This impressive colony made up of mostly little red flying foxes is located in Kilcoy, Queensland. It’s unlikely they will remain at this campsite for long as this species is known to be nomadic and will change roosts often.
We arrived a few hours before sunset to find the best vantage point as they disembark at dusk. Once the majority of animals were in sky, the sight was truly something to behold.
Flying foxes can fly up to 80km (50 miles) a night. During the night they will use their sense of smell and sight to detect various flowers and fruit, and sometimes leaves, from over 100 species of native trees and vines.
Flying-foxes disperse seeds in their droppings and carry a dusting of pollen from tree to tree, fertilising flowers as they feed. Eucalypts rely heavily on these pollinators, producing most of their nectar and pollen at night to coincide with when bats are active. Without flying-foxes, there is less cross-pollination between trees, particularly over larger distances, and less seed is set.
Bats are currently under a lot of pressure from extreme weather events, shrinking habitat and conflict with humans in urban areas. As more people come to understand bats and the vital role they play in the ecosystem, more can be done to ensure they are protected into the future.
Published on Sep 19, 2016