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Microbats and Flying Foxes

They are very cute, but they can’t live there!

I hung the quilts out to air on the verandah clothes line, forgot about them for just a couple of days, and when I went to bring them in, a pair of microbats had decided that hanging upside down inside the folds was a perfect place for a nap.

I like microbats.  From time to time we have found them taking up residence in a closet, but we haven’t had indoor bats for a while now.  Unlike the fruit bats they don’t raid the fruit trees but eat insects, lots of them, including several really pesky garden pests, termites, and  mosquitoes. But they do startle visitors, swooping around the bedroom in the dark.

They’re easier to live with than the fruit bats, but much as I swear at the fruit bats when I find a bite taken out of every guava on the tree, they do have an important ecological niche as pollinators of eucalypts and rainforest trees, mixing up the genes, preventing inbreeding and spreading seed. If we want a sustainable timber industry, we need flying foxes.  I throw boots at them, but I’d never join those calling for flying fox culling. I have a house framed in hardwood, a  beautiful hardwood kitchen bench, a silky oak blanket box. Quite apart from any green values, I don’t want my kids to have to live in aluminium houses.

I tried hanging an old sheet out instead, but the microbats decided that if they couldn’t have a feather quilt, they’d find their own accommodation.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial July 20, 2011, 7:16 am

    Thank you – we’ve been hoping for microbats, but haven’t seen any yet in our yard. It’s good to know they’re around!

  • cityhippyfarmgirl July 20, 2011, 7:27 pm

    I’m fascinated by the little microbats. I think it was Sonya from Permaculture Pathways that did a post on them awhile back ?? Anyway someone had a house made up for them and they moved in. Too cute.

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