Bat box check at Wilson Reserve, 13 June 2015

Written by – Robert Bender

Several sports events at the Chelsworth ovals made the car park a big problem this month. A little team of new recruits awaited me at the chain barrier and off we went to check boxes. The woodland boxes just had spiders.



One glider box had a big ant nest, so was propped open.




With two ladders, we usually finish fairly quickly, but several boxes needed extra screws which took time.




There were only bats in box 4, so just one bag, plus two bats from Burke Rd that Steve and Stanley collected earlier. Steve set up his gear for taking genetic samples.




The little female, 84596 was there again, but is losing weight remarkably early in winter. Perhaps she’s ageing



Bat assessing was done by Laura Patience, having her first shot at bat handling.





And by Melissa Walker, steadily gaining in expertise. Steve’s light circles helped with reading band numbers.


With only 18 bats to do, it didn’t take long, but was already dark by the time we finished, so Melissa, Laura and Christine walked down to the meadow with me to release the bats, which flitted off quickly, most likely to find a box to go to sleep again. All were torpid when we found them, as the insects are into winter dormancy.

Steve found bats only in box 4, and I found none, Stanley had two bats in tube 3, so it’s a short list this month.

Wilson reserve box tally:

Box Bats Species Adult
B04 16 Gould’s 3 13

Burke rd. tube tally:

Tube Bats Species Adult
T03 2 Gould’s 2
  18 Total 5 13

About Pia Lentini

Pia Lentini is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the University of Melbourne's Quantitative and Applied Ecology group.
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