Jun 6, 2016

Millions of bats vanish overnight

Kilcoy QLD 4515
Linville QLD 4306
Lowood QLD 4311
Australia
by
Tony Moore
,
Stuff
Whole colonies of bats have up and left the east coast of Australia, baffling experts. Photo: Stuff.co.nz
Whole colonies of bats have up and left the east coast of Australia, baffling experts. Photo: Stuff.co.nz

The bats on the east coast of Australia have left some of their largest colonies, opening the door on one of the biggest mysteries in the world of nature.

That means towns and forests in southeast Queensland are about to suddenly find they are host to anywhere between 15,000 and 500,000 bats feeding on newly-flowering eucalypts.

This change is linked to Australia's drying and warming temperature, one of Australia's leading bat researchers says...

Australia's weather has become warmer and drier.

Now bats – which have spent 60 million years adapting to changing environments – are again adapting to the drying and warming climate by shifting eucalypt forests, said [Trish Wimberley, director of the Gold Coast-based Australian Bat Clinic].

They are the "giant bees" of pollinators, feeding on flowering eucalypts at night, when the main pollen receptors are available, she explained...

"They are actually going to move the species. So as our climate changes,our flying foxes are redistributing our native species to an area where they can survive.

"And that is definitely what we are noticing"