Valuing flying-foxes

Flying foxes play an important role in maintaining Australia's native forest. As Australia's only known long-distance pollinators, they are critical for the continued existence of more than 50 native trees and many Australian eucalypt species that can only be pollinated at night.

The flying-fox is also an important seed disperser and can carry large fruit and seeds over considerable distances, helping to spread seeds throughout the landscape. In fact, each flying-fox can each spread up to 60,000 seeds along a 50km stretch of land every night.

Flying-fox numbers have declined in the last century due to widespread clearing of native bushlands and forests, as well as drought and other climate change impacts. This is a concern for the pollination of our forests. The continued vegetation clearing which has reduced habitat is forcing flying-foxes to find other places to roost, including patches of bushland in urban areas and, more recently, urban backyards. Their choice of urban roosting sites may be linked to historic connections with the site prior to development and is also influenced by the availability of water and food.

Sadly the grey-headed flying-fox is now listed as vulnerable to extinction and given the important role they play in our environment, which is vital for the support of so many other species of animals including ourselves, this is concerning. grey head bat

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