Practical solutions for capturing and processing Grey-headed Flying-foxes, Pteropus poliocephalus, based on a camp study at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney
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Anja Divljan, Kerryn Parry-Jones, Mandi Griffith, Joanne Whitney, Neisha Burton, Craig Smith, Glenda M. Wardle, 2011. "Practical solutions for capturing and processing Grey-headed Flying-foxes, Pteropus poliocephalus, based on a camp study at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney", The Biology and Conservation of Australasian Bats, Bradley Law, Peggy Eby, Daniel Lunney, Lindy Lumsden
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Grey-headed Flying-foxes can be difficult to capture and process in sufficient numbers for population studies, and here we describe a successful method to do both and evaluate its practicality. Over the year 2006/07 (24 nights) we captured and banded with ABBBS bands 466 flying-foxes from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney. Depending on weather conditions and net orientation, between 8 and 53 bats were captured per session as they returned to the roost site in the early morning. Animals were captured using a 12 m long mist-net on pulleys attached to two 13.2 m tall aluminium masts, individually assembled from 6 smaller poles. The poles were relatively light but required 4 people for safe net assembly.
Data were obtained from 259 processed individuals, except juveniles, heavily pregnant females, and females with attached young, which were banded and released immediately. We anaesthetised each individual and recorded standard morphometric measurements. Pollen, faecal, and tissue samples (blood, membrane puncture and a tooth) were collected, and 6 animals were fitted with radio collars. The processing lasted within 10 minutes/animal and bats generally recovered from the anaesthetic within an hour. When fully alert, each bat was released back into the camp by flying it across a lawn to the roost trees. No casualties resulted from capturing or processing the flying-foxes, and no processed animal was subsequently found ill or dead as a result of this study.