BAT BOXES: Micro-bats keeping planet habitable for humans
CREATURES such as micro-bats might be the only thing standing between humans and an uninhabitable planet.
That was John Parsons' warning yesterday as the 1000th micro-bat box in the region was installed at Nikenbah.
With bat numbers dwindling, the president of the Fraser Coast Microbat Group said it was vital to encourage the breeding of the tiny mammals, not only to ensure their survival but because of the impact they had on making the environment liveable for people.
"The micro-bats are becoming extinct and if we get them too low we're going to have massive problems living on Earth," he said.
With disease-carrying mosquitoes detected on the Fraser Coast, micro-bats are vital in keeping their population under control, with each bat eating hundreds of the pest insects each night.
The installation of the bat boxes is a joint venture between Mr Parsons' group and the University of the Sunshine Coast, which is collecting data about the bats and how effective the animals are when it comes to pest control.
USC lecturer in animal ecology Dominique Potvin was there to see the poles go up, with students helping to erect the bat boxes at Ray Christensen's farm.
Dr Potvin said these were the first steps in a long journey to see what kind of difference the bat boxes would make.
She said it was an amazing initiative that was not only trying to bring micro-bats back into the area, but to see what effect they had on the mosquito population.
Mr Parsons said encouraging bat populations through the use of the bat boxes would hopefully lead to less pesticides being used, which would benefit the region's farmers.
"There's no one else throughout the world that has done an artificial forest such as this," Mr Parsons said.
"We've worked very, very hard to get to this point."
The first bat box was installed about four-and-a-half years ago.
Mr Parsons said at the time the majority of people didn't know what a micro-bat was and he was on a mission to get people to see the creature as a biological control animal.