Back to the bat cave

A CAVE-dwelling bat listed as vulnerable under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act has been given a boost by an iron ore miner.
Back to the bat cave Back to the bat cave Back to the bat cave Back to the bat cave Back to the bat cave

The leaf-nosed bat. Photo: Australian Museum

Atlas Iron, these days owned by Redstone Corporation, a subsidiary of Gina Rinehart's Hancock Prospecting, created four artificial bat roosts for the Pilbara Leaf-nosed Bat.

The roosts provide a habitat for the cave-dwelling flying mammal, mimicking the conditions found with a natural cave.

There is no need for ongoing maintenance either, good for the company and even better for the bats because it means they will be left in peace.

The roosts project is a finalist in the Environemental Excellence category in this year's Australia's Mining Monthly Awards. 

The roosts offset the disturbance of foraging caves within the Atlas Iron project footprint by providing an alternative habitat.

Those habitats will persist after the mine has been closed.

The roosts are subterranean tunnels imbedded in waste dumps.

They have internal constriction points to deter predators and a rear chamber that maintains a microhabitat ideal for the bats.

According to Atlas Iron general counsel and company secretary Bronwyn Kerr, it is understood this method of construction differs significantly from anything available at other mining projects.

She said the roosts could be delivered quickly at low cost.

"Data from long-term monitoring of the project will contribute to ongoing efforts to ensure the survival of the Pilbara Leaf-nosed Bat," Kerr said.

Most read Mining Monthly Awards

Most read Mining Monthly Awards