Bats to be investigated | PHOTOS

Upper Hopkins Land Management Group will host a Bat Night with ecologist Peter Homan at a Challicum property on February 25.

The educational evening will help people learn more about the misunderstood mammal and its benefit to the ecosystem.

Mr Homan will explain his work and share his knowledge of bats before a walk in the field later at night to check the property’ bat nets.

Bats are one of the largest species of mammals in the world.

Mr Homan has more than 50 years experience in a wide range of intrusiv and non-intrusive fauna survey techniques, including trapping methods and surveillance camera surveys.

He has is also experienced in surveying small mammals, including bats, small reptiles such as skinks, frogs, waterbirds, forest or woodland birds, fish and freshwater macroinvertebrates.

Event spokesperson Una Allender said people attending the event would be surprised by the large number of bats.

“It is fantastic because bats usually get a pertty poor press, and really, there are lots and lots of different species,” she said.

“That will be the thing that is an eye-opener, there is a large number of them in this part of the world.

“They can fly quite a bit of distance between trees and often they are something a lot of farmers don’t understand. The bats are very active at pollinating things because they fly from plant to plant and, like anything else, they work as pollinators so they are quite important.”

Mr Homan is a long-term member of the Fauna Survey Group, Field Naturalists Club of Victoria, a member of the Australasian Bat Society, and the Australian Mammal Society.

He has had articles and papers published on vertebrate studies, especially mammals and small reptiles, in The Victorian Naturalist and Land for Wildlife News.

People at the evening must have a torch, sturdy footwear and long trousers It starts at 6.30pm, followed by a trap setting session before dusk.

Ms Allender said members must bring barbecue food and a salad to share.

She said to call her on 0419 891 920 to book or for more information.