Image: Doug Beckers
Community type

Fringing woodland

Habitat type

Tidal wetlands and macrophytes beds

The high abundance of insects over wetlands attracts numerous species of small bat known as micro-chiroptera. In Tasmania we don’t have any large flying foxes, but we have a diverse community of micro-chiroptera, with 8 species. Most common in Tasmanian forests and wetland areas is the chocolate wattled bat Chalinolobus morio, which is most active on warm nights. All Tasmanian bats are insect eaters. They are nocturnal feeders and become active at dusk. Bats are opportunistic feeders and most commonly eat moths, beetles, caterpillars, mosquitos and other flying insects. Small insects may be taken directly into the bat’s mouth, while larger insects are scooped into the bat’s wing, transferred to the tail and then eaten later. Bats fly low over wetlands to catch insects in mid air using echolocation. The human ears of young people can hear the high pitched regular ‘pinging’ used by insectivorous bats to locate prey. But older humans often can’t hear these high pitched sounds anymore. Generally, they live in old hollow trees. They roost, upside down, in these hollows during the day. So it is very important to leave suitable bat roosting sites such as old trees and limbs around farms.

Much of the text within the species area of our website was written by Veronica Thorpe, as part of the Derwent River Wildlife Guide (2000).

The DEP has developed a variety of classroom and outdoor activities focused around the key estuary habitats of tidal wetlands, salt marshes and rocky reefs. These include classroom materials, online resources, interpretive walks, games and sensory experiences.