Bat Cave – Breeding habitat
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.
Climate conditions in Bat and Starlight Caves have been of interest to researchers who want to understand why these are the only caves now used by the species for raising their young. As early as the 1960s, researchers have measured the ambient temperatures inside the breeding chambers of Bat and Starlight Caves and other breeding caves for closely related species. The most recent published findings for temperatures in Bat Cave were made in 2002 and support observations made in previous studies which showed higher temperatures and humidity within the breeding chamber of Bat Cave than at the entrance or other caves. The main source of the heat is the bats themselves, which has implications for the rehabilitation of former breeding sites.
Baudinette, R.V., Wells, R.T., Sanderson, K.J. and Clark, B. 1994. Microclimate conditions in Maternity Caves of the Bent-wing Bat, Miniopterus schreibersii: An attempted restoration of a former maternity site. Wildlife Research 21, 607–619.
Dwyer, P. D. and Hamilton-Smith, E. 1965. Breeding caves and maternity colonies of the bent-winged bat in south-eastern Australia. Helicite 4, 3–21.
Sanderson, K. and Bourne, S. 2002. Cave temperatures at Naracoorte Caves. Helictite 38, 7–10.