Article by Tyron de Kauwe, Natural Areas Conservation Officer, Sunshine Coast Council
Hello and thanks for coming back for more flying-fox news.
Once again, there have been large movements and influxes in flying-fox numbers across the Sunshine Coast. However, the onset of winter seems to have brought some sort of familiarity in the occupation of sites.
Most of the established flying-fox roosts across the region vacated as usual towards the end of April. Interestingly, a heavy paperbark flowering event around Caloundra led to most of the flying-foxes in the area congregating across just three sites all around Caloundra. Once the paperbarks stopped flowering, the numbers dramatically reduced and have largely vacated the region altogether.
Where did all the reds go?
The pregnant little reds have now moved back to their maternity roosts in central and western Queensland to give birth. While the short-term numbers for the Sunshine Coast were unprecedented this summer, they are far smaller than the numbers at their maternity roosts. To put this into context, after the reds left south east Queensland for winter, one site in Mundubbera is currently experiencing 2.5 million little red flying-foxes!
The one stop shop for Sunshine Coast flying-fox data, the BatMap is having a makeover and coming very soon. Head on over to the updated BatMap webpage from Wednesday 7 July and check out where flying-foxes are across the region.
To help get across the plethora of information, there will be two interactive maps for the BatMap.
The first map shows a snapshot of the current flying-fox numbers across all the current sites in the region. You can check out where flying-foxes are currently and how sites in different areas compare.
The second map shows the historic flying-fox counts and the management actions taken for all the roosts. As you move around the map, the count data and management actions will automatically update for the sites in the main screen. You can also check out the previous actions and options papers at all the roosts.
Hopefully the new BatMap can do an even better job of showcasing the dynamic movements of flying-foxes and the complex nature of conservation and management of a wild animal.
Want to know more about flying-foxes?
Check out some recent radio interviews I did with Noosa FM all about the importance of flying-foxes and how you can help support Council’s ongoing research.
You can come watch me live and ask any burning flying-fox questions during the upcoming Queensland Garden Expo. I will be talking all about the ecological services of flying-foxes on the Banksia Stage - Friday 9 July, 1:45pm and Saturday 10 July, 11:45am. Check out the speaker program here.