Flying foxes thriving in park

May 15, 2018

Flying-fox population at Cussen Park, Tatura.

The flying fox population at Cussen Park is about 9000.

Users of the park would have noticed that the top half of the northern loop track has been closed because of the presence of the bats.

This was required to prevent disturbance of the camp, potentially causing them to move to less desirable locations in town.

It also minimises the chance of people coming into direct contact with the flying mammals.

The closure zone will be adjusted, as required, in line with camp expansion or movement.

Flying foxes are an important part of the Australian environment and are protected by law.

They feed on fruit and blossoms from a wide range of native tress, introduced species and cultivated fruits.

They provide essential pollination and seed dispersal services for our native plants and forest ecosystems.

There are two species of flying fox in the Cussen Park camp: the grey-headed flying fox, which is listed as vulnerable to extinction, and the little red flying fox.

Feeding locations for flying foxes vary widely from year to year and place to place.

This is because the flowering patterns of most Eucalyptus trees are irregular and erratic.

Luckily, flying foxes are excellent at tracking food over long distances.

Are they feeding in trees near your house at night?

Sneak outside after dark and listen — you may hear them rustling in the tree-tops and squawking at each other.

Flying foxes have excellent night vision, and don’t use echolocation like other types of bats.

At the moment, the grey-headed flying fox mothers are finishing up nursing their young, which they birthed in spring.

Many of these young stay behind in the camp at night while their mothers go out foraging.

Soon they will be old enough to go out foraging by themselves, too.

The little red flying fox mothers are giving birth to their young.

They will carry them out flying every night until they are old enough to be left behind in the camp.

— Yvette Williams

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