"The key part of our project was community engagement and education."
A school holiday activity had an entire focus on bats and consisted of playful learning through a bat game and by seeing a harp trap in action (with plush bats), followed by a night walk along Cubberla Creek using Anabat Walkabout and Anabat Scout. Most children and attending parents were for the first time made aware of the abundance of microbats in their neighbourhood, and had a great opportunity to learn about the diversity of bats, echolocation and general microbat habitat needs and benefits of bats, and where bats fit into ecosystem processes. Hearing the calls on the provided devices and seeing sonagrams on the Anabat Walkabout was an added bonus and created an exciting learning environment.
Nightly transect walks with three local bushcare groups were conducted in the following days, again with Anabat Walkabout and Anabat Scout in usage, and, for good measure, with CWCN’s own Anabat Express. The idea behind these walks was to alert rehabilitators of the nightly biodiversity aspects of their sites, especially the presence of microbats, the importance of creating habitat for them including the protection of tree hollows and establishing host plants for insects, and the need for having functioning wildlife movement corridors. The diversity among bats was discussed at length, and the excitement among participants was similar to that during the school holiday event (“I had no idea.”). Walks were conducted in bushland along Cubberla Creek, Toowong Creek, and along the Brisbane River. Experiencing microbats through sound and sonagrams was a true eye opener for most participants, and through question and answer sessions while walking, a great learning opportunity was taken full advantage of.
During the three transect walks microbat calls were also recorded so that data can be added to CWCN’s 2014/15 survey. A first evaluation has confirmed already known bat species for the wider catchment area, but an in depth analysis is still under way..
Bat walks were carried by Titley Scientific’s Julie Broken-Bow, zoologist Melanie Venz, and CWCN’s education coordinator Jutta Godwin
"CWCN is yet again very grateful for the support received from Titley Scientific and Julie Broken-Bow in particular." Jutta Godwin