Holy Halloween Batman… or are you a Count Dracula?

By AG STAFF 29 October 2022
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You’d have to have bats in your belfry to not sign up for this new citizen science project to save our species.

It’s no October 31 gimmick – if you volunteer to be part of the latest Saving our Species project, you’re in for a real treat. Citizen scientists are needed to scan the skies for insect-eating bats in four key locations across New South Wales.

The Bats in Backyards project is being delivered by the NSW Government Saving our Species program in partnership with Western Sydney University and the NSW Department of Primary Industries.

Volunteers are needed in Narrabri, Wellington, Western Sydney and Pillar Valley near Grafton in the first phase of the project, aimed at learning about how bats use different landscapes across NSW.

Saving our Species Senior Threatened Species Officer, Dr Joanna Haddock, advised that the Bats in Backyards pilot project is open to expressions of interest, with volunteers needed over summer from November 2022 to April 2023.

“Small, insect-eating bats are found everywhere in Australia and private land provides crucial habitat,” Joanna said.

“This may include connected remnants of native bushland, hollow-bearing trees, unpolluted waterways, paddock trees and green spaces in cities.

“Bats have been portrayed historically as villains, but they are in fact our friends, as voracious predators of insect pests – eating mosquitos, biting midges and crop pests by the billions.

“Bats in Backyards enables anyone to contribute to conservation by recording bat calls.

“Participating citizen scientists will record bat calls for up to five days using a supplied bat detector.

“The bat detector picks up the high frequency echolocation calls from bats flying high overhead; bats we don’t see or hear.

“The recordings will be analysed by scientists and each property owner will receive a personalised report detailing each bat species detected and their preferred habitat and food.

“This will give us important information about where the bats fly, forage and roost.

“I’d urge anyone in our target areas to consider being a batman, woman or person, you don’t get to save Gotham City, but you could help save a species.”

To find out more and register your interest in the Bats in Backyards project visit Saving our Species.