Micro critters rescued as tree home crashes

SAFE HANDS: This microbat was rescued from a fallen tree branch in Leslie Park, Goodna.
SAFE HANDS: This microbat was rescued from a fallen tree branch in Leslie Park, Goodna. Claudia Baxter

A COLONY of microbats has been saved at Goodna and that is good news for those who like to host a backyard barbecue insect-free.

The bats were saved by the Bat Conservation and Rescue Queensland organisation after being found inside the hollow of a tree limb that fell at Leslie Park in Goodna.

Volunteer Michael Janssens said his organisation had now set up large nesting boxes at the Goodna site with the help of Ipswich City Council and that the bats' future was now more secure.

"We were initially able to get 30 of the microbats rescued and taken to a carer's house," he said.

"We were hoping the rest of them would fly off and find a new habitat.

"But we went back at six o'clock the next morning and the others were still inside the log and we got another 60 out.

"All told there are 134 of them, a whole family of microbats.

"We'll put the bats we have in care into the breeding boxes that are chained to the top of the trees. Hopefully that will be their new home."

Mr Janssens said the microbats were "insect hunters".

"Each single bat will get up to 1000 insects every night," he said

"That is awesome if you live in a mosquito area. They are very important to cut down the insect population.

"Without them we'd be plagued with mosquitoes, flies and the little biters you don't like at barbecues. These guys clean all of that up.

"Without them you wouldn't be able to have a barbecue. With microbats, a log can fall out of a tree and destroy the whole colony which would be disastrous for the area."

Mr Janssens' organisation also rescues megabats. "Flying foxes have received a bad rap over the hendra virus scare and people try and get them out of trees with bad netting, so we do a lot of rescues of megabats," he said.

What are microbats?

Microbats are mammals

In autumn and summer they feast on insects

They can eat hundreds of insects per hour

The smallest microbat weighs three grams

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