Bat numbers rising
BOXES PROVIDING VITAL HOMES
BAT numbers in Bibra Lake are on the rise, according to the man who has taken the lead in creating homes for the creatures over the past decade.
East Fremantle resident Joe Tonga began installing bat boxes throughout local wetlands to provide homes for microbats under threat from encroaching residential developments.
More than 50 boxes have been installed and, while he does not have official figures, he says they are making a difference.
“It’s taken nine or 10 years, but (the bat population) is starting to grow. It’s a great sign,” he said.
Mr Tonga said his personal observation was that more boxes were being populated and even shared by multiple species, something he said was common. He said microbats were “important biological control” because they eat up to 1000 mosquitoes each night.
The pest technician, who runs popular night stalks at the Cockburn Wetlands Education Centre, recently installed five new boxes.
Bicton resident Harry Hansom (13), a Scotch College student, built them as part of a community service requirement for school.
“As a kid we went to the Cockburn Wetlands Education Centre,” he said.
“I looked it up online and asked Joe what I could do.
“He said making the bat boxes would be the best way to help out.”
Mr Tonga said Harry’s work was top-notch.
“For a young guy, he threw a lot of passion at the project,” he said.