The Melbourne bat box monitoring program is run by a community of bat researchers and volunteers interested in the conservation of hollow-dependent microbats, and the education of the wider public about the ecology and values of these fascinating creatures.
There are three sites across Melbourne where we have installed boxes or tubes, which are monitored on a monthly or bi-montly basis:
(Please note all checks have been postponed until further notice due to COVID-19)
- Wilson Reserve, Ivanhoe and Burke Road Billabong, in Kew East (map). Next check: TBC. Meet at the carpark at the end of Irvine rd.
- Organ Pipes National Park, in Keilor North (map). Next check: TBC, 12pm. Meet at the boxes at the bottom of the big hill (walk down the paved road that leads from the carpark), or if you arrive a little later handlers may be in the visitor centre.
New volunteers are always welcome – even if you just want to pop along to see a critter you’ve never seen before. Please visit our “What to expect” page prior to your visit.
Tally of the number of individuals banded or microchipped so far:
- Gould’s wattled bat, Chalinolobus gouldii: 2,225
- White-striped free-tailed bat, Austronomus australis: 156
- Large forest bat, Vespadelus darlingtoni: 71
- Eastern broad-nosed bat, Scotorepens orion: 24
- Chocolate wattled bat, Chalinolobus morio: 23
- Little forest bat, Vespadelus vulturnus: 10
- Southern forest bat, Vespadelus regulus: 1
The program is run on an entirely voluntary basis by keen individuals in their own time.
Although we are a cast of constantly changing characters, Robert Bender has been running the Organ Pipes National Park and Wilson Reserve monitoring programs for many years now, and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about these. The Burke Rd. Billabong nesting tubes and chainsaw cavities (http://brbreserve.org/) are overseen by Stanley Barker, contactable at email@example.com.
The key contacts for the monitoring at Gresswell Reserve and the La Trobe University Wildlife Sanctuary are Steve Griffiths S.Griffiths@latrobe.edu.au and Danielle Eastick D.Eastick@latrobe.edu.au. Dani manages our Facebook page which can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/Melbbatboxes/.
Other individuals involved include Dr. Lindy Lumsden from the Arthur Rylah Institute and Dr. Pia Lentini, Dr. Lisa Godinho and Dr. Casey Visintin from the University of Melbourne. We are aided by the Friends of the Organ Pipes National Park, the Friends of Wilson Reserve, and the La Trobe Wildlife Sanctuary.
We occasionally seek grants to hep fund the replacement and repair of the boxes, and the purchasing of processing and other scientific equipment.
To date grants from the following organisations have made the project possible:
- Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment
- Parks Victoria’s Research Partners Panel
- The Norman Wettenhall Foundation
- Vic. Dept. of Environment and Primary Industries – Communities for Nature Grant
- Banyule City Council
- Bendigo Bank
- M. A. Ingram Trust
- Bat Conservation International
- Wildlife Preservation Society of Australia
- Australasian Bat Society