Ecosystem super heroes

The Goulburn Landcare Community teamed up with WIRES to present Bat Night at Workspace 2580 in Goulburn on 28th March.

Ecosystem super heroes

The Goulburn Landcare Community teamed up with WIRES to present Bat Night at Workspace 2580 in Goulburn on 28th March.

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The issue

Bats are generally maligned and misunderstood. Dubbed blood suckers and disease carriers, they have been feared and persecuted across the world.

The solution

The importance of having an event like bat night is to dispel those myths and have our local community understand and appreciate them, as they are ecosystem super heroes and can play a vital role in the health of our ecosystems and planet.

There are 81 different bat species in Australia making up one-quarter of all our mammal species. They fall into two categories, large flying-foxes or fruit-eating bats (often called megabats and or 'gardners' of the sky), of which there are 11 species and the small insect-eating bats (often called microbats). which find their way through the dark using 'echolocation', listening to the echoes from their high pitched calls of which there are 70 species.

The impact

Flying foxes are a migratory and nomadic 'keystone' species that live in large colonies and fly out every night to feed on native flowering eucalypts travelling vast distances and  helping to  regenerate our forests and keep ecosystems healthy through pollination and spreading seeds.

Microbats range in size from  3- 40 grams. Most roost in tree hollows or under bark or in building cavities. They feed on a range of insects, including many pest species and can eat 70% of their weight in insects each night and some pregnant females at 100% of their body weight.

locally we have some threatened bat species incl eastern bentwing bat (Miniopterus orinae oceanensis) at Bungonia, the eastern falsistrelle (Falsistrellus tasmaniensis), yellow-bellied sheathtail-bat, (Saccolaimus flaviventris) large-footed myotis (Myotis macropus), and large-eared pied bat (Chalinolobus dwyeri). 

Flying foxes are also becoming more regular visitors to Goulburn they don’t stay around long generally leaving around April depending on season as they travel from the North and East in search of food.

 

Key facts

  • FF are a migratory and nomadic 'keystone' species
  • FF are important pollinators & help regenerate our forests
  • Australian Bat Lyssavirus (ABLV) is a virus, similar to rabies that can be transmitted from bats to humans
  • Microbats can eat up to 100% of their body weight each night (that’s a lot of insects!).

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