Application for Scientific Permit – Available for Public Comment
Public comment on the following application for a Scientific Research (Fauna) Permit is open until 19 June 2019.
Applicant: University of Tasmania
Species/Taxon: Gould’s wattled bat (Chalinolobus gouldii), Chocolate wattled bat (Chalinolobus morio), Eastern falsistrelle (Falsistrellus tasmaniensis), Large forest bat (Vespadelus darlingtoni), Southern forest bat (Vespadelus regulus), Lesser long-eared bat (Nyctophilus geoffroyi), Little forest bat (Nyctophilus vulturnis) and the Tasmanian long-eared bat (Nyctophilus sherrini).
Location: Plenty Valley region near Mt. Lloyd, near Maydena and near Ellendale on private plantation land (owned by Norske Skog) and native forest sites that may be Crown land or private land.
Title of research: Individual and population health and ecology of microbats in plantation and native forest landscapes
Aim of project:
1) to compare individual and population health parameters of microbats in exotic pine plantation and native forest landscapes in order to examine the potential effects of forest management operations on bat health
2) to examine community assemblages and habitat use by different foraging guilds in exotic pine plantation and native forest landscapes to determine the extent to which various species of bats are able to persist in different landscapes.
In meeting these aims, secondary aims may include: a) examining the relationship between individual and population health to assess long-term population viability, b) maternal colony monitoring, and c) diet analysis.
The results of this study will fill a large gap in the understanding of how different landscapes affect bat health in Tasmania. Results will highlight the biological responses of bats to forest management regimes and identify whether current silvicultural practices in Tasmania are in line with preservation of bat biodiversity.
Maximum likely numbers of individuals involved: No more than 100 individual bats of each species, for a total of 800 individuals over 2 years. A precise estimation is difficult since capture rates are highly variable, but no more than 6 harp traps will be set at any one time.
Activities undertaken and methods:
This project will use live capture of bats and radio-tracking. Bats will be trapped using harp traps and mist nets and transferred to individual cloth holding bags where they will be held until data collection is complete. Bat processing will include weighing and recording of morphometrics and blood sampling through venepuncture of the brachial or propatagial vein to create blood smears. No more than six µl/g of blood will be taken from each bat. Up to six individuals at one time of two different species (to be determined) will be radio-tracked. A 1cm2 of fur will be trimmed from between the scapulae and a radio transmitter weighing 0.22-0.31g (less than 5% body weight of each individual to be tracked) will be attached to the skin using a medical-grade skin adhesive. Bats will be radio-tracked during the day and the researchers will ensure that all transmitters have fallen off of bats before leaving the field.
After processing, all individuals will be hand-released at capture sites. If a bat is unable to be released on the night of capture, it will be held until the following dusk, when it will be released.
Fate of animals: Released back into the wild.
Likely impact on species involved (including any by-catch): It is highly unlikely that there will be any impact on the populations of each bat species used in this study.