Batty adventures await for Rose

I’ll soon be pursuing some bat adventures and other travels in Latin America, so for the past few weeks I’ve been busy handing over my NGT responsibilities to others on the team.

During May I was looking forward to taking part in a three-week bat blitz of Cape York with the Australasian Bat Society; however, due to access issues following the recent cyclones the trip has had to be postponed.

The Eastern Tube-nosed Bat is one species Rose had hope to meet in Cape York (photo: M. Pennay).

I won’t be able to take part at the newly scheduled time because in June-July I will be joining Operation Wallacea’s conservation research expedition to Cusuco National Park, Honduras, as part of the bat team. You may have read about my trip two years ago to be part of OpWall’s bat team in Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, Mexico. While the job description is more or less the same (nightly mist-net surveys and teaching students all about bats), the Honduras site is quite different to the Mexican site.

Cusuco NP is situated in the Merendón mountain range in northern Honduras and includes cloud forest, semi-arid pine forest, moist pine forest, dwarf forest, and wet deciduous forests at different altitudes. The field camps and survey sites are in the mountains, so I believe a great deal of hiking is involved! As the bat flies, just 400 kilometres separate Calakmul from Cusuco, and as such there is some overlap in the bat species present.

A Jamaican Fruit-eating Bat captured during Rose’s Mexico expedition in 2017; also a common species of Cusuco National Park.

From early August I will be heading towards South America, perhaps spending some time in Costa Rica on the way. I am particularly excited to explore the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, and the world’s largest wetland, the Pantanal, Brazil. If you have any hot tips on nature related activities in South America, feel free to drop me a line. I’m also keen to perhaps finally master the Spanish language!

I look forward to keeping up with all of NGT’s exciting projects through the newsletter and social media while I’m away, and catching up with everyone when I’m back in the region in 2020.

Releasing a bat during a recent survey

Rose Thompson