By Gavin Miles from Bats Qld
In recent months there has been a spate of deliberate acts of cruelty towards bats on the Gold Coast. These acts seem to have coincided with the sensationalised articles from our favourite fish wrap the Courier Mail and GC Bulletin. BatsQLD members were involved rescuing in two of these cases; Cherokee (Shot with a blow dart) and Peter Sterling (Shot with a .177 calibre air rifle). read more »
Tulip was an orphaned baby rescued from Esk. I got the call late afternoon and went to check. I saw the mother high up in a tree looking down and the baby was just hysterical. Seemed like a perfect reunite so I fed the baby, gave it a mumma roll tied to a branch where the mum could easily land and as I was on the way to Long Grass decided to leave the two to get together after dusk. The baby was calm by this stage and there was a helpful caller who would keep an eye on the situation who advised me that there was some altercation with dogs which is why they separated in the first place. 10pm I called to see if the mum was with bub. Sadly no and bub was screaming. Yes you guessed it back in the car for the trek to Esk to colect Tulip. Next day passing Esk on my way back to Batavia the mum was still up the tree fairly obviously injured by her altercation with the dogs and unable to fly. She had not moved. Such a sad situation but I was comforted slightly by knowing how pleased mum would be to not hear her baby screaming.
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. read more »
It's not too late to help - visit - dontshootbats.com to find out how you can help and for more information on bats.
"Full exclusion netting is the only reliable method" - NSW Govt (Dept of Environment & Climate Change)
Unfortunately LNP has announced plans to shoot bats instead of following progressive ways that actually work. Let your pollies know that these bad old ways are no longer acceptable.
Sign the petition at: http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/don-t-shoot-bats.html read more »
2012 sees the continuation of the Year of the Bat.
Abandoned mines although unsuitable for human use can provide much needed habitat for bats and wildlife. In the United States alone there are over 48,000 abandoned mines. Abandoned mines are like caves and non-destructive mine closures are those where features such as bat gates, cupolas and other preservation tools have been installed to help bats (or other wildlife depending on the location) use the mines for refuge.
Bat Conservation International and the US Bureau of Land Management have combined their efforts to create a guide that helps determine the best closure type for mine openings. On their dedicated site http://www.batgating.com they provide a wealth of information as well a decision matrix tool to help land managers and conservation groups evaluate a closed land mine, or a mine targeted for closure and determine the most suitable mine opening. There is also a wealth of information on closure types, materials, considerations, and other expert material.
Such re-purposing is great news for bats and other wildlife and hopefully a turning point as more unusable mines are converted to help conservation efforts across the globe. read more »
Microbats are natural insect terminators. These little mammals weigh around 3gms - 150 gms and have a wingspan of approx 25 cm. Being nocturnal creatures they use echolocation to navigate and find their insects in the dark. Contrary to popular myth, the bats are not blind and do use their sight as well. The largest species has a body length of only 11 cms. A single microbat can eat up to 1,200 mosquitoes and small insects in an hour which has earned them the well deserved reputation of being the nature's mosquito busters. They also pollinate native flowers, many of which can only be pollinated at night. Microbats like their bigger cousins the flying foxes (also called megabats) are a vital part of the ecology of our forests and planet. Recent surveys in Australia have shown that in grain-growing regions, the microbats fed solely on grain weevils, thus helping crop protection by reducing the use of pesticides. Microbats also eat midges, termites, lawn grub moths and other harmful insects. read more »
by Gabrielle Friebe from Bats Qld
Batavia is a bat creche recently constructed at Woodford, on the way to the Sunshine Coast on Queensland. 2010/2011 bat season has certainly presented us with a few challenges with babies, flooding, extreme weather conditions and more.
Challenges were fairly well to be expected when we think about the delay in getting the release aviary up and running due to weather with still a lot of necessary features ‘undone’. We had to fishing net the whole aviary inside, install more noodles and cover them as well of course for soft landings. read more »
Bat Physiology Facts
Flying foxes and Microbats are placental mammals
They are warm blooded and deliver a furred open-eyed baby and suckle their young
The baby has oversized feet and an extra hook on the thumb hook to aid in clinging to its mother
By latching on to the mothers teat located in the wing pit the baby is carried very securely for the first five weeks of its life
From 3-5 weeks the baby cannot thermo regulate
Bats mothers are meticulous in hygiene and use their tongue to lick and groom the baby
Baby bats CANNOT fly until they are 12-13 weeks old. Many calls for rescue come after a baby has been seen for days and this seriously affects its survival.