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Bat Box Project

What is a Microbat?

Australia has numerous microbat species. Microbats are very small, about the size of a mouse with wings, and they can eat 1,000 insects a night. In partnership with EcoVineyards, we have been building microbat roosting boxes which are installed in and around vineyards to attract native microbats which help control insects which can damage crops. This minimises and potentially eliminates the need for insecticide use on the property. There are multiple benefits of this program:

  • Vignerons can reduce expenditure on insecticides, equipment and labour.
  • A reduction in insecticide use means a reduction of harmful chemicals entering the environment.
  • Vignerons and winemakers can promote an organic/chemical free product.
  • Bat excrement (guano) can be collected from the roosting boxes and made into fertiliser.

Our club has manufactured around 180 roosting boxes over the past few years. Initially the boxes were trialed in the McLaren Vale and Adelaide Hills grape growing regions, but are now being distributed all over Australia.

In 2023, Past Rotary International President Ian Riseley, a passionate environmentalist, visited Adelaide and was keen to inspect local innovative environmental projects. The video below was recorded at the Wetlands Vineyard in Tatachilla, one of the first adopters of the EcoVineyards program.