on New England wool propertieson New England wool propertieson New England wool properties
Why are batsimportant?
Small, insect-eating bats (‘microbats’)fulfil an important role on woolproperties, that of natural pestcontrol. Microbats eat a wide range ofinvertebrates, predominantly moths,beetles and bugs, with some speciesalso consuming mosquitoes,grasshoppers and crickets. Individualmicrobats can consume up to half theirbody weight in insects in a night.Without their services, insectpopulations could explode!Microbats differ in size and shape andwhere and how they prefer to hunt, sotheir diet varies accordingly. Thefreetail bats have long, narrow wingsand fly fast and high above trees.Others with broader wings are able tofly below the canopy and pick insectsoff leaves and branches. The morespecies and numbers of bats, the betterthe pest control service they perform.
How manydifferent kinds of bats are there?
Australia-wide, there are more than 70species of bat, with quite a few yet tobe formally described by scientists. TheLand, Water & Wool (LWW) Northern
Common Name Latin Name Diet* Abund-ance**Microbats
Broad-nosed bat oreastern falsistrelle
sp.Beetles, slow-flyinginsects0.42Chocolate wattled bat
Predominantly mothswith some beetles0.58Common bentwing bat
Predominantly moths 0.27Eastern cave or littleforest bat
Small flying insects(e.g. moths, beetles,bugs, mosquitoes)3.94Eastern freetail bat
sp. 2 Bugs and flying ants 0.01Freetail bat
sp. 4 Probably bugs ***Gould’s wattled bat
Moths, beetles, bugs,flies and locusts6.79Large forest bat
Small flying insects(e.g. moths, beetles,bugs, mosquitoes,flying ants)1.55Little broad-nosed bat
Ants, termites,crickets, bugs, beetles,flies and moths0.17Long-eared bat
Wide variety of flyingand flightless insects0.83Southern forest bat
Moths, beetles, flies,mosquitoes, ants, bugs1.63White-striped freetailbat
Moths, beetles, bugs,grasshoppers0.75Yellow-belliedsheathtail bat
Mainly beetles, plusgrasshoppers and bugs0.17Little red flying fox
Predominantly nectarand blossom***
* Source: Strahan (1995), Churchill (1998).** Average number of passes per evening of each species (definite identifications only)across all habitats on LWW Monitor farms.*** Only recorded on one Case Study farm in 2002-03.
Table 1. The bats recorded by the LWW Northern Tablelands Project on 18 Monitor and Case Study wool properties in the summers of 2002-03 and 2004-05. Above—Gould’s wattled bat, the mostwidespread and abundant microbat onNew England wool properties.Below—Common bentwing bat. Above—Gould’s long-eared bat(
), one of several long-eared bat species in southern New England farmland.Below—Chocolate wattled bat. Photo—Lindy Lumsden.
The background, objectives and outcomes of this project are summarised at: www.landwaterwool.gov.au (Product number: PF030479)
A technical guideA technical guideA technical guide
Land, Water & WoolLand, Water & WoolLand, Water & Wool Northern TablelandsNorthern TablelandsNorthern TablelandsProject Fact SheetProject Fact SheetProject Fact Sheet