Sheltering from the rain this Juvenile Eastern long -eared microbat thought it had the perfect spot. However as daylight dawned and the SPAR Supermarket at Suffolk Park was about to open it turned out not to be so perfect after all.
Staff arriving to open the supermarket quickly put up a sign and called WIRES.
Eastern long -eared bats are found on the coast from Cape York to the Northern Rivers. Their favoured habitat is coastal rainforest and patches of coastal scrub where they roosts in tree hollows, the hanging foliage of palms, in dense clumps of foliage of rainforest trees, under bark and in shallow depressions on trunks and branches, among epiphytes, in the roots of strangler figs, among dead fronds of tree ferns and less often in buildings. They commonly live in groups of 2-7, with males preferring to live separately in their bachelor pads, leaving the family management to the females.
Females have twin pups in October so it’s at this time of year that the young put on their L plates and go exploring independently, as this one seems to have done.
The young adventurer was soon collected and brought into WIRES care. It was not injured and after a short time in care and a test flight was returned to his home roost area which we know is not the SPAR Supermarket but somewhere nearby.
Eastern Long-eared are by far the most common microbat species called to WIRES. They’re listed as vulnerable on the NSW Threatened Species list.
Sadly as many others they are vulnerable to loss of roost sites in tree hollows and loss of feeding grounds by forestry activities, clearing for agriculture and housing. They feed on moths, crickets, grasshoppers, cockroaches, spiders, flies and mosquitoes using echolocation, passive listening and visual cues.
Thank you to the staff at SPAR Supermarket at Suffolk Park for calling WIRES.
Picture by Annie Crowley