Please ensure you wear closed shoes and long pants, because there is occasional walking through long grass. For the Organ Pipes and Wilson Reserve checks you can just come along (no need to register), and for La Trobe and Gresswell checks maybe let Steve know you’re planning on coming along first.
At each of the sites, we will spend the first couple of hours checking the boxes to see if there are any bats at home. Because the boxes are up to 6m off the ground, this is done with the help of a ladder, and any bats collected get placed in calico bags until we are ready to process them.
Once we have all the bats out of the boxes, we’ll move to a sheltered location to process them. This involves taking a number of measurements from each bat, and recording the unique identifier on their wing band or microchip. Any bats that have been captured for the first time will be banded or chipped by experienced handlers.
Only people who have received their full course of rabies vaccinations (that’s three shots across a month or so – the same kind you get when travelling) are able to handle the bats, but we are happy to train anyone who is vaccinated and wants to gain some handling experience. We are always in need of more people to help scribe as we take measurements, and carry bags of bats or other equipment, so please feel free to come along even if you’re not vaccinated.
Once all the bats have been processed, we take them back down to the area where the boxes are and release them!