Microbat covered in spiders web

WIRES volunteer Locky received a message from a neighbour that she had found a little critter on an outdoor sofa on her veranda. Locky was soon on the scene where he found a Gould’s Wattled Bat wrapped in spider web, she had three babies clutching to her body.
Gould’s Wattled Bats are a species of microbat found throughout mainland Australia excluding northern Cape York Peninsula and Nullarbor Plain. They roost together in colonies of up to 30 bats.
Their preferred and natural roost sites are hollows in old trees, but due to loss of roost sites in tree hollows and loss of feeding grounds due to forestry activities, bushfires, clearing for agriculture and housing, they may at times be found in ceilings or basements of buildings.
The average size of an adult is around 10cm with a weight of just 15g.
Gould’s Wattled Bat can travel more than 10km from their roost when foraging for insects at night, but by dawn they should be back at their roost site.
Being covered in spiders web had obviously stopped this mum from being able to return, she was in a very precarious situation and so were her babies. Two smaller pups were her twins and the third was an older pup which had clung to her.
Removing the sticky spiders web without causing injury to such tiny creatures would require patience and expertise.
WIRES volunteer bat carer Lib worked for some time removing the web, and mum was otherwise uninjured.




Mum and one of her pups sharing a drink of water whilst in rehab with WIRES volunteer bat carer Lib.

After several days in rehab, the little family was safely returned to its roost.

Pictures by Lachlan Cooper