Bat box check at the Organ Pipes, 17 April 2016

123456789Written by: Robert Bender

Autumn brings the Freetails into our boxes, now the breeding season is over. Steve took the north end and I took the south end, assisted by Andrew and Nathan




Most boxes, as always, were full of Gould’s females





But several had groups of White-striped Freetails




One Freetail, chipped last visit, then had a damaged tail tip, which was still a raw wound, bleeding, two months later. So the next day, Steve took it to the vet at Heales-ville zoo for treatment.



A smaller processing team than usual, led by Pia and Casey, with some new recruits to scribe for us, got started before the boxes were all done.



Doug Hoather came with a video camera and I got some film of Gould’s wriggling out the exit into a bag. He managed the laptop for the evening, helping with history of repro con for the bats, to reduce the error rate.



Juliana from Canberra came to help friend Pia, and Melissa’s scribe was young Austin Uebergang who came with father Tim




Steve as usual was busy with taking genetic samples for the paternity study, and microchipping new Freetails.




We were all done by 8:30, and drove down to the Pipes to release the bats, which all flew off quickly, bar the Freetails, which take a while to assess the situation and make their decisions.

Box Bat Species    Adult

  M      F

C39 29 Gould’s 13 16  
C41 23




19 4


C33 18 Gould’s 1 17  
C35 28 Gould’s 5 12  
C30 15 Gould’s 1 14 1
C16 15 Gould’s   15  
C32 13 Gould’s 1 12  
C17 13




3 10


C44 11 Gould’s 3 8  
C13 10 Gould’s   10  
C07 9 Gould’s 1 8  
C20 9 Gould’s 1 8  
C27 6 Gould’s   6 1
C42 6 Freetail 1 5  
C24 5 Gould’s 2 3  
C23 5


Gould’s Lge Forest 2


C15 3 Freetail   3  
C40 3 Gould’s 1 2  
C05 2 Freetail 1 1  
C06 2 Gould’s 2    
C34 2 Gould’s 1 1  
C43 2 Freetail 2    
  228 Totals 63 165 10

The number of bats was a bit down on last year’s tally, with the peak year having been 2011, just after our long drought broke. Pretty amazing growth since our small beginnings in 1995 when we found 9 bats in April.


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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