Bat box check at Wilson Reserve, 8 August 2015

Written by: Robert Bender

The Irvine Rd car park was overflowing so the ladder was walked around from the western car park, assisted by Jessica Taylor. Got started from box 14 and found 2 torpid Gould’s in box 13.


So torpid they sat on my hand to pose for photos.


Steve and Helen arrived from Burke Rd with 4 bats.


Steve captured another 5 Gould’s in box 3, I took home the lid of box 20 from which both hinges had snapped off, and had to prop four boxes open due to ant invasions. Then off to my place, where Whitespot was found in the box 3 bag.


Rachel was allocated 3 bats and ended up much more confident about handling skills.


Jessica checked the band numbers on Steve’s laptop.


We had Melissa, Rachel, Helen, Jessica to assess bats and scribe while Steve did the genetic sampling, and banded two new bats, almost certainly immigrants from other populations, dispersing for breeding. Melissa is now a competent bat handler, but one little bat slipped out of her grip and flew back off to Burke Rd. after its band number had been read.


With 8 bats from Wilson boxes and 4 from Burke Rd tubes, it was all over fairly quickly. Helen came with me to put the bats back in the Burke Rd tubes, and her husband and son were waiting for us, so got a little show-and-tell. I walked down to the boxes at sunset and 7 of the 8 bats quickly flew off, the last being already a bit torpid. Put it under my windcheater to warm up and started walking home. It crawled out onto my shoulder and flew off.

Wilson reserve box tally:

Box Bats Species Adult
B03 5 Gould’s 1 4
B13 2 Gould’s 1 1
B15 1 Gould’s 1
  8 Total 2 6

Burke rd. tube tally:

Tube Bats Species Adult
T04 3 Gould’s 3
T02 1 Gould’s 1
  12 Total 3 9

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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