Until recently there was a colony of around 22,000 Grey-headed flying foxes roosting in the Royal Botanical Gardens. It became quite a tourist attraction as it was possible to observe the chattering, upside-down hanging, melee during daylight hours. Unfortunately, the Botanical Gardens Trust decided that the bats were causing too much collateral damage to their exotic trees and with Federal Government approval, moved them on, using loud recorded noises. Grey-headed flying foxes are a threatened species, protected under both state and national environment law. Thankfully, it seems, many of the relocating bats have been welcomed by the Centennial Parklands Foundation and small colonies have even made themselves at home on the Peninsula. It is recommended that people do not disturb or handle bats though, as, like all animals, including cats, they can carry disease.
|Endangered Grey-headed flying foxes roost near a busy road at Balgowlah|
Microbats roost inside tree hollows and sometimes under rock overhangs, bridges and culverts during the day. Their main threat is loss of habitat and competition for roosts from Indian Miners and feral bees. They are also at risk from predation by cats and rats and are sensitive to pollution, loud noise and bright lights.
Footnote: Amazingly, our part of the world can even boast a bat that fishes....the Large-footed Myotis. It forages over pools of water in rivers, lakes and small streams, using its over-sized feet to scoop along water surfaces for small fish and aquatic insects. It has recently been found at Narrabeen Lagoon.
A Lesser long-eared bat
People in "the know" believe that bats are the coolest animals on the planet. To find out more and to help with conservation efforts check this link.. Sydney's bats