I'm a mum, teacher and published writer who loves travel, vintage, art and history.
Published May 10th 2015
There are some die-hard bat fans out there. People who love the blockbuster films. The Michael Keaton Batman fans, those that prefer Val Kilmer, or perhaps George Clooney. Not to mention my personal favourite, the iconic classic TV series starring Adam West.
But....there is another type of bat fan! Die-hard fans of actual bats!
The Australasian Bat Society is mad about bats and they come together for special events, gatherings, meetings, barbeques and anything really that involves their appreciation of, and love for bats. So far this year they have already had over 50 events around the country.
Events take place in every state and territory. Some of the events that have take place include; Bat Night in Alice Springs, Batty boat cruises in Brisbane, Bat Nights at the Adelaide Planetarium, numerous events in Tasmania with bat woman Lisa Cawthen, numerous events with Land Care organisations in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia, Bat Night at Naracoorte Caves, South Australia, special events in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, and Bat Festivals in the Blue Mountains, Timboon, Cairns and Brisbane.
The biggest event on the bat calendar is Australasian Bat Night which is an initiative to promote the positive aspects of bats. The special event began in 2012 and is modelled on the long running International Bat Night. Its main aim is to raise awareness of bats and educate people about their vital ecological roles, the threats they face, and the importance of conservation work. The Australasian Bat Night is a massive event that has already taken place for 2015, however planning has already commenced for next year's Bat Night.
The Bat Festival, held in every state and territory, features many activities and prizes for kids, including prizes for the best bat costume, craft activities, face painting, and bat games. It also has presentations, displays, information stands, guest speakers, sausage sizzles, cakes and more!
Fundraising The Australasian Bat Society also runs fundraising events like the Wildlife Preservation Gold Coast Fundraising Bat Night Dinner and other events like this that help fund and sustain the good work of the Bat Society. The Australasian Bat Society is a non-profit organisation that aims to promote the study of bats in Australasia and the conservation of all bat populations. The Society actively advocates for the conservation and sound management of bats and their habitat by providing input and advice to relevant government and non-government agencies, industry, landholders and to the general public.
Gratitude for carers The Australasian Bat Society also holds 'thank you parties' for carers who have assisted in rescuing and caring for bats. Most recently they held a party for carers who looked after hundreds of orphaned baby flying foxes in New South Wales last year after they were badly affected from heat stress. In fact, extreme hot weather can kill flying foxes and it has been reported that 45,500 flying foxes died in Queensland recently on an extremely hot day.
I recently saw a video of orphaned baby flying foxes being cared for by a wildlife carer. You can view it here.
Bat Facts So here's some interesting facts you may not have known about bats!
Bats are mammals like horses and dogs, but they're the only type of mammal that can fly!
Almost everyone knows that bats live in caves, but they can also actually live in cities too, most commonly in trees.
There are 1,240 bat species in the world! Of those, 1,237 species eat insects, fruit or nectar. Only 3 species, living in South and Central America, feed on blood.
If you ever find an injured bat you should contact a Wildlife rescue group (In Victoria contact Wildlife Victoria on 13 000 94535). Although bats aren't aggressive, they can sometimes bite if they are scared or injured, like most animals.
There are several species of bats in Australasia that weigh as much as a 5 cent coin!
The largest species of bat in Australasia weighs 1 kg and has a wingspan of 1.8 metres.
Bats make up around a quarter of Australia's native mammals with over 80 species, including four mainland species of flying-fox. The wet tropics contains over 45% of bat species in Australia and yet little is known about the important ecological role of both insectivorous species (microbats), flying-foxes and other mega bats.
Bats have excellent vision and can 'see' in total darkness by using echolocation. That means they navigate through an area by listening to their high pitched calls bouncing off walls and objects.
There are about 90 species of bat in Australia. New Zealand has 3 species, and there are at least 91 bat species in Papua New Guinea. New species are still being discovered.
If you want to become a member or find out more about the special events on the Australasian Bat Society Calendar then you can visit their website here.
Check out Batmania at Federation Square, Melbourne, currently exhibiting until Sunday 31st May.
Melbourne artist Kathy Holowko celebrates the fruit bat as an iconic addition to Melbourne city through an installation of 200 flying bat sculptures suspended from The Atrium ceiling at Federation Square. The project stems from Kathy's fascination with the fruit bat, the unique animal that adds a touch of gothic beauty to Melbourne skies. The bat can be seen in Melbourne's CBD as it travels vast distances each night in search of food. Batmania explores the interconnection between the human and bat, with the aim of demystifying and highlighting the beauty of the animal.