Eating up 600 mosquitoes an hour is just one of the ways the tiny, fragile microbat helps keep the balance in our ecosystem.
With urbanization becoming a major threat to sustainable microbat populations, scientists from the Australian Research Centre for Urban Ecology (ARCUE) are studying the long-term viability of microbats living in and around Melbourne.
Microbats differ from the larger flying foxes or fruit bats in that they weigh just a few grams, eat insects, and navigate through the city using ultrasonic calls that are beyond our hearing range. There are up to 15 species of microbat in Melbourne, but we know very little about their distribution, abundance, and habitat requirements.
During this overnight expedition, small groups will trap and band microbats and record their species, sex, age, and reproductive stage. You’ll also collect data on the bats’ food supply (insects) and features of their habitat.
This information will establish baseline data on the community composition and critical habitat requirements of insect-eating bats across greater Melbourne, and it will help us develop ways to conserve their populations.
Families are welcome. Looking for a fun family activity on a Saturday night? Children aged 10 to 17 are welcome to sign up with their parent or guardian.