These Little Red Flying-foxes (Pteropus scapulatus) are not exactly local to Flowerdale/Strath Creek – they were photographed recently beside the Goulburn River at Seymour – but they are interesting visitors to the general area, and do provide an opportunity to mention an upcoming talk on Bats by wildlife ecologist Rob Gration this Friday 31st January in Yea. Full details can be seen by clicking on the flyer thumbnail image below.
Little Red Flying-foxes are not the species found in the Melbourne area that has caused problems in the Botanic Gardens in the past – that is the Grey-headed Flying-fox (Pteropus poliocephalus). The Little Reds are highly nomadic, searching for flowering eucalypts (mainly River Red Gum, Eucalyptus camaldulensis) as a source of nectar, their staple food. They can congregate in very large numbers, but only a small fraction of the total population occurs in Victoria (mostly northern Victoria) at any one time.
At Seymour there may have been up to 200 gathered. While we watched they were constantly restless, shuffling and squabbling for position, and seemed only occasionally to wrap up and get some sleep, like the one shown below.