BAT NIGHT Brisbane Queensland AU

Some cute furry faces will come out to say hello at a Brisbane festival organised just for them this Saturday. And no, we are not talking about puppies or kittens. We are talking about bats.

The Bat Festival has been organised by Cubberla-Witton Catchments Network at Chapel Hill and will see bat scientists, enthusiasts, conservationists and families come together to talk all things bats.

There will be craft activities, face painting, quizzes, presentations and a night walk with scientists to hear, with the help of bat detectors, the calls of micro-bats whose frequencies are inaudible to the human ear.

Brisbane's Bat Festival aims to give people a greater understanding of the region's bats and flying foxes.Photo: Supplied

Bat festival organiser Jutta Godwin says it is a chance for fears and myths to be put to bed with the focus on creating awareness and creating interactions with these often times misrepresented creatures.

"There is so much fear linked with bats and no one really thinks about how important they are for the ecosystem and our health," Ms Godwin said.

President of Bat Conservation and Rescue QLD Katrina Faulkes-Leng said the night aimed to nurture the relationship between bats and the community by linking scientists with locals and enthusiasts, creating greater awareness.

"The night is a way to give groups the opportunity to participate in events that provide more awareness and education to the public," Ms Faulkes-Leng said.

"It is about keeping the public in the loop and letting them know what is happening in their community."

Bats are important for ecology and human health, with flying foxes considered long distance pollenators via seed dispersal and microbats, which weigh as little as two grams, working as insect control by keeping insect population down.

Ms Faules-Leng said the event would help the public to see the often overlooked softer side of bats.

"We do these events because it gets their beautiful gorgeous faces out there," Ms Faulkes-Leng said.

"People come up to us and say 'I didn't know they were so gorgeous' ".

Scientist and bat specialist Dr Monika Rhodes, with husband Dr Martin Rhodes, will also present findings from their recent microbat survey conducted in the area, funded by the Brisbane City Council.

The survey found a heavy presence of microbat species in the inner west of Brisbane.

"What we found was that in the western suburbs there were 15 microbat species and 3 species of flying foxes, which is more than half of the bat species known to South East Queensland," Ms Rhodes said.

"This was a conservative measure, if you stayed for longer and did trappings you could potentially find more."

Monika and Martin will be leading a night walk at the festival to help locals discover the myriad of bats that exist in their community unnoticed.

A state-of-the-art bat detector called The Anabat Walkabout, which detects bat calls and transforms them into images called sonograms, will be used.

The Bat Festival will be held on Saturday 9th May from 4-7:30pm at CWCN Centre, 47 Hepworth Street, Chapel Hill.


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BATS. Megabats, Flying-foxes, Fruit bats and Microbats: BAT NIGHT Brisbane Queensland AU
BAT NIGHT Brisbane Queensland AU
BATS. Megabats, Flying-foxes, Fruit bats and Microbats
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