EPS Employees attend Bat Conference in Western Sydney

25 June 2018

EPS team members Alan Midgley and Kate Tierney recently attended the Sydney Bats: Hidden Treasures and Flying Icons conference at the Western Sydney University Richmond Campus. The conference focused on the latest results and ideas on microbats and flying-foxes by leading researchers, with an emphasis given to practical guidance for management.

The conference went into detail on the key management concerns for microbats and the Grey-headed Flying Fox (GHFF). The impacts on microbats focused upon increasing urban land use in Sydney where factors such as vegetation clearing, a lack of tree hollows for roosting and artificial night light were explored. Following this, the management of the endangered GHFF was discussed within a context of outlining the role of community groups and government bodies in conserving this species.

Interestingly, GHFF roosting areas known as ‘camps’ have actually increased from 27 camps (1998) to 125 camps (2013). However, the estimated number of individual GHFF has nearly halved within the same timeframe. This increase in camps is in response to a reduced food availability within an urbanising environment which causes this species to shift to new areas for food where it roosts nearby.

EPS were excited to attend the conference, which strengthens our skills in field assessments and the ability to make sound site-sensitive recommendations.