A Yellow-Bellied Sheath Tail bat–with a white belly! Photo:  Les Hall at All About Bats of Southern Queensland

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good week, Happy New Year, and Happy New Decade!

 Much of Australia is currently on fire. So far tens of thousands have had to evacuate, hundreds of millions of animals have died, at least 15 people have died, and the State of New South Wales declared a state of emergency. So far this has been to worst fire season in Australia’s recorded history. 

Because of all the devastation, I thought I would write about a cute bat from Australia. I found one called the Yellow-Bellied Sheath tail bat! These adorable critters have jet black fur on their backs, with white, cream or yellow fur covering their bellies. They also have cute pointed faces and big toes! The males have a pouch on their throat, whereas the females of the species have a naked ridge of skin instead.

Yellow-Bellied Sheath tail bats live all over Australia’s mainland. However, they are only found in the southern parts during their migration south. They roost in tree hollows, and mainly eat beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, leafhoppers, wasps and even flying ants. Their predators include hawks, owls, pythons, humans, tree clearings, barbwire fences, and bushfires. 

If you want to read about these bats, you can do so here.

If you’d like to help the wildlife and people of Australia, here are several resources.
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/australia-fires-how-to-help-victims-evacuees-firefighters-animals-wildfires/ https://www.facebook.com/donate/805084233258225/
https://www.rspcansw.org.au/bushfire-appeal/

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