Caves - important habitat for bats

In the spring and summer, large bent-winged bats (Miniopterus orianae oceanensis) roost together in warm, humid maternity caves across NSW. The caves are used for birth and rearing of young, so it’s important that the caves remain undisturbed by visitors.

Large bent-winged bats (Miniopterus orianae oceanensis) in flight

Staff from the NSW Saving our Species (SoS) program and the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service are monitoring the caves, to establish population numbers and determine the best conservation actions to help protect this threatened species.

Adam Fawcett, Project Officer Threatened Species said “The maternity caves of the large bent-winged bat can contain thousands of young in a square metre of ceiling and tens of thousands of bats within the cave. There are very few of these caves across NSW, making each one a site of significance for the conservation of the large bent-winged bat.

“It’s important that people don’t enter caves, especially between November and March, as disturbance by visitors accessing caves can result in young being abandoned and their subsequent death, resulting in a significant impact on regional populations”.

Large bent-winged bats occur along the east and north-west coasts of Australia. They feed on moths and other flying insects. They will often co-habit in caves with other cave-roosting bat species including the eastern horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus megaphyllus).

Find out more about large bent-winged bats.