Friday, March 1, 2013

Flying foxes drove me batty!

Living in Sydney’s leafy North Shore suburb of Gordon 40 years ago, I used to enjoy sprawling in a deckchair on summer evenings, watching thousands of giant flying foxes flying low overhead. They were probably returning to their home in the city’s Royal Botanic Gardens.
Those flying foxes are the world’s largest bats, with wingspans about 1.5 metres (six feet) across. Known as grey-headed flying foxes, they are found only in Australia, mostly in rain forests from Ingham in Queensland to Adelaide in South Australia.
Many of those fascinating creatures that I watched had youngsters almost as large as their mothers clinging to them.
Writing of the Botanic Gardens reminds me that a few years ago the Gardens management had to scare them away from the area, as the bats had formed such a large colony that they were killing the trees they were clinging to.
A colony of flying foxes residing on the Macintyre River, behind the sporting complex at Inverell was the cause of this outage as well as a number of others in the area over recent weeks. The good news is the flying foxes eventually move on
For details, see the Botanic Gardens report: Flying Fox Relocation
Video: video of Flying Foxes
From ERIC SHACKLE, in Sydney, Australia. Posted Wednesday, 6 February 2013, at 12:27

Hand in a bushy tail to enter Fox Lotto!

Anyone handing in a foxtail to an office in Dubbo, New South Wales, during March will be entered for a cash prize in a Fox Lotto run by the Livestock Health and and Pest Authority. Alternatively you may buy a poison bait to enter the contest.

Foxes attack poultry and native wildlife in many parts of Australia, despite landholders’ attempts to poison or trap them (thus validating the phrase “cunning as a fox”).

One Dubbo woman was so intent on winning a prize in the Lotto competition that she pulled up her car outside the LHPA office, opened the boot, and dragged out a whole fox carcass.

“Exotic foxes pose a serious conservation problem in Australia”, says an article in Wikipedia. '”Current estimates indicate there are more than 7.2 million red fox (Vulpes vulpes) with a range extending throughout most of the continental mainland.

“The species became established in Australia through successive introductions by settlers in the 1830s. Due to its rapid spread and ecological impact, it has been classified as one of the most damaging invasive species in Australia.”

Video : Fox and chooks
From ERIC SHACKLE, in Sydney, Australia. Posted Friday, 1 March 2013, at 14:53

Click on Eric Shackle for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online
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