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Info on Bats | MEGA Murray-Darling Microbat Project

Info on Bats | MEGA Murray-Darling Microbat Project

About the Project
Microbats are a MEGA-important part of our environment, but little is known about them in the Murray-Darling region. This project aims to engage with Landcare associations, landholders, land managers, and other interested community members within the Murray-Darling Basin region to collect information on microbats! The Murray-Darling MEGA Microbat Project is a collaborative initiative of the South Australian Museum, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resources Management Board, Mid Murray Landcare South Australia, and the University of South Australia.

This project will:
  • Use an existing network of Landcare officers to engage with a wide range of stakeholders across the Murray-Darling Basin region of South Australia
  • Engage the community (Citizen Scientists) to collect data on microbats
  • Generate important information on microbats and microbat habitat to inform their conservation within the region
As a “Citizen Scientist” participating in this project you can:
  • Complete our MEGA Microbat Survey
  • Attend a Bat Information Night in your region
  • Learn how use ultrasonic microbat detectors
  • Survey microbats on a property
  • Record microbat habitat using a phone app
  • Learn how to encourage microbats to a property

Citizen science projects want to track South Australian microbats

The Murray Darling Microbat citizen science project. Picture: Terry Reardon.

THE critters above might look like they’re from another planet, but there’s a fair chance that they’re living in your backyard.
They’re microbars — tiny cousins of the more commonly seen megabats like the flying foxes that live in Adelaide’s Botanic Park — and there are 83 species spread across Australia.
But despite their wide range, not much is actually known about these shy little animals — and that’s where you can help.
A citizen science project aimed at tracking microbars will be launched next month, and people in South Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin are being encouraged to lend a hand.
The scheme will see people in the region — which stretches from the Victorian border to the mouth of the River Murray — borrowing ultrasonic bat detectors known as AnaBat Swifts to record the creatures’ echolocation calls on their property.
Participants will also be encouraged to photograph any bats they see and take notes using a special smartphone app linked to the Adlas of Living Australia.
All of this data will then be analysed by scientists like Dr Kyle Armstrong, a specialist bat researcher from the South Australian Museum.
Dr Armstrong said the data would be invaluable in determining population numbers, especially for four of the species in the region that are listed as endangered.
“This is a great example of citizen science at work,” he said. “Giving local people the knowledge and tools to survey bats in their own backyards will provide mush-needed information on which species occur where and how they are coping.
“Bats have something of negative image, but once people find out about them they realise that they are fascinating creatures and a vital part of our ecosystem.”
Participants in the project will also receive feedback about ways they can make their property more bat-friendly and attract more of the animals to their region.
Individuals, groups and even children are encouraged to take part, more information can be found at naturalresources.sa.gov.au


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BatsRule!: Info on Bats | MEGA Murray-Darling Microbat Project
Info on Bats | MEGA Murray-Darling Microbat Project
Info on Bats | MEGA Murray-Darling Microbat Project: what the project is about
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