WCMN Christmas Event – Bats of the Wedderburn Area
The WCMN’s 2012 Christmas event took place on Wednesday 5 December 2012 at the Empire State Hotel in Inglewood. Dinner was followed by a presentation about bats by Micaela Jemison, a bat ecologist from DSE’s Arthur Rylah Institute in Heidelberg. Micaela is the protégé of renowned bat expert Dr Lindy Lumsden.
The 33 people who came along raved about the quality and diversity of Micaela’s presentation, and were captivated by George Junior, the tiny Southern Freetail Bat that Micaela brought along for people to meet. Micaela explained the main differences between microbats (suborder Microchiroptera) - which are the main focus of her work - and the larger bat species such as flying foxes. She also discussed the different types of microbats such tubenoses, long-eared and freetail bats, and how they navigate using echolocation. Participants particularly enjoyed learning about local species such as the Lesser Long-eared and Gould’s Long-eared bats, and the Chocolate Wattled Bat.
Feedback from participants indicates that they would be interested in a follow up workshop or field day on bats, especially identifying and improving habitat.
Article and photo by Karly Learmonth
Figure 1: WCMN members meet George Junior, a Southern Freetail Bat (who is just visible, resting in Micaela's hand).