Tuesday 17 January 2012

Flying foxes

Sydney Botanical Gardens, NSW, Australia

Flying foxes are huge fruit bats. We were positively delighted when we found a colony or camp in the Sydney Botanical Gardens. This was most unexpected because they colony in the Melbourne Boatnical Gardens was no longer there and this was rather disappointing because back in 1990 there were many there. 

Grey-headed Pteropus poliocephalus fying foxes roosting on a Casuarina tree
 They were rather restless.
Male flying fox stretching its wings

Even though grey-headed flying foxes are an endangered species they weren't exactly welcome in the gardens. They are doing too much damage to the trees and ideally they should not be there, at all. This is rather embarrassing. However the colony is beeing heavily monitored.

Ringed male flying fox
Note the colour bands on the thumbs of the wings: red on the left and blue on the right.
The curious thing was that the males were the restless ones.... Females protect their young with the wings during the day but at this time of the year their young shouldn't neede that. For more about these amazing bats visit SydneyBats

Later, in North Avoca we came across another camp by the lagoon. Someone told us about it and we knew when we were getting closer by the smell. Rather powerful. Again, they aren't exactly popular. Someone has tried to shoot them! See http://express-advocate-gosford.whereilive.com.au/news/story/shots-fired-as-bats-move-in-at-north-avoca/


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