Mega success for MEGA Murray-Darling Microbat Project

A citizen science project in the SA Murray-Darling Basin region has resulted in 3,000 new microbat records being contributed by landholders over two summers - more than had been contributed in all the years since 1890.

The ‘Bat Club’ project team*

Even better news is that these records show that a diverse assemblage of the small insectivorous bats remain in the region, including four new locations for the threatened fishing bat (Myotis macropus).

Participation by hundreds of community members enabled the MEGA Murray-Darling Microbat Project to reach a wide area and survey large numbers of private properties.

It also provided a wonderful engagement opportunity. One participant said, ‘[It was a] fantastic initiative that allowed families to undertake exciting survey work in their own backyards...Brilliant community involvement initiative and [I] look forward to more.’

This project was a partnership between Natural Resources SAMDB, the South Australian Museum, Mid-Murray Landcare SA and University of South Australia, supported by a grant from the Australian Government Inspiring Australia - Science Engagement Program.

The citizen science project team is now ready to support other regions to set up and run similar projects using all of the materials and experience they have accumulated.

For more information contact SAMDB Senior Project Officer Citizen Science Sylvia Clarke.

Chocolate wattled bat (Chalinolobus morio) (image credit Terry Reardon and Steve Bourne)

*Dr. Annette Scanlon (University of South Australia), DEW’s Senior Project Officer Citizen Science Natural Resources SAMDB Dr. Sylvia, Mid Murray Landcare SA’s Aimee Linke and South Australian Museum’s Dr. Kyle Armstrong