Bat boxes and tubes at Wilson Reserve 10 December 2016

12345678910111213Written by: Robert Bender

We had just a little team to help empty the boxes: Stanley, Danielle, April Sinclair and me.  Didn’t look all that promising at first, with several pretty Grey Huntsmen, and not even bat droppings.




Then we started finding solitary male Gould’s, like last month.




On the ground beneath box 7 was a possum stomach, telling us the Powerful Owls have been around and don’t find stomach contents tasty.



And on the way to box 9 (no snake this month), a very beautiful Enamel Spider, Plebs bradleyi




We were just thinking the females were keeping away again when we found them in box 4: nine adult females and their young in a tight cluster.




Had a few show-and-tell stops for passing strollers, then off to my house, while Dani and Stanley went off to Burke Rd to fetch one bat from tube 4. Jessica arrived and did all the bat handling.




While Dani concentrated on PIT-tagging 15 bats and taking samples




Stanley had other commitments, so when his Burke Rd. bat was done, he left.




Some of the mother bats had half-grown nearly-furred pups lying across their bellies.




Others had very newborn, totally bald pups. All were very relaxed about being handled yet again. The very young ones were firmly attached to mum’s teats, so she could not be weighed separately. Several of the females were new bats.




But some of the pups were half-grown and wandering independently.




As a reward for all they had to endure, Dani had a box of mealworms that were greedily gobbled. This is 84596, White-spot, who is a messy eater when upside down.




As there were attached young, we had to take the ladder back to the reserve and put the bats back in their boxes, which startled one Huntsman.

Box Bats Species Adult Juvenile
      M F M F
B04 22 Gould’s 1 9 3 9
B07 1 Gould’s 1      
B19 1 Gould’s 1      
B20 1 Gould’s 1      
B26 1 Gould’s 1      
Burke Rd
T04 1 Gould’s 1      
  27 Total 6 9 3 9

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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