Microbats At Long Grass
In previous years Gabi and I have had microbats come in to care and those that did we had little success with. We became quite somewhat despondent about the prospect of rearing more microbats only for them to die after a couple of weeks. This year however has been different. Since the beginning of December 2011 we took 9 microbats into care and lost two of them. One of the deaths was pretty well unavoidable. A bat that was passed on to us from Australia Zoo as simply requiring a rest before being released turned out to be paralysed and had multiple injuries. The second death was a 3g furless baby that survived for 27 days and then succumbed to what I think was inhalation pneumonia after she was switched from syringe feeding to lapping as she had a habit of putting her whole nose in the milk. I will stick with syringe feeding these young ones from now on.
We also constructed a couple of bat boxes using a variation on a design downloaded from www.bats.org.au. The plan was modified so that it could be free standing in the bat tent during the rehab period and then wall mounted at the time of release. I also used metal hinges rather than the suggested strip of rubber as it made a much more weather proof and stable lid. The box in the photo was the second one I made and is very easy to construct and seems to be very popular with the bats.
Peter Richards and Gabrielle Friebe run the Long Grass Wildlife Refuge Centre and have been caring for wildlife for over 35 years.