Support bat research
Support Ghost Bat research
Eerie high-pitched calls emanate across the northern Australian night. The source is the ghost bat (Macroderma gigas), a large carnivorous ‘micro’ bat that lives in caves during the day and forages in tropical woodlands at night. It is among the most distinctive of Australian bats, but we know very little about this iconic and threatened mammal. What we do know tells us that the ghost bat is a highly unique species with a particularly unusual social lifestyle. Where else do you find top-level predators living together in such high numbers in a confined space!?
Ghost bats communicate vocally with calls in the audible and ultrasonic range, but it is yet unknown what the specific purposes of the calls are. If their calls can be deciphered, we can unlock a wealth of information about ghost bats, including on their social structure and movements between roosts, which is important for informing successful management plans.
It has historically been difficult to study bat social vocalisations, but fortunately, recent advances in acoustic technology and analytical techniques mean that we can now study such vocalisations in great detail.
A crowdfunding campaign has been set up by Nicola Hanrahan (PhD candidate at Western Sydney University) to fund the purchase of cutting-edge miniaturised acoustic recording units (tiny microphones carried by the bats), which will open our ears to the complex vocal interactions that appear critical to the survival and reproductive success of this unique social mammal.
For more information and to support the campaign, click here.