The role of disease in the decline of southern bent-wing bat
Naracoorte Caves is open. There are restrictions on the number of people that can undertake tours at any one time. Some cave tours can now be booked online, or you can visit and enjoy a tour by booking directly at the Wonambi Visitor Centre.
This project aims to determine if disease could be contributing to decline in the population of southern bent-wing bats and to investigate and compare the health status of the southern bent-wing bat with the eastern bent-wing bat.
The project involves surveying bats over a three year period for evidence of white nose syndrome, a fungal disease that has killed over five million insectivorous bats in North America since its discovery there in 2006. Other potential disease causing fungi will also be investigated and bats will be surveyed for a variety of viruses and parasites.
Similar surveys will be conducted on southern bent-wing bats in Victoria and Eastern bent-wing bats across their geographic range. The results will be compared to identify any differences between the species that may indicate a reason for the decline in southern bent-wing bat.