Bat box check at the Organ Pipes, 23 Oct 2016

Written by: Robert Bender




Steve and Danielle arrived early and had done most of the boxes by the time I arrived, finding a very big group in box 16



Steve & Dani installed several hollow-log boxes. All the bats I found were torpid, after a cool wet weekend during which they probably just slept through.




Decided to close a glider box propped open to make the ants leave, and found a Ringtail inside.




She leaped out and sat on a nearby branch to work out what I was going to do. She had been sitting on three young ringtails




Box 1 had 24 Gould’s, all females





Andrew Mibus helped me with the ladder and we were soon done and drove up to the Visitor Centre to join the small team there – Lindy, Caroline Durre, Casey and Anita, and Nick Swinton, from Mornington, who came last year with Paul Bertuch’s group.



He scribed for Casey, and I for Anita. Danielle is working towards a banding licence, so did all the new bands.




Steve worked mainly on PIT-tagging new Freetails, 8 of the 17, and taking a few tail membrane samples.



Andrew made his first venture towards learning bat-handling skills, processing some Freetails, working out how to hold them to measure forearm length, and get them into and out of a ziplock bag for weighing



One female Gould’s had a nasty banding injury, so its band was removed and the wound medicated by Lindy. Near the end of the session, the old bat 88866 turned up



She should now be about 11-12 years old, banded early 2005. We were all done by 7:30, so everyone went off home, but Danielle and Andrew stayed to help release the bats, which all flew off quickly. Two young Gould’s were found dead in two boxes. Their first year is the toughest. And next day:

Box Bat Species    Adult

  M        F

C16 53 Gould’s 4 49
C01 24 Gould’s   24
C44 16 Gould’s 8 8
C14 12 Gould’s 1 11
C40 11 Gould’s 6 5
C43 10








C20 10 Gould’s   10
C17 6 Gould’s 2 4
C41 6 Gould’s   6
C20 4 Gould’s 4  
C25 3 Gould’s 2 1
C42 2








C22 1 Gould’s 1  
C28 1 Gould’s 1  
C13 1 Freetail   1
C15 1 Freetail   1
  165 Totals 36 129

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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