Eating up 600 mosquitoes an hour is just one of the ways the tiny, fragile microbat helps keep the balance in our ecosystem.
Urbanization is a major threat to sustainable microbat populations, so scientists from the Australian Research Centre for Urban Ecology (ARCUE) are studying the long-term viability of Melbourne’s microbats.
These tiny creatures differ from flying foxes or fruit bats. 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 them. To help us learn more, you’ll visit various locations in Melbourne trapping and banding microbats and recording 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.
Earthwatch’s Student Challenge Expeditions are designed specifically and exclusively for 15- to 18-year-olds. The younger generation recognizes the importance of their role in tackling today’s most pressing environmental concerns. Earthwatch is empowering them to be part of the solution. By joining a Student Challenge team, students will have the chance to spend a week with like-minded students from across Australia working as part of a field research team. Contact Us to see if you are eligible to apply for a fully funded position.