Go­ing to bat for species

Ellenbrook Advocate - - FRONT PAGE - Lisa Thomas

THE World Wildlife Fund and Friends of the Mar­alla Road Re­serve in Bulls­brook are try­ing to en­sure the longevity of mi­cro­bats in the re­gion by build­ing nest­ing boxes and ed­u­cat­ing the pub­lic.

The species has lost ex­ten­sive nest­ing habi­tat over the past decade due to a pop­u­la­tion growth in El­len­brook and in­creased clear­ing of ma­ture trees for hous­ing.

World Wildlife Fun species con­ser­va­tion­ist project co-or­di­na­tor for south­west Aus­tralia Shenaye Hum­mer­ston said the loss of ma­ture trees around Bulls­brook and El­len­brook had made breed­ing dif­fi­cult for the bats.

“Be­cause of the large amount of clear­ing on the Swan Coastal Plain for hous­ing, we are los­ing a lot of habi­tat,” she said.

“There’s not a lot of breed­ing habi­tat be­cause a lot of ma­ture trees with hol­lows have been cut down.”

The two groups have been work­ing to­gether to im­prove the chances of the species, with work­shops to build nest­ing boxes and get­ting the com­mu­nity in­volved.

Mi­cro­bats live for up to 22 years and there have been three dif­fer­ent species of mi­cro­bat found in Bulls­brook.

Ms Hum­mer­ston said the work­shops were great at ed­u­cat­ing the com­mu­nity and get­ting them to help the species by build­ing boxes.

“Ev­ery­one has a great time and they learn a lot about the dif­fer­ent species,” she said.

She said peo­ple could help mi­cro­bats by keep­ing ma­ture trees in their back­yards and by mak­ing nest­ing boxes and plac­ing them in trees.

“We’ve found that mul­ti­ple species of bats will use the same nest­ing boxes and hud­dle to­gether. It’s also great to re­tain trees for bird life and other an­i­mals, which use the trees for food as well as nest­ing,” she said.

Any­one in­ter­ested in more in­for­ma­tion or how to get in­volved can con­tact SHum­mer­ston@wwf.org.au.

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