Have you noticed any new locals flying around town lately? Keep your eye on the sky at dusk from now until April and expect to see up to 15 species of bats.
This month, these flying mammals will start looking to make camp near creeks, rivers and streams to cool off by through summer and near trees with blossoms and fruit such as melaleuca, eucalyptus and banksia to feed on.
Did you know? Last year, locals found around 200 bats were living in a eucalyptus tree in Yass.
They’re also essential to our environment, protecting crops by eating up to their own body weight in insects every night through summer and rejuvenating our forests, carrying pollen and seeds over long distances.
The types of bats you could find locally include the little forest, white-striped freetail, lesser long-eared, Gould’s long-eared, eastern broad-nosed, Gould’s wattled, freetail, large-eared pied and southern myotis (fishing) bat.
While bats usually live near water sources or in forests, they do sometimes come into homes. The most common areas are under verandas and horse blankets; in sheds, exhaust pipes, outdoor umbrellas and coats.
Bats will eventually leave and often don’t need to be removed, causing no harm if left alone. However, if you’re really worried about bats in your home or if you find an injured bat, the rule is -don’t touch, but do tell – call WIRES on 1300 094 737.
Similarly, bats will only bite if they feel threatened, but if you do get bitten, seek immediate medical attention as some bats carry a group of viruses linked to rabies.
You can help create a safe habitat for bats by planting trees and keeping old trees and keeping pets such as cats and dogs indoors at night.