Synopsis

Microbats are an understudied arid zone vertebrate so their response to the construction of conservation reserves is poorly understood. This project will take advantage of a unique opportunity to investigate how bat ecology is influenced by the removal of introduced predators and herbivores by studying the two newly established feral-proof reserves at the Wild Deserts project. Ultrasonic monitoring sites will be established inside and outside the fenced reserves so that bat responses can be compared. Invertebrate traps will be used to understand how herbivore removal and vegetation restoration influences food abundance.

Aims

This project aims to:

  • Determine the value of conservation reserves in providing food resources for microbat populations in the arid zone
  • Determine how introduced predator and overabundant herbivore presence influences microbat activity and diversity

Student Benefits

During this project, you’ll have the chance to:

  • Work on an understudied arid zone vertebrate
  • Work closely with the team from the Wild Deserts restoration project
  • Contribute to the limited knowledge of the arid zone ecology of microbats
  • Learn ultrasonic survey, light trapping, invertebrate identification and other field monitoring and survey techniques

Supervisors: Dr Rebecca West, Dr Katherine Moseby, Dr Tanya Leary