Building Bathouses For Microbats

microbatMicrobats are natural insect terminators.  These little mammals  weigh around 3gms  - 150 gms and have a wingspan of approx 25 cm. Being nocturnal creatures they use echolocation to navigate and find their insects in the dark. Contrary to popular myth, the bats are not blind and do use their sight as well.  The largest species has a body length of only 11 cms.  A single microbat can eat  up to 1,200 mosquitoes and small insects in an hour which has earned them the well deserved reputation of being the nature's mosquito busters.  They also pollinate native flowers, many of which can only be pollinated at night. Microbats like their bigger cousins the flying foxes (also called megabats) are a vital part of the ecology of our forests and planet. Recent surveys in Australia have shown that in grain-growing regions, the microbats fed solely on grain weevils, thus helping crop protection by reducing the use of pesticides.  Microbats also eat midges, termites, lawn grub moths and other harmful insects.

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Why Care About Bats? (Year of The Bat 2011-2012)

bats in cave art from the Icae age 20-25,000 years ago in the Kimberley region

(All pictures in this article: courtesy batsqld.org.au and Long Grass Wildlife Refuge)

Bats are among the earliest mammals, experts dating them back to around 50 million years. Cave paintings in the Kimberley's dating back to the last Ice Age which was around 20 - 25,000 years ago feature bats as can be seen in the above image.

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