Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Local Wildlife

We've seen a bit of interesting wildlife at our place in the past few weeks.

Tiger and the boys were cleaning up a pile of corrugated iron and found this little turtle. Yes, we are glad it was such a benign creature, but the weather has been pretty cold so I would have been seriously surprised to see a snake.

We released him into our dam, after taking note of the beautiful pattern the creator made on his back and the lovely way he could scrunch up in his home.

Granny came to visit and deliver some much needed cupboards. As she was unpacking the cupboards we discovered she had a stowaway!

This beautiful, tiny bat travelled with her from near Inverell, in the north of New South Wales, down to us on the southern border of NSW.

We don't know much about bats, except that even my children know that they carry disease. We used to be concerned about Hendra Virus when we had horses in Toowoomba. Thus we got gloves before touching.

We emailed our friendly scientist Dr Danny Wotherspoon, who's always been part of our family. He said: 

"That is a most exciting find indeed! Bats are really hard to identify even when holding one in the hand. There are many small features to look for. Good to see that you had gloves on. That one is in the Evening Bat family, or family Vespertilionidae."

Unfortunately the pictures we took were not clear enough to be able to identify it definitively. But we know that this one belonged to the suborder of Microchirotera or microbat. And he certainly was small, the body was no bigger than a mouse.

Uncle Danny believes that he has probably found other bats in his species and gone into hibernation now for the winter. So it possibly ends well.

Quote from Dr Danny Wotherspoon 
BSc, Dip Ed, Grad Dip Bushfire, MA, PhD, 
Councillor, Ecological Consultants Assn NSW

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