Flying foxes.

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Flying foxes.

Postby oldsalt1 » Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:07 am

To denimini and all of our members from Down under. what is the story about the flying foxes.

I heard a news story that these are a form of bat and they are dying all over the place
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Re: Flying foxes.

Postby Fred in Skirts » Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:02 am

Flying foxes are intelligent and remarkable. These unique animals help regenerate our forests and keep ecosystems healthy through pollination and seed dispersal. They are a migratory and nomadic 'keystone' species; meaning a species that many other species of plants and animals rely upon for their survival and wellbeing. Flying foxes, like bees, help drive biodiversity, and faced with the threat of climate change, land clearing, and other human-caused ecological pressures, we need them more than ever.

Flying foxes are bats or, more accurately, mega-bats (big bats). They are commonly known as fruit bats, but their diet is predominately nectar, pollen, and fruit — in that order. They don't use sonar like smaller, insect-eating bats; only their eyes and ears like us. They see as well as a cat at night and are just about as smart.

Increasingly vulnerable

There are four mainland species of flying fox: Black, Grey headed, Spectacled and Little Red. Tragically, populations of flying foxes across Queensland, NSW and Victoria are in decline. Both the Grey-headed flying fox and Spectacled flying fox have declined by at least 95% in the past century, with massive losses in the past 30 years. Some researchers believe they could be functionally extinct by 2050.

The causes include habitat loss (land clearing), camp disturbance, starvation, increased heat events, legal and illegal shooting, and man-made hazards like power lines, barbed wire and backyard fruit tree netting.
A shot in the dark

Sadly, many flying foxes are shot to keep them from fruit trees — even though there are viable alternatives to doing so. Grey headed and Spectacled flying foxes are the species most regularly shot. They are also listed as Vulnerable to extinction under the federal government's Ecological Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and several state wildlife protection laws.

In spite of the dramatic decline in numbers of both Grey headed and Spectacled flying foxes (the latter of which has only a tiny range in Northern Queensland), both Queensland and NSW state governments continue to issue permits to fruit growers to shoot flying foxes.

In fact, on Threatened Species Day in 2012, Queensland reintroduced the shooting of flying foxes, ending a four year ban.

Tragically, shooting flying foxes is not only ineffective, but raises severe cruelty issues. Many animals who are shot are only wounded, and slowly die over days from infection and dehydration. The situation is compounded when this is a female with a pup on board. The result is often that she and her baby perish slowly.

Using safe netting around fruit trees is a simple and very effective alternative to shooting, and helps to protect fruit and our precious flying foxes. But not all nets are created equal. Read on to find out why the wrong kind of netting can also be deadly to these important animals, and discover the simple solution to this problem.

The net closes in

Flying foxes live together in large colonies and fly out every night in search of food. Native flowering eucalypts are the natural food source of flying foxes, and these trees will be visited by bats foraging for nectar. Flying foxes are not just feeding during this time, but performing a crucial role of pollinating native forests and spreading seeds to ensure longevity of our bush.

As natural habitat and food sources shrink, many flying fox roosts are becoming surrounded by urban areas and it is here that they encounter one of the biggest threats to their welfare and survival: backyard fruit tree netting. Backyard fruit trees can be a nourishing source of food for bats but venturing into backyards is unfortunately proving deadly.

Backyard fruit tree netting comes in two types: safe and unsafe. Unsafe netting captures and kills thousands of flying foxes each year.

Strangulation and dehydration are common, and this can mean lactating females are left unable to return to their hungry babies back in the colony.

In January 2011 alone, NSW rescuers undertook 411 bat entanglement rescues. In 2010, Brisbane Bat Rescue performed over 700 rescues. Victorian wildlife carers also respond to hundreds of backyard fruit tree entanglements each year. The endless stream of entanglement rescues and rehabilitation work is an huge and unnecessary burden on wildlife volunteers.

There is also a profound issue of animal cruelty. Bats and other entangled wildlife can be trapped in netting, injured for days before anyone notices. Wings are broken and mouths are torn in their efforts to escape. They are frequently found dead.

But you can help end this preventable cruelty. It's easy to tell safe netting from unsafe netting!

Safe netting: You cannot poke your finger through safe netting — the holes are too small. Any netting you CAN'T poke your finger through is safe for flying foxes and other animals.

The good news is that many large netting / hardware retailers are already selling wildlife safe netting — including Fruitsaver, Fruit-sock, Hailguard and Coolaroo.
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Re: Flying foxes.

Postby Bikerkilt » Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:49 am

Thank you Fred that was very informative
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Re: Flying foxes.

Postby denimini » Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:19 am

Thanks Fred, a lot of cruelty goes on without us knowing.
There are some small bats where I live but they are never considered a problem here.
Feral cats are the main cause of loss of small animals here.
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Re: Flying foxes.

Postby oldsalt1 » Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:52 am

Thanks for the info Fred . Why I asked was I heard a news story that they were dying form a heat wave in parts of Australia and they were just falling out of the sky.
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Re: Flying foxes.

Postby 6ft3Aussie » Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:17 am

Don't know so much about flying foxes, but in Brisbane we get the BIG fruit bats by the thousand.
When I say BIG, they're about 2 ft from wing tip to wing tip, and around dusk you see hundreds of them flying around at about 100 ft to 200 ft or so as they go from their colonies to where they feed.

They eat all sorts of fruit, bananas, mangoes oranges, you name it, they eat it, so you have to cover your fruit trees in fine netting to stop them otherwise you won't see any of your bountiful harvest.

Here they have been linked to Hendra virus and Lyssa virus, which are sometimes fatal in people, and when you have a colony of a few thousand in the park over your back fence, the odour from their excrement is significant, and you don't want your kids playing in the park where they take up residence.

Then there's the cane toads...they make a nice "pop" when you run one over on the road....nasty poisonous things...at least the crows have worked out how to eat them..
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Re: Flying foxes.

Postby Fred in Skirts » Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:30 am

6ft3Aussie wrote:Then there's the cane toads...they make a nice "pop" when you run one over on the road....nasty poisonous things...at least the crows have worked out how to eat them..

An introduced species that should never have been released in Oz. They are killing some of the native species to extinction. Get more crows and teach them to kill the toads.
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