Dr. Les Hall reports that the Pine Rivers Shire Council recently zoned a disused railway tunnel as a bat reserve for educational and scientific use. The tunnel contains a permanent colony of Large-footed Bats (Myotis adversus) and is occasionally used by Schreiber’s Bent-winged (Miniopterus schreibersii) and Southern Horseshoe Bats (Rhinolophus magaphyllus). Several attempts were made to establish a mushroom farm and an “underground”restaurant in the tunnel, and local vandals had dumped cars and lit fires in the entrance. The local council now has organized a clean-up of the area and has erected suitable gates across the entrance to create a bat sanctuary.
Researchers will be allowed to monitor the bats, and school children, under supervision, will be allowed to visit the tunnel to see the bats.