Bat box check at the Organ Pipes, 14 February 2016

12 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1012Written by: Robert Bender

A fine windless day for batting, and there were big groups of Gould’s in many boxes. This is C43. When I arrived Steve’s team was at their first box.




Some boxes had the seasonal abundance of bat fly pupae attached to interior walls, awaiting victims.




Avril Hanbidge in my team had to leave early



Each February, we get many adolescent bats who are easily spooked, and fly out of their roosts en masse as they hear a ladder approaching. It happened at 8 boxes this month, with an estimated 112 bats flying in circles around the flat, then rearranging themselves into new boxes. We recaptured some. This Freetail once had 28 Gould’s with it, but all flew out on our approach.



The processing team arrived while we were still emptying boxes, opened up and got to work



Steve had asked for several laptops to be brought along, to display the complete record of bat capture to reduce the recording error rate, which worked very well.




Lindy assessed bats, banded some, and had Andrew as a scribe.





Steve microchipped a Freetail and several Gould’s and took many genetic samples.




I scribed for Caroline Durre and Emmi Scherlies. Desk lamps for assessing adult/juvenile status were very helpful




Emmi took away most of our bat bags at evening’s end, to use in her Naracoorte project on Bentwing bats.



Michelle Toomey scribed for Amanda Bush

Doug Hoather is a new member of Friends of Organ Pipes who has become very interested in our bat project, and scribed for Michael Gooch.



Several people brought contributions to the feast. The visitor centre was very busy with bat assessing, micro-chipping, labeling and storing of genetic samples and checking of bat reproductive history, until just on 9 p.m., when Emmi and Amanda went with me down into the valley to release bats from multitudes of calico bags. Steve was still taking samples from the last few, which were released on the escarpment behind the VC.

Box Bat Species    Adult

  M               F


M              F 

C23 39 Gould’s 3 24 5 7
C14 35 Gould’s 5 16 7 7
C44 29 Gould’s 1 14 3 11
C07 28 Gould’s 4 9 6 9
C05 16 Gould’s 2 7 2 5
C20 15 Gould’s 2 6 1 6
C34 13 Gould’s 6 5 2
C16 12 Gould’s 3 7 2
C36 9 Gould’s 1 5 1 2
C43 6






2 2 2
C17 4 Gould’s 1 3
C06 2 Gould’s 1 1
C22 2 Gould’s 1 1
C24 2 Gould’s 1 1
C39 2 Gould’s 1 1
C40 2 Gould’s 1 1
C15 1 Gould’s 1
C21 1 Lge Forest 1
C42 1 Freetail 1
C27 1 Gould’s 1
C33 1 Gould’s 1
  222 Totals 29 104 33 56

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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