3 March 2012

Have you seen flying foxes in your suburb?

| fiddlesticks
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Hello Rioters,

I am seeking any information on flying foxes in Canberra, as part of a study of the Grey-headed flying foxes that have established at Commonwealth Park in recent years.

In particular I am looking for information on where they go and what they have been eating, but any observations will be useful. If you have seen the flying foxes in places other than Commonwealth Park I would be very appreciative of any information you can provide. Useful information would be the suburb or area, time of year, if they were feeding (what on?), if you’ve seen dead or injured bats (and the cause if you know it).

I’d also be interested to hear what people think about the flying foxes in Canberra. Love them? Loath them? Indifferent?

Either post here or email vespadelus@gmail.com



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Mal Shepherd5:28 pm 07 Feb 19

Hi Michael. I can certainly tell you one place where they are dying. There are power wires at the east end of Prospect Court in Phillip , near the old bus depot that have been installed one above the other so that anything that lands on them gets electrocuted. This is not standard practice and I haven’t seen this type of installation anywhere else. It regularly has dead flying foxes hanging from the wires. There are 3 dead flying foxes hanging there now. I hope something can be done to have the wiring corrected. Someone comes and removes them but it never gets fixed.
Cheers Mal.

blackdoggette8:57 am 22 Mar 15

I live in McKellar. A flying fox has been visiting every night for at least the last 10 days. Always comes at the same time. Managed to get some photos of him last night, though the pics didn’t turn out so great. We have a large fig tree in the backyard, and I think he likes it.

Debut69 said, “Not sure what they’re eating, however.”

At present, from the night-time antics in my neighbourhood, mainly fruit, often eating it before the fruit owner can pick it. I haven’t seen a nice fig on my tree for weeks, because the bats get them before I can. I only see small, undersized ones. My neighbour has been complaining about the bats taking her fruit too. Some people grow their own fruit rather than go to the supermarket, and as such are less likely to enjoy the bats. People who buy all their fruit from the supermarket are removed from the reality of growing their own fruit and are less likely to see problems with bats, or know what the bats are eating. The farmer likely does though.
I am thinking about netting all my fruit trees, so the bats, and possums, don’t get any.

Quite a few around Evatt at the moment. They are noisy, but I love them! Not sure what they’re eating, however.

had a fig tree in dickson two years ago, a bat was a regular evening visitor about this time of year – have a tree now in downer, but as the fruit isn’t ripe, yet to see one.

love ’em – go bats!

The bats are flapping around outside now, flying between the local fruit trees eating the fruit. They are eating most of my figs, and are busy devouring the neighbour’s fruit too. Very common and numerous here. I can see huge sales in netting happening, to stop the bats taking most of the fruit. People who think flying foxes are great probably buy their fruit from the supermarket and don’t consider home produce a resource. Or they have already invested in netting.

Get in touch with RSPCA Wildlife. They received quite a few of them over the last few years after they were caught up in netting, so they may be able to give you numbers and locations for injured animals.

Linke had a story in the Canberra Times asking people not to use the fine netting a while ago

There were heaps last year at Shackleton Ct in Mawson, but hardly any this summer. Maybe something to do with the cool summer this year.

I don’t know if they have been by lately, but they were visiting the Serious Backyard Vege Gardens near the intersection of La Perouse Street and Carnegie Cres just before Christmas – there were a couple caught in the power lines.

They had a variety of fare on offer: figs, grapes, and olives.

Saw one yesterday in Mawson. Just a lone individual. Not sure what it was feeding on, but there are lots of figs on the property. Saw one here in Page during Earth hour (March 30?) last year, feeding in the fig tree. I certainly don’t mind sharing a harvest with them. I think they are incredibly important, amazing animals. I’d love to hear about your research and help in any way if i can!

They were clearly working for the fruit netting manufacturers, and their work here was done.

Seen a few near the lake in areas like Kingston.

Also swear I saw some in my suburb in West Belconnen. I was quite surprised, they went so fast though I can’t be certain, had the flapping noise though and wings are very visually different to birds. Saw mostly individual ones rather than a group. Can’t remember time of year or food sorry, though one was in my gum tree!

None dead/injured fortunately.

I’m in Qbn, no foxes of any description….

The local flying foxes have come up in discussion in the past on the Canberra Ornithologists Group mailing list http://canberrabirds.org.au/Discuss.htm with archive at http://bioacoustics.cse.unsw.edu.au/archives/html/canberrabirds/

Does anyone know if the flying foxes stick around in winter?

They were bad in Pialligo in early 2008 and even worse in 2010 (but not 2009). They’d fly over from the West at dusk and were impossible to control – they ignored lights, lasers, strobes, explosions, gunfire, ultrasonic noise – everything you can imagine.

It resulted in one orchard closing and taking a chainsaw to their trees and another netting their entire orchard.

There were a few around in early 2011 but nothing like 2010 and this season there’s been very few sightings.

Used to get some sort of fruit bats in the fig tree in the back yard when we lived in Chifley a couple of years ago. They would turn up in late summer once the fruit was ripe.

Rawhide Kid Part35:30 pm 03 Mar 12

Nope…. But seen plenty of possums.

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