Flying foxes flock for flowering
  • Wednesday 11 June 2014

If you’ve noticed more Ffying foxes than usual in your neck of the woods lately, it’s probably due to the incredible Melaleuca flowering event occurring on the Coast.

Environment Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said a mass flowering of Melaleuca trees along coastal lowland areas had attracted groups of flying foxes from within and outside the Sunshine Coast.

“Over the past month there has been a widespread movement of flying foxes around our region largely as a result of these flowering melaleucas that are a favoured food for these animals,” she said.

“Council’s monitoring of a number of urban flying fox sites has indicated increased numbers and activity generally in coastal areas and a reduction in most of the hinterland roosts.

“This increased activity has been occurring in the evening, when the flying foxes seek nectar from the flowering melaleuca Ttees. Council has received several reports of flying foxes feeding on trees at night with concerns from some residents of new roosts setting up nearby which is not the case if the activity is occurring at night.  Flying foxes only roost during the day.

“Once the melaleucas stop flowering the level of flying fox activity that some areas of the Sunshine Coast are experiencing at night is expected to reduce.

“Flying foxes have also been observed re-inhabiting historic roost sites in the Pumicestone Passage, in the Bells Creek and Coochin Creek areas.”

Flying foxes tend to stay for short durations in trees while they’re feeding at night before returning to their roost site in the early hours of the morning.

"They play an important role in pollinating native trees such as Mmlaleucas and many of the eucalypts that provide habitat and food for many native parrots and marsupials like gliders and koalas."

Flying foxes are a protected species and are managed under two pieces of legislation.

The three common species of flying foxes found on the Sunshine Coast – black flying-fox, grey headed flying fox and the little red flying fox – are all protected under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992 and the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.