Threats To Our Bat Populations

Humans seem to be the major threat to bats!  We are taking away their habitat daily. We are cutting down trees which provide homes for these little nocturnal mammals (tree hollows take approximately 100 years to develop!).

We use too many pesticides in our parks and gardens. Remember our bats eat some of these insects that have been poisoned!

Our domesticated cats and dogs can also bring these little mammals inside to show us what they have caught like they do with mice and baby birds!  Cats especially will pierce the skin/tear membranes and will generally infect the bat as cats carry many bacteria on their teeth.  Immediate Veterinarian attention is necessary to help save the bat.  Please go to www.catbib.com.au for the CatBib which can help prevent cats from killing our wildlife.

Disturbance to bats during Autumn and Winter when they are hibernating/in torpor can kill many bats.  So please stay away from caves, especially, where many cave-dwelling bats will colonise and torpor during the colder months.

On occasions, bats are found in homes (roof spaces/wall linings), sheds (under hessian bags or horse blankets), roosting in/on machinery and other cosy, warm spots!  Please do not disturb or handle them.  Please contact us for assistance.

Natural causes including drought, storms and climate change are impacting on bat populations, especially, the Southern Bent-wing Bat which is now endangered within South Australia!   This species is critically endangered around Australia!!  Further reading is available on the Southern Bent-wing Bat of the Naracoorte Caves. 

Please contact James Smith, FauNature for further advice on bats co-existing with people and the benefits of artificial roost boxes.

The Ghost Bat, Australia’s largest carnivorous echolocating bat, was recorded in the past (prior to 1970) around the Flinders Ranges in South Australia.  This bat is a threatened ‘vulnerable’ species, restricted to caves and abandoned mines. This species is now restricted to Tropical Northern Australia.  Destruction and disturbance have caused their numbers to dramatically decline (Sue Churchill –  ‘Australian Bats’ – Second Edition).  Zoos SA – Adelaide Zoo – have been part of the Australasian Regional Zoo Conservation Program for over ten years with reasonable success, having bred over 17 individuals during this period of time.  The lifespan of the Ghost Bat is approximately 15 to 20 years.