Rare bat species found on the Hunter Floodplain

A bat survey detected eight species of insect-eating bats including the threatened little bent-wing, eastern bent-wing bats and the large-footed southern myotis, foraging over Wallis Creek near Maitland in January 2018.

Wallis Creek floodgate

Environmental officer Josh Ward with the support of floodplain engineer Md Shamim Shams commissioned the surveys as part of due diligence assessment for the Hunter Valley Flood Mitigation Scheme Maintenance Program.

The bat surveys were conducted off the Wallis Creek Flood Gates (picture below), the largest in the Scheme, which were constructed by Public Works in 1940.

The 77-year-old concrete floodgates are currently being assessed for their structural integrity which requires high pressure cleaning in preparation for scanning the thickness of the concrete.

The survey was commissioned to determine if bats were using the concrete structure for roosting, that could have been harmed during cleaning.

The assessment concluded that while a diverse range of bats forage along Wallis Creek no bats roost in the flood gates.