Bats at Wilson Reserve, 10 June 2017

123456789Written by: Robert Bender

We had a fine sunny winter afternoon for it, but only three of us turned up – Steve, Stanley and me. Doing the rounds of the boxes took 90 minutes, as all but four were empty, with only earwigs and Huntsmen.




Back at my house, Steve did all the assessing, quickly and efficiently.




Stanley managed the laptop spreadsheet. I scribed.




Box 20 had four bats, one of which was unbanded but had the telltale white spot on top of her head. Doing her matriarchal duties as always – very conscientious.




With only ten bats, assessing was soon over and the bats parked on their hanger in my laundry until after dark. Walked down to the boxes at 6 o’clock.




The bats emerged slowly and reluctantly. 8 flew off.




One young male had gone too far into torpor to fly off, and my attempt to warm him on my hands failed.




White-spot also was far into torpor. So back home again for the ladder.




I put the ladder up at box 20, and found a Huntsman hiding behind the box, that emerged to investigate this unusual event so late at night.




The ten bats were spread over 5 boxes, in ones and twos. The boxes usually frequented in June were all empty. As usual, more females than males. But only the one species. One unbanded bat, but as Steve hadn’t brought a PIT-tag reader we don’t know if it had been tagged, so he banded it, so we can recognize it next time, and remove the band if it is tagged. There were none at Burke Rd.

Box Bats Species Adult
B20 4 Gould’s 1 3
B16 2 Gould’s 1 1
B12 2 Gould’s 2
B05 1 Gould’s 1  
B01 1 Gould’s 1
  10 Total 4 6

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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