Fishing bats a great catch

A GROUP of fishing bats (large-footed myotis) on Broughton Creek near Berry have been discovered during wildlife surveys conducted by local ecologist Garry Daly.

A total of 65 different animal species were recorded in the surveys and while Mr Daly said that number was not very high, he thought the presence of the fishing bats was very exciting.

Mr Daly said in his 20 years working in the field he had never heard of so many fishing bats being caught in two nights at the one location.

“In fact, 40 fishing bats are the largest number anyone has ever caught. This could mark Broughton Creek as a significantly important location for these micro bats in NSW,” he said.

“Fishing bats were one of five different species of micro bats trapped at Broughton Creek and they were probably roosting in old-growth river oaks that provide the bats with critical habitat beside the creek,” he said.

Berry Landcare and the Illawarra to Shoalhaven (I2S) partnership are part of the Great Eastern Ranges Initiative.

Members of the group are working with landholders to increase awareness of wildlife corridors in the region.

I2S regional facilitator David Rush said the work was aligned with Berry Landcare’s Natural Resource Management Plan.

“This is one of the I2S focus corridors and is recognised in the South Coast Regional Conservation Plan and the South East Local Land Services Catchment Action Plan,” he said.

“The presence of these species highlights the importance of retaining and enhancing native habitat corridors across the landscape. Many native animals need connected corridors to breed, roost, move and feed and for their continued survival.”

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