Microbats on Farms workshop

Working for you while you sleep

Microbats on Farms workshop

Working for you while you sleep

Building our Future -


The issue

Microbats play an important role as natural biological controllers of insects in agricultural landscapes. Because flying uses up a lot of energy, microbats (also known as insectivorous bats) can eat up to half their own body weight in insects every night! While we sleep, these tiny flying mammals are consuming a wide variety of insects, including moths, beetles, bugs, mosquitoes, grasshoppers, crickets and flies. With growing awareness about the harmful effects and declining effectiveness of many pesticides, encouraging microbats onto our farms is increasingly important.

The solution

The Microbats of the Young District project is now into its fifth year and continues to raise community awareness of microbats and their important environmental role. This workshop was designed to appeal to farmers, orchardists, and any interested community members. Canberra bat expert Michael Pennay, who has researched bats for over twenty years in Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, was the guest presenter. Michael’s wonderful bat photos have been used extensively in our project and other publications.

This workshop was part of the culmination of the project, and coincided with the delivery of our educational resources that include a microbat poster, microbat flyer, PowerPoint presentation, and comprehensive microbat booklet titled Major Players in Healthy Productive Landscapes and WaterwaysThe workshop provided an opportunity to update participants on the Microbats of the Young District project, and how educating the community is critical to understand the environmental and production benefits microbats provide.

The impact

Forty people from the Young district, and further afield from Illabo, Tumbarumba, Temora, and Boorowa attend the workshop to hear from Michael about the important role microbats play as natural biological controllers of insects in agricultural landscapes. Michael gave the audience an insight into the lives of our local microbats and the techniques used by scientists to study and photograph these amazing flying mammals in the wild. He also discussed things we can all do to lessen the threats to microbats.

Local WIRES Weddin-Lachlan Branch Bat Coordinator Leah gave a sobering account of the number of microbats that come into care as a result of some of these threats, including heat events, firewood collection, domestic cats and disturbance during winter torpor.


Key facts

  • Microbats provide natural pest control in a range of agricultural crops
  • Microbats need healthy woodland habitats to survive
  • Roosting boxes offer microbats alternative habitats when hollows are lacking

Project Partners