Southern Bent-wing Bat

Reversing Decline of the critically endangered
Southern Bent-wing Bat

These microbats, which measure only 5 cm and weigh just 17 grams,
live and forage in the Portland area.  

Portland is home to one of Australia’s critically endangered mammals the Southern Bent-wing Bat.

These microbats reside in caves beneath Point Danger Coastal Reserve and Bats Ridge Wildlife Reserve and rely on caves to raise their young and on insects for food.

What is the Southern Bent-wing bat?

IMAGE: Steve Bourne

Bats are often maligned and misunderstood as they are frequently portrayed as threatening or unsafe.

For these furry little critters, this presumption couldn’t be further from the truth.

Weighing in at 15 grams and 55mm in length, their greatest threat is to the insects they devour.

During the warmer months these tiny microbats flit about just above our heads catching a feed, often without us being aware.

IMAGE: Emmi van Harten

On any night, Southern Bent-wing Bats can eat half their body weight in insects making them an important predator in the ecosystem. As it is for many bats, their preferred delicacy is moth.

The Glenelg Hopkins CMA is currently inviting interested members of the community to become ‘citizen scientists’ and help researchers investigate the type and number of moths that occur at Point Danger and Bats Ridge. The findings will be used to improve foraging areas and support the local bat population.

Making fat bats by monitoring moths

Community event – 6 September 2023

Moths are a major food source for the critically endangered Southern Bent-wing Bat which occurs near Portland.

As part of its Reversing Decline of the Critically Endangered Southern Bent-wing Bat project, Glenelg Hopkins CMA is holding an information and training session for anyone interested in becoming a ‘citizen scientist’. Moths are an important part of the bat’s diet, so the Authority is conducting research into the types and number of moths in the Portland area.

Peter Marriott is a moth expert with the Entomological Society of Victoria and will be on hand to explain the importance of moths in the environment and how scientists conduct moth research in the field. This will include a demonstration of how a large bed sheet, a bright light and a camera are used to study moths and provide information on how weed management can support moths and Southern Bent-wing Bats.

The information session will be held at the Portland Library on Wednesday 6 September 2023 between 5:30pm and 7:30pm. The event will conclude with a moth monitoring demonstration at Fawthrop Lagoon.

What can I do to help?

Portland is home to critically endangered Southern Bent-wing Bat. The Glenelg Hopkins CMA project is supporting the community and landholders to undertake work to improve foraging opportunities and food supply.

• Join the citizen science project to improve understanding of food availability for Southern Bent-wing Bats.

• Landowners can access grants from SEA to undertake works to improve local wildlife habitat. Information and applications HERE

• Significant woody weed control works are being undertaken at Point Danger Coastal Reserve

More information?

Contact Glenelg Hopkins CMA
Robert Gibson
Senior Biodiversity Officer  | Land Health and Biodiversity 
03 5571 2526

This project is funded by the Victorian Government through the Nature Fund