Tuesday 12 July 2011

EARTH MATTERS, Monday 18th July

Flying-Fox Ecology and Management
Presented by Billie Roberts, PhD student Griffith University
Flying-foxes are large bats that routinely move large distances in response to the changing availability of fruit and nectar. They are important pollinators and seed dispersers for many plants within rainforests, eucalypt forests, woodlands and wetlands. Roosting during the day in large communal camps, the number of animals in these camps can fluctuate widely at different times of the year and from one year to the next, reflecting nearby food resources.

In Maclean and many other areas, there is a history of conflict between humans and flying-foxes. Conflict arises when flying-foxes establish new camps close to residential areas or when people construct houses or public buildings too close to existing camp sites. In these areas, it is often proposed that camps be relocated elsewhere, despite such attempts being costly and rarely successful. In cases where animals do relocate, the new sites they select are often positioned in unanticipated and undesirable locations.

It is clear that these conflicts are likely to be ongoing, requiring broadly acceptable management solutions. Billie is currently a PhD candidate at Griffith University studying landscape use by Grey-headed Flying-foxes. Over the past five years she has assisted land managers in developing management plans for a number of controversial flying-fox camps in New South Wales and South East Queensland.  

 The presentation will be held in the Staffroom at Grafton Public School,
Queen Street, Grafton  from
5.30 – 7 p.m.