Bat box check at Wilson Reserve, 20 November 2015

Written by: Robert Bender

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As we found only one male bat earlier in the month, and Steve was keen to get genetic samples from the twins of the females while they are still attached to mum and it is easy to work out which two pups are siblings, we went around on the morning of 20 Nov. – Rebecca, Kristin and new PhD student Danielle Eastick.

 

 

I did the meadow boxes and found one Gould’s in B26 – the same male who was in B24 a fortnight ago.

 

 

 

And a pretty little jumping spider, Ocrisiona jovialis.

 

 

Steve found a big maternity group in B20, and that was it, apart from several Huntsmen.The team set up on my back deck to take the usual measurements and the genetic samples, and I shot off to VINC to give a talk about our frog surveys.

 

 

 

Danielle got into bat handling, while Kristin scribed.

 

 

 

There were four Broadnosed bats – getting to be quite a regular part of the bat community – two banded ones, two new ones, two males and 2 females.

 

 

 

Three of the “old ladies” had newborn pups – this is 84609 with bald wrinkly eager breast-feeders

 

 

This is Whitespot, 84596, eating the placenta, as most animals do. Neither of us had observed this behaviour before.

 

 

 

Standard practice with mothers and pups is to put them back in the same box, rather than let them fly off and risk the pups becoming detached and falling to their deaths, so Steve and I went back to do that.

 

 

There were 31 bats altogether, all the Gould’s in B20 were female and just the lone male, a yearling, in B26. Seven Gould’s females had given birth (one or two possibly while in the bag), another 18 were near full-term pregnancy and all very heavy, two of them over 25 grams!

Wilson reserve box tally:

Box Bats Species Adult Juvenile
M F M F
B20 26

4

Gould’s

Broadnose

 

2

26

2

6 8
B26 1 Gould’s 1
  31 Total 3 28 6 8
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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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