Insect-eating bats in New South Wales are in decline. They are under threat from habitat loss, human activities and climate change. Of the 34 species in New South Wales, 18 are listed as threatened or are thought to be extinct.
Bats in Backyards is a citizen science project aimed at securing populations of threatened insect-eating bats in New South Wales.
With large gaps in the known habitat requirements and distribution of these threatened species, we need to learn more to better protect them.
Insect-eating bats play an important role in our ecosystem by eating insects like cockroaches, mosquitoes, and agricultural pests. They can eat up to their own body weight every night.
How you can help
Bats in Backyards asks citizen scientists to survey insect-eating bats on their property by recording echolocation calls over 3 to 5 days using a bat detector device provided to participants.
The recordings will be analysed by scientists and each property owner will receive a full report detailing each bat species detected, their preferred habitat and food, and recommended actions for bat protection and conservation.
Citizen scientists involved in the project will contribute invaluable data to build a better understanding of threatened insect-eating bats to inform their conservation.
When you can help
Most insect-eating bats are a lot less active during winter and can enter longer periods of hibernation, or ‘torpor’. The Bats in Backyards project has also gone into torpor over the winter, allowing time to analyse the thousands of bat calls recorded by the 189 landholders who participated in 2022–23.
Thank you to those landholders! The project is now looking for landholders who would like to participate in the 2023–24 season.
This project is being delivered by the NSW Government’s Saving our Species program, in partnership with Western Sydney University and the NSW Department of Primary Industries.