Bat Exodus

*included in Deer & Lang caves tour OR self guided tour.

 

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  • The 3.8km (one way) walk is on a raised plank walk through the lush forest and alongside rushing rivers, takes about 45 minutes until the bats observatory area.
  • Twelve species of bats have been recorded within Deer Cave, including the colony of Wrinkled-Lipped Bats estimated to number between 2.5 and 3.5 million individuals.
  • Expectations build as the sun moves towards the horizon and the Bat Hawks take up their roost on the cliff face, waiting for the first of the millions of bats to appear. Each evening the bats gather at the cave entrance in large ring-shaped formations, circling higher and higher up the cliff face before moving out across the rainforest in spiraling ribbons.
  • It has been estimated that nightly each bat consumes between five and ten grams of flying insects. This means that 3 million bats will return in the morning to deposit a huge amount of guano in the cave and provide a unique ecosystem, home to millions of insects and their predators.
  • The bats leave the cave on most evenings between 5.30pm and 6.30pm but on rare occasions do not leave at all. Even more rarely they sometimes leave as early as 4.30pm and are believed to travel up to 100 Kms from the cave before they return in the early morning. Their “cruising altitude” to their feeding areas is around 3500 metres at up to 75 km/h.