- Monday 18 February 2019
Several groups of nomadic little red flying-foxes – a species that is vital to the pollination of local eucalypts – have been spotted visiting the Sunshine Coast particularly the northern roost sites that Sunshine Coast Council regularly monitors.
Environment Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said council expected to see an influx of these critters over the rest of summer for their regular holiday visit.
“Little red flying-foxes travel from the northern and western areas of Queensland to feed on our beautiful local flowering plants, such as eucalypts, bloodwoods and myrtles,” Cr McKay said.
“They are night-time pollinators, making flying-foxes essential to many of our local eucalypts, whose flowers only open at night.
“By spreading eucalypt seeds around our coast and greater Queensland, these little reds are increasing koala habitat and keeping our native forests genetically healthy.”
Division 9 Councillor Stephen Robinson said council officers monitored these visitors as part of the Environment Levy Program, and focused on protecting and enhancing the region’s valuable natural assets and wildlife.
“Due to the drought conditions in Western Queensland and therefore a scarcity of food resources, more little reds are likely heading to our coast’s food rich areas,” Cr Robinson said.
“These small reddish-brown mammals have been spotted in the Coolum area over the past three weeks.
“The little reds tend to be more vocal than our resident black and grey-headed flying-foxes, so the roosts may be a bit noisier as they argue over territory in the trees.
“Our nomadic visitors are generally only on the Sunshine Coast for a short time of 8-12 weeks and should return to their maternity camps in north and western Queensland by late March.”
If you find an injured flying-fox, please do not touch the animal, and call RSPCA on 1300 ANIMAL (264 625).
If you’re interested in learning more about flying-foxes, join Martin Fingland from Geckoes Wildlife at his upcoming presentation series Backyard Buddies held at Sunshine Coast Libraries throughout the region in March and April. Visit council’s library website for further information and to make a booking. For further information about flying-foxes on the Sunshine Coast, you can also visit council’s website.