Bats are an extremely important part of the Limestone Coast region's ecosystem.
Within the region there are an amazing 14 different microbat species, and fruit bats are also occasional visitors to the area. Microbats are tiny, weighing between 4 and 50 grams! They are insectivorous and primarily use echolcation (sonar) to find their prey. Generally they go unnoticed as they are quiet visitors, only occasionally seen roosting in outdoor sheds, roof eaves, woodpiles or flying under street lights.
A number of pressure threaten native bat species including:
- Habitat loss including declining numbers of trees with hollows and raised bark
- Lack of food
- The presence of pollutants in their environment such as pesticides.
What can you do to help?
- Retain or plant local native trees to increase habitat.
- Use a mix of local native plants that flower throughout the year to attract insects to increase bats' food supply.
- Install one of more bat boxes to protect bats from the weather and predators.
- Minimise chemical use.
What should I be careful of?
- Bats can carry diseases which can be harmful to humans so it is important not to handle bats or check nest boxes without a wildlife research.
- It is important not to disturb roosting bats, especially during torpor (a kind of hibernation), as this depletes the fat reserves they need to survive the cold months.
- If bittern or scratched by a bat you should seek immediate medical attention.
How to Make a Bat Box
How to Build and Box Box Factsheet can be downloaded here
Bush Management Advisor