SUBSCRIBE TO MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL & HELP SUPPORT BATS

IN DEFENCE OF THE FLYING FOX


(02/09/2010)




TRANSCRIPT

NARRATION
Now is not a good time to be a flying fox.

News report
These ones have destroyed 18 trees and put 300 others on the sick list.

NARRATION
They seem to be turning up in the most unusual places, frequently they're unwanted and accused of spreading disease.

News report
Four viruses' which can have deadly effects on animals and humans have emerged from flying foxes in Australia and Asia.

NARRATION
But perhaps we're not seeing the full story amidst the fear and loathing

Dr Paul Willis
Now I have to declare an interest here, you see I used to help raise orphaned flying foxes and to me, they are one of the most beautiful and fascinating parts of the Australian fauna. Which raises the question, why all the bad press? Are they really the new urban terrorists or have they been falsely maligned?

NARRATION
There are four species of Flying Fox native to the Australian mainland. Two of them, the Grey—Headed and the Spectacled Flying foxes, are listed as threatened species under Commonwealth legislation. They roost in camps in forested gullies in eastern and northern Australia. Peggy Eby has been studying flying foxes for decades.

Dr Peggy Eby
These animals are really important to us. They fulfil a number of ecological services that no other animal does. They disperse pollen from eucalypts, melaleucas, banksias etc, they disperse seeds of rainforest plants long distances...

NARRATION
But their most pressing problem is that they are moving in on our turf. New or expanded camps are popping up in the centre of our towns and even our cities. One problem camp has been growing in Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens.

Dr Tim Entwisle
They've been here in the gardens for about 20 years built up from just a few hundred to 22,000 in the last summer. In the botanic gardens here they actually kill the tree, they wriggle around, they move, they break off the leaves of the young tips so eventually the trees die. Twenty six of our big mature trees have died another 300 have bats in them and are being damaged at the moment so tree by tree they are killing them.

NARRATION
So plans are in play to move them on. But not all urban bat camps are a problem. This is a Flying Fox camp in Gordon in Sydney's northern suburbs. It's been here since at least the mid 1960s and residents like Jocelyn have grown accustom to their leathery—winged neighbours.

Jocelyn Chenu
Most of the time it's fine it's noisy but for me the noise is no worse, in fact I prefer it to living next to a busy road for example ... it doesn't really worry me at all. I do feel for people who find they have something that they are going to have trouble dealing with.

NARRATION
The on—going conservation of the Gordon Bat Camp is supported by people like Nancy Pallin.

Nancy Pallin
People generally don't understand about bats. So there's a lot we've done over the years to try and get the truth about these native animals out to the general public.

NARRATION
But for the colony at The Royal Botanic Gardens, coexistence is not an option.

Dr Tim Entwisle
It is one of those dilemmas where you got an animal here that people enjoy seeing but they are destroying the gardens.

NARRATION
Another problem associated with Flying Foxes is the spread of disease, in particular Hendra and Bat Lissa Virus. Hendra Virus has been getting a lot of publicity after the deaths of several horses and four people.

Dr Hume Field
Hendra virus is not a common infection in Flying Foxes. But in terms of transmission from bats to horses, we know that bats excrete the virus in urine in birthing fluid and perhaps in faeces and saliva as well. The most plausible transmission pathway is that horses ingest feed or pasture that has been contaminated with these infected body fluids from these flying foxes.

NARRATION
Plausible but not confirmed. Hendra has also been found in cats, dogs, rats and other animals.

Dr Peggy Eby
There's been a good deal of experimental work trying to find the mode of transport between bats and horses and no one has been successful in doing so.

NARRATION
the rabies—like Lissa Virus is really only of concern to people who actually handle the bats. A vaccine is available.

Dr Peggy Eby
There's been only one death from Lissa virus, that was a transition from a flying fox, that woman was given the opportunity and encouraged to have the post exposure vaccination and she chose not to.

NARRATION
As for relocating the Flying Foxes from the Royal Botanic Gardens, that's a more complicated process than you might think. We're up before dawn to catch the bats as they return from a night's feeding. Billie Roberts has come in from the New South Wales North Coast to help out.

Dr Paul Willis
How many are you planning to catch?

Billie Roberts
We've got to catch about 90 to attach radio collars and another 400 to band.

Dr Paul Willis
This is the one they're after, this is a Grey Headed Flying Fox. There are also Black Flying Foxes in this colony but they are not endangered— these guys are.

Kerryn Parry—Jones
And it's a girl!

Dr Paul Willis
It's a girl!

NARRATION
Because the Grey's are listed as threatened, the relocation can only go ahead if no harm comes to them. So this bat catching is not the relocation program itself. These are ‘test bats' used assess the health of the colony and the success of the relocation program when it does gets underway.

Anja Divjan
The first measurement I took was the forearm measurement and that's usually the one that's measured most often on all the flying foxes and it tells us a little bit about their size

NARRATION
Kerryn Perry—Jones is taking the opportunity to collect some unusual parasites.

Kerryn Parry—Jones
They are nycteribiids they are wingless flies we don't normally have a lot of nycteribiids down this far south but because there has been a big influx of flying foxes down from Queensland where there is a food shortage they have brought their nycteribiids with them.

Dr Paul Willis
All of this data collection is aimed at monitoring the progress of the relocation program. Ninety bats will be fitted with radio collars and a further ten lucky bats will have satellite transmitters. And when all that data comes back we'll know if the relocation has worked and how healthy the bat population has been throughout the whole process?

NARRATION
Pending a clean bill of health for the Greys, the relocation program can go ahead.

Dr Tim Entwisle
Its loud noises in a buggy, moving through the palm grove in the middle of the gardens. So the idea is not rattle around and annoy them but to move them in one group.

NARRATION
And while the technique has worked elsewhere, Peggy isn't so sure it will be a success in Sydney.

Dr Peggy Eby
What concerns me about this situation here is that there is a high likelihood that the outcome of this in the long term will be increased conflict elsewhere in the Sydney urban area.

NARRATION
Perhaps we're missing the bigger picture here: are we just looking at symptoms rather than the problem?

Dr Peggy Eby
The problems that people face with flying foxes, issues with disease, issues with damage in orchards, issues with the animals in urban areas in larger numbers than people would like are all symptoms of a broader problem that the animals are experiencing, ongoing loss of feeding habitat.

NARRATION
Simply eliminating Flying Foxes is not an option.

Dr Hume Field
Human health and livestock health are increasingly being recognised as being inextricably linked to wildlife health and environmental health. Really it's one big system, we are all part of the system we can't impact one part of the system and not expect that there will be repercussions through the other parts.

Dr Tim Entwisle
Flying foxes/bats are an essential part of the Australian ecosystem they pollinate flowers they spread seed, as a botanist Flying Foxes are fantastic animals. It's really just a numbers thing here in Botanic gardens, they just don't work.

NARRATION
There has to be another way to learn to live with flying foxes

Dr Peggy Eby
I'm not sure that relocation is the way...
"It would be far easier for us to manage our own and change our own behaviour than to change the behaviour of wildlife."

NARRATION
And there's a post script to this story: The initial survey work we featured earlier found that the Grey—Headed Flying Foxes in the Royal Botanic Gardens are not healthy enough to relocate.

So for now, these bats will still call Sydney home.

Reporter: Dr Paul Willis
Producer: Dr Paul Willis
Researcher: Matthew Levinson
Camera: Greg Heap
Kevin May
Colin Hertzog
Sound: Adam Toole
Steve Ravich
Paul Castellaro
Editor: Lile Judickas

STORY CONTACTS

Nancy Pallin
Founding member of the Ku-ring-gai Bat Conservation Society

Dr Tim Entwistle
Executive Director
Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney

Dr Peggy Eby
Consultant wildlife ecologist

COMMENTS

BatsRule!/\^._.^/\Help Save WildLife
Name

Articles,67,Audio,15,Backyard,10,Barbed Wire,21,Bat Art,37,Bat Books,74,Bat Box,26,Bat Clothing,14,Bat Issues,505,Bat Stamps,1,Bats for Children,27,Bats for the Home,65,Electrocution,7,Events,33,info on bats,464,Jackie Sparrow,22,Microbats,417,Misc,69,Netting,32,Newsletter,4,Promoting,127,Rehab,60,Rehab 2011,1,Rehab 2012,19,Rehab 2013,10,Rehab 2014,6,Rehab 2015,103,Rehab 2016,99,Rehab 2017,12,Release Cage,2,RESCUE,60,Rescue 2012,3,RESCUE 2013,11,RESCUE 2014,8,RESCUE 2015,24,Rescue 2016,12,RESCUE 2017,1,Rob Mies,11,Shooting,2,Vegetation,23,Video,422,Virus,111,WebSites-Bat,46,
ltr
item
Megabats and Microbats: IN DEFENCE OF THE FLYING FOX
IN DEFENCE OF THE FLYING FOX
IN DEFENCE OF THE FLYING FOX
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-iBidZoFd5Eg/VTVDgHz6JfI/AAAAAAACEAU/euDszxsqyswNrOIecnD3wuBgLVfFWAKegCPcB/s320/bat_writer_bat_issues.jpg
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-iBidZoFd5Eg/VTVDgHz6JfI/AAAAAAACEAU/euDszxsqyswNrOIecnD3wuBgLVfFWAKegCPcB/s72-c/bat_writer_bat_issues.jpg
Megabats and Microbats
http://www.batsrule.info/2016/09/in-defence-of-flying-fox.html
http://www.batsrule.info/
http://www.batsrule.info/
http://www.batsrule.info/2016/09/in-defence-of-flying-fox.html
true
4238281482117672351
UTF-8
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Readmore Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS CONTENT IS PREMIUM Please share to unlock Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy