They're small wonders that prove that wildlife is alive and well in the North Sydney area.
Eastern Bent-wing Bats, a threatened species of microbat, have returned to Balls Head in Waverton as shown in the stunning video below. Listed as a vulnerable species in NSW, Eastern Bent-wing Bats are cave dwellers that can fly up to 50 kmh.
This colony in mid 2012 had not been seen for approximately 12 months, so we are very happy to welcome them back!
North Sydney Microbat Survey 2013-2014
While most North Sydney locals would be aware of our beautiful foreshore bushland reserves, they may be surprised by the diversity of their native inhabitants and just how vital these bushy refuges are for their survival. In 2010, a survey of North Sydney's bushland recorded over 347 native plants and 114 resident wildlife species - not bad for less than 50 hectares of bush spread across six suburbs! Over the past 20 years, Council's bushland management team has worked side by side with community volunteers to rehabilitate and, importantly, develop green connections between these bushland remnants, aiding in the movement of native wildlife between habitats and the sharing of life-giving genetic diversity. Although far from finished, this work continues to reap rewards such as post-burn regeneration of rare plants in Badangi Reserve and the return of iconic Lyre Birds to bushland in Cammeray.
Further evidence of this marvellous diversity was recently uncovered by specialist ecologists engaged by Council to undertake a microbat survey of North Sydney's bushland. Being nocturnal, microbats aren't commonly seen by people however there are more than 50 different species that occur in the greater Sydney area alone. Microbats range in size from 2 grams up to a whopping 170 grams and their favourite food is flying insects - some microbats can consume more than 500 insects in one night.
Up until recently Council's records indicated 4 species of microbat had been recorded in our bushland reserves, however two of these records were very old (one dated back to 1891) so we could only say with confidence that the Eastern Bent-wing Bat and the Goulds Wattled Bat were actually living in our bushland. Within just the first three months of our year-long microbat survey, Council's consultants have discovered a further five species of microbat that are using North Sydney's bushland for foraging and possibly even roosting. This is an amazing result considering the relatively short duration of the survey and the fragmented condition of our remnant bushland reserves.