Not much is known about the bats around Wellington and residents are invited to lend their backyards to research.
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Following a successful pilot last year, the Bats in Backyards project is once again calling on citizen scientists to help survey insect-eating bats by recording bat calls over a period of three to five days between October 2023 and March 2024.
The program helps researchers learn where threatened species are and lets residents know what types of bats they have eating insects in their backyards.
Dr Joanna Haddock, Saving our Species senior threatened species officer, said there is "a lot of private property in Wellington" and researchers want to know which bats are occurring there.
"There's a gap in our knowledge around Wellington and south of Wellington, and we want to mobilise private land owners, farmers, even people in town, to see what's there," Dr Haddock told the Daily Liberal.
The team is certain they will find a "high diversity of bats" on people's properties - even threatened species - due to the suburb's cave system.
Dr Haddock said a vulnerable species of cave-dwelling bat called the little pied bat, as well as the vulnerable yellow-bellied sheath-tailed bat, would most likely be found in Wellington.
"This is a cool project for kids to get involved in as well, if you have children or grandchildren interested in biodiversity in their back garden, they're almost guaranteed to find something," Dr Haddock said.
The micro-bats likely to be found in the study use echolocation to navigate and hunt. People who are involved in the study will be given a bat detector that detects the bats' high frequency calls - or 'chirps'.
"This is a low-effort citizen science project - no bat expertise necessary," Dr Haddock said.
Residents attach their bat detector to a tree or fence post and it records the bat calls - which are too high for a human to hear. After the allocated time period, the resident sends the detector back to researchers and they download its data.
Researchers will be able to tell which bats were calling in the vicinity based on their individual calls.
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"We send a report back breaking down which species they recorded, what other species might be around, and how you can encourage them," Dr Haddock said.
There are 34 species of insect-eating bats in NSW; 18 of which are listed as threatened.
The 'Bats in Backyards' project is being delivered by the NSW Government Saving our Species program in partnership with NSW Department of Primary Industries and Western Sydney University.
Find out more and register your interest in the Bats in Backyards project at https://savingourspecies.online/bats
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