Flamingo Casino’s “Bat Zone” launched!
The Flamingo Casino celebrated “World Environment Day” on 5 June 2011 by launching “The Bat Zone” in order to contribute to Biodiversity in the Northern Cape Province as well as the Unit. They built and installed a “Bat House” on the Northern side of the Complex in order to attract and house as many bats as possible.
A brochure was distributed to serve as an awareness campaign in order to inform staff and guests of the event .
Once occupied the house should accommodate about 500 Bats. Each Bat consumes on average 1000 insects per day resulting in 500 000 insects being consumed daily. Jaco van Wyk, SHE Coordinator at Flamingo, is of the opinion that they should have a full house soon. Being situated so near to Kamfersdam and having experienced a lot of mosquitos the past summer, he reckons that they will see a huge difference in the coming spring.
Here is some interesting information regarding the basic rules for putting up a bat house:
- Houses should be placed high enough to allow bats to ‘drop’ down when they exit the house. Bats need a drop before they actually begin flying. Any height above 1.5 metres would probably be satisfactory.
- The temperature inside the bat house plays a huge role. Mounting the bat house on a north-west to north facing wall, trying to get about 2 hours sun onto the bat house in the late afternoon, so as to warm it up a little towards the bats’ evening hunting time.
- The colour of the house in South Africa is not as important as in the northern hemisphere. If bat houses are sited in areas that are generally very hot, i.e. the Karoo, then they may be painted a light colour. Houses in other parts in South Africa do not require specific colours besides a good varnish.
- Erecting more than one bat house greatly increases the chances of one being occupied.
- Open-bottomed houses should be positioned in such a way to allow inspection for presence of bats from underneath.
Thanks to Jaco for the information and to the Maintenance & Slots Technical Team who assisted to make this great venture a reality.