Last week I got to meet two little Southern Bent-wing Bats that were rescued and are being hand-raised by bat expert Lindy Lumsden.
The two babies are now around 5 months old and may be fit for release in the coming weeks. It’s unknown exactly how long these micro bats live, but individuals have been recorded up to 22 years old!
They were rescued after falling to the floor of Starlight cave, near Warrnambool, one of only 2 remaining maternity caves for this bat species. The rest of the baby bats were huddled together on the ceiling 40 metres above so it wasn’t possible to put them back where they came from.
As a result of the very particular conditions required for a maternity cave (and that bats love a good mass-cuddle) the air temperature in the maternity cave can be more than 10 degrees warmer than outside!
There has been a severe decline in recent decades for Southern Bent-wing Bats, but exact current numbers have been hard to gauge. State of the art missile tracking technology from the US is now being employed to provide more accurate estimates of bat numbers – cool eh?
I’ve attached a sound recording of one of the little fellas. (captured through a bat detector and recorded on a phone). Check it out: