them," she added.

(Reporting by Jarni Blakkarly; Editing by Byron Kaye & Clarence Fernandez)

EnvironmentLiving NatureAustralia

Source: “Reuters”

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