Western Australian Naturalists Club

Encouraging the study and protection of the natural environment

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DRB Presents: Kelly Sheldrick (CCWA) speaking on the Bat Monitoring Program and the Christmas Island Pipistrelle

9 August, 7:00 pm-9:30 pm

DRB Presents: Kelly Sheldrick (CCWA) speaking on the Bat Monitoring Program and the Christmas Island Pipistrelle

Note: no RSVP required.

COVID19: Even though restrictions have eased, we will still encourage members and visitors to take precautions and please do not attend if unwell.


Kelly is an ecologist and the Citizen Science Program Manager at the Conservation Council of WA, Co-founder of the WA Bat Network and Vice President of the Australasian Bat Society.


Photos are of the Christmas island Pipistrelle (thanks to Lindy Lumsden for permission to use them).

Join us for a two-part talk on bats:

  1. How can citizen science help our West Aussie bats?

We have 42 species of bat in WA some which weigh as little as a few smarties and can eat over 1000 insects a night. These elusive mammals are vital to our ecosystems, however IUCN red list assessments, which are the most comprehensive assessment to determine the risk of a species going extinct, indicate vast knowledge gaps and that 55% of our WA bat species are either declining in population or the trend is unknown. We have a lot of ground to cover to address some of these knowledge gaps, but can we engage citizen scientists to help? Let’s explore those preliminary results from the bat monitoring pilot, where to go from here and what you can do to help our bats.


2. Let’s remember the Christmas Island Pipistrelle

The 26th August 2024 marks the 15 years anniversary of the extinction of the Christmas Island pipistrelle; a small microbat endemic to the island, that in less than two decades went from wide spread and common to extinct. In honour of this little microbat, let’s briefly explore some of the causes that led to the extinction and whether we’ve learnt from this or are still making these mistakes.


The following link has information on the CCWA Bat Monitoring Program, with some information reproduced below.


Bat Monitoring Program

Why are we monitoring bats?
There is a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding about bats which has led to them being villainised and even persecuted. Undoubtedly this has had an impact on both the funding and research allocated to bats and, on the protection, and appreciation of bats and the role they play in the ecosystem.

Bats make up about 20% of all mammal species, yet there are lots of ‘unknowns’ about bats in Western Australia. This makes it difficult for us to assess how populations are faring across the state and to identify the extent of impacts on these populations resulting from pressures such as habitat loss, fragmentation, and other disturbances.

By setting up a broad-scale, long-term bat monitoring program we will aim to answer some of these unknown questions and build on the existing WA bat research that has been carried out by the handful of awesome WA bat researchers. We will aim to:

Determine current distribution ranges and populations for our bats and look at changes and trends in these populations over time.
Monitor the impact of habitat loss, fragmentation, and climate change on our bat populations over time.
Provide better protection and management for bats and their habitat, including empowering bat conservation and awareness at a grassroots level.

Why should we care?

Bats are an important part of the ecosystem – globally they play a role in pollination, seed dispersal and pest control.

Did you know one little microbat can eat over 1000 insects (including mozzies and other pest species) in just one night? They help keep our insect populations in check.
Bats are not only great indicators of ecosystem health, but they also aid soil quality by providing natural fertilisers (yes, I’m referring to bat guano or bat poo, and yes, it makes excellent fertiliser – some countries have even farmed and sold it!)
Just like us, bats are incredibly social animals with complex social structures and family groups. They are also incredibly long-lived for a mammal of their size with the oldest known bat (weighing only 6g) living to at least 41 years!

Learn more about bats and some of the issues they’re faced with by watching this short documentary, ‘The Truth About Bats’ and checkout our new bat booklet on Bats in Perth and the Southwest.

How can I get involved?

Western Australia is a HUGE place! To be able to achieve a broad-scale program we need help from everyone across the state. For the first year of the program we’ll be focusing on establishing the program in Perth and the southwest, and subsequent years we plan to expand the range.

They want bat champions to help monitor the bats.

For information on common bats in the SW of WA see: https://conswa.sharepoint.com/:b:/g/EUCw1cfEmDdFveOpeHsV92IBmJZRDYvVnnfMJ8LaHtBwxQ?e=LRRaH2



  • Kids’ talk – one of your younger members will be giving a 5 minutes kids’ talk.
  • Boffins talk – A member will give an 8 minutes Boffins’ talk.
  • Nature road show”. Members and visitors are encouraged to bring items to place on the display table or to send photographs to the MC in advance, e.g. a sample flower, an insect, and so on – anything of natural history interest that has legally been obtained. If we have time, one of our experts will identify them or briefly talk about them, or the person bringing them can talk about where they saw it, etc. Photographs are particularly welcome, as everyone can see them. If you wish to show a photograph please email it, no later than the Wednesday before the meeting, to our MC for this night, and she/he will include it on her PowerPoint slides. We have a dedicated email for this purpose” natclub@webco.com.au
  • Thing of the month / Things coming up next month: These two presentations are about things in nature happening this month and things coming up, so if you have any photos or information, send them to: natclub@webco.com.au
  • Door prizes: You could also be the lucky winner of a door prize. We make sure there are prizes for both members and visitors.
  • Raffle: We will have a great raffle  – please raid your piggy bank for a bit more cash, $5 for 3 tickets.

Time: Please come at 7.15pm or earlier if you wish, for a 7.30pm start as we start promptly. We are open from 6.45pm. We finish formal proceedings no later than 9.30pm.

Donation: All this for only a donation of $3 per person for adult members ($0 for child members), and $5 per adult visitor and $1 per visiting child to help with the costs of running the club, venue hire, insurance and so on.  Please bring the right CASH to help us avoid long queues. Thanks. We do not have EFTPOS facilities yet.

Entrance: It is a condition of entry that everyone signs in on arrival, thank you.

Parking: Free parking right outside.

Wheelchair access: Everything is on one level.

Toilets: Are inside.

Bookings: No bookings required.

See you there for fabulous night.


9 August
7:00 pm-9:30 pm
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Bradley Cox


Kalamunda Community Centre
Kalamunda Community Centre, end of Crescent Rd, Off Mundaring Weir Road,
Kalamunda, WA 6076 Australia
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