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Australasian Bat Night NT - Australasian Bat Society

Home > Darwin > Animals and Wildlife | Family | Free
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Up close with bats
To be honest, I don't like bats. But if you want to find more about bats, they are an incredible animal that can amaze you.

bat, night watch, ecosystem, wild life
It's good to introduce bats to children so they get better understanding about this animal


Bats are a special group of mammals which belong to a group that scientists call Chiroptera, which means 'hand-wing'. They are split into two groups: the Microbats (Microchiroptera) and the Megabats (Megachiroptera). About one-fifth of all mammals are bats. Their ability to fly and special way to find food means that they can be found on all continents except Antarctica. With over 90 species, Australia's bat fauna is diverse, covering many different habitats. In Northern Territory itself, there are more than 35 species of bats. Bats that are found in Northern Territory including ghost bat and flying foxes.

bat, night watch, ecosystem, wild life
Bat Night at East Point Reserve


The Ghost Bat is Australia's only carnivorous bat. It is sometimes called a vampire bat. It lives in caves and feeds on frogs, birds, other bats and large insects. It is extinct in Central Australia but still found in the Top End.

Flying foxes are the largest Territory bats. They are found in the Top End but not Central Australia. During the daytime, they hang upside down in mangroves and paperbark trees. At dusk, they fly off in great flocks to feed on flowers and fruit. Flying foxes are a protected species the Northern Territory. Flying foxes are one of the most important pollinators of trees across the NT, so are vital to the Territory's ecosystem.

bat, night watch, ecosystem, wild life
Flying foxes swoop around town before sunset


Did you know that bats often use man-made roads and footpaths as easy flying routes when they come out to feed at night? Most of us don't realise it but there are a lot of bats flying around at night time. A bat will eat up to half of its body weight in insects at night and there are hundreds and thousands of these bats flying around. So, if we didn't have the bats flying around, we'd be inundated with insects!

bat, night watch, ecosystem, wild life
Flying foxes are one of the most important pollinators of trees across the NT


City of Darwin has a program called Bat Night for those who wants to find out more about bats and get up and close with this night animal. It will be held on Tuesday the 16th of May 2017 from 6.30pm at East Point Reserve. The guest speaker Dr Damian Milne - a senior spatial scientist at the Northern Territory Department of Land Resource Management - will provide you with lots of interesting facts about bats. Dr Milne has spent the last decade monitoring Darwin's microbats - the tiniest types of bats - for a long term study about their health and population. According to Dr Milne, bats are critical to local ecosystems, so studying their long-term data is a good indicator of overall changes or disruptions to the environment. Relatively little is known about Darwin's 20 native bat species or the broader bat population in Australia. Beside from Dr Milne, you can also hear lots of interesting stories from a local researcher.

This event will also include fun activities for the whole family, such as spotlighting fun, bats up close, observe and interact with cutting edge bat finding technology and lots more.

For more information and all enquiries, please contact Tristan on telephone number (08) 8930 0618 or email environment@darwin.nt.gov.
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Why? To know more about bats
When: 6.30 pm
Phone: (08) 8930 0618
Where: East Point Reserve
Cost: Free
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