A fifth of all mammals in Australia are MICROBATS, a small species of bats that live on moths
A fifth of all mammals in Australia are MICROBATS, a small species of bats that measure between one and six centimeters and live on a diet of mosquitoes, moths and beetles
- An Australian bush report claims that one in five mammals are microbats
- Microbats are one of the most diverse bush animals, with 60 different species
- Researchers recruit locals to place monitoring equipment in their yards
- They hope that audio recordings of the nocturnal creatures will teach them more about the social habits of the creatures
A new report on wildlife in Australia has discovered that one of the country’s most densely populated mammals is also one of the most easily missed: the microbat.
According to researchers from the Mallee Catchment Management Authority, microbats make up 20 percent of all mammals in the country.
Microbats are one of the most diverse groups of mammals in the country, with over 60 different species, 14 of which can be found in the abundant bushland in the Australian state of Victoria, where the Mallee CMA is active.
According to a new report, microbats are good for one in five mammals in Australia
“We don’t see that kind of diversity in other mammals in the bush,” said researcher Susan Saris ABC news.
“So that’s great, and yet people don’t even realize that they live there.”
True to their name, microbats are small and delicate creatures that usually weigh no more than a tenth of a pound and range in size from one to six centimeters.
Microbats live mainly on insects such as mosquitoes, caterpillar moths, weevils and flying termites, something that has earned them the nickname of the pest control of nature.
During the summer months the nocturnal creatures go into an insane state of binge eating, part of an effort to arrive as much as possible to better survive the winter months when the insect population is scarce.
The small animals feed on insects and spend the summer months as much as possible with yawns to prepare for the winter when food is scarce
WHAT ARE MICROBATES?
Microbats, or microchioptera, are a suborder of common bats.
They can vary in length from one to six centimeters and usually do not weigh more than one tenth of a pound.
The majority of the bat population in the world actually consists of microbats, or about 70 percent.
There are 60 different types of microbat, and they are found in every region of the world except Antarctica and the Arctic Circle.
The Mallee CMA regularly organizes events to inform the locals about microbats, including walking tours through the bushland where they are often found.
The group has also encouraged the local population to help them collect data on microbat populations.
They offer tracking devices called anabats, which record acoustic signals that can be used to identify specific bat calls.
“Tie it to a tree or a fence and leave it there for two nights and it records the specific sounds that the microbats make,” Saris said.
Although sometimes compared to mice or other small rodents, microbats, like their larger relatives, are their own species and have no relationship with rodents.