Written by: Robert Bender
Steve and Danielle arrived at 11 a.m. and had nearly all the boxes emptied by the time I arrived at 2, when a goodly team was hard at work in the visitor centre assessing the many bats. On the way down to the boxes, I spotted a family walking their dog, ignoring the many Dogs not allowed signs – seems to be an increasing practice in unstaffed parks.
Box 38 and two others were re-attached to trees after repairs
Robert Irvine found a live cicada perched on a shrub.
And there were many discarded shells on trees, split down the back to allow the instar to wriggle out.
Tanja Straka and Emmi Scherlies were back in action, Danielle PIT-tagging juveniles, Casey and Pia banding and assessing repro con, forearms and weights. Maya Pannisett brought daughter Sasha who had scribed for us at Wilson Reserve recently and was keen for more.
Robert Irvine kept bringing groups of casual park visitors in to see what we were doing, and as always, all were fascinated, none had seen little bats before.Casey showed them some wee bats.
Caroline did bat-handling with Nathan scribing.
And I worked with Andrew, assessing his first bats and learning to manage little wriggly animals.
Robert brought in yet more visitors and explained what the project is about to them, and Veronica Peric (of Healesville Sanctuary, where she works with Tasmanian Devils) talked to them about what she was doing.
Near the end of the afternoon Pia read a band and found she had female Gould’s, 88866, still fit and healthy, probably over 11 years old now.
It was a very long day, as there were 318 bats on many hangers, all of which had to be put back into the boxes where Steve had found them.
So we didn’t exit the park until well after 9 p.m. – a ten hour day for Steve and Danielle. And much thanks to all those who came to help with the big workload.