On my first evening there I went up to Koghi, one of the few places where Nyctophilus nebulosus has ever been sighted. This extremely rare bat has rarely been observed, and its echolocation call has never been recorded. I was lucky enough to record it and even see it hunting. The identification of the call was fairly straightforward as it is the only Nyctophilus on the island and the calls of that genus are very distinctive. I compared my recordings with recordings from Australia where there are a number of Nyctophilus species. Another endemic, Chalinolobus neocaledonicus was also present as well as Miniopterus spp. According to the literature, M. australis and M. macrocneme are indistinguishable based on recordings. That is possibly due to a lack of research. Further down the road, on the way back to Nouméa, I had a few more contacts of Miniopterus spp, which seemed to be really enjoying the many street lights.
The New Caledonian bat fauna comprises 9 species, of which one, Miniopterus robustior, is restricted to Lifou and Ouvéa, two small offshore islands, to the North of Grande Terre, the main island. Of the remaining eight, I had seen two already, Pteropus tonganus and Miniopterus australis. Given than M. macrocneme isn’t reliably identifiable by its call, that meant I could see a maximum of five new species, all of them endemics.