Bendigo park’s rainforest canopy cooling system saves bats during heatwave

As Australia baked through among its worst summer seasons on record in 2015, more than 200 threatened grey-headed flying foxes passed away during the January 2020 heatwave in Bendigo’s Rosalind Park.

“It was traumatic and certainly a wake-up call,” City of Greater Bendigo’s heritage gardens organizer Orrin Hogan stated.

Mr Hogan chose to discover a method to make certain a comparable mass catastrophe did not happen once again this year.

WWF-Australia’s threatened types and environment adjustment ecologist, Dr Kita Ashman (right), has actually assisted to trial the cooling system in Rosalind Park.(

Supplied: WWF-Australia


Dependent on the time of year, as much as 30,000 bats can live in the park and when the temperature level is above 40 degrees, they experience severe heat tension.

It led Mr Hogan to trial a climatic cooling system for the flying foxes over the previous summertime — improved by moneying from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Australia and the Victorian Government.

WWF-Australia’s threatened types and environment adjustment ecologist, Dr Kita Ashman, stated the effort had actually been a success.

a man standing with an ipad looking up at rainforest trees
Orrin Hogan states the cooling system is switched on for just a couple of minutes each hour when the temperature level strikes 40 degrees.(

Supplied: WWF-Australia


Data revealed temperature levels in the test zone visited as much as 2 degrees and — most notably for the scientists — no flying fox deaths were taped.

Dr Ashman stated the bats appeared to take pleasure in the misty experience.

“They seemed to be enjoying the shower and cool down. They’re enjoying it more, the more they are acclimatising to it.

“We’re likewise attempting to keep the trees and ferns in their location healthy.”

bats flying over an evening sky
Dependent on the time of year, as much as 30,000 bats can live in Bendigo’s Rosalind Park.(

Supplied: WWF-Australia


The flying foxes — Australia’s largest native bats — have been a point of controversy in Bendigo for many years due to the noise they make and the damage they do to trees.

But Dr Ashman said flying foxes were an important species.

“Australia has a love-hate relationship with flying foxes, however without them a lot of our forests and forests would not be the very same,” she stated.

The trial will continue until the end of summer next year.

Mr Hogan said he hoped the council would be able to secure funding for the system to become a permanent feature.

“Hopefully there will be chances for other councils to construct on what we’ve found out and assist to conserve other threatened types,” he stated.

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