Flying Foxes at Myles Dunphy

IMG_3179Our resident Flying Fox watcher Geoff Francis reports that the Flying foxes have returned to Myles Dunphy Bush Reserve this summer. Their numbers have gradually increased from a low base in Aug September.  There are currently ( Jan 21 2016 ) about 250 Flying-foxes roosting in the Myles Dunphy camp.
Flying-foxes rq_0020
There is a shortage of food for them not just in Sydney, but in much of Eastern Australia. In Sydney, the shortage might be partly due to the unseasonally dry weather since October. As a result many of the Flying-foxes are in poor condition and the relocation of the Flying-foxes from the Kareela camp has been suspended. They were previously feeding locally on flowering Angophora costata and Melaleuca linariifolia, but these ceased flowering early in December. Some of the Red Bloodwood (Corymbia gummifera) in the local area commenced flowering in late December which provided a food source.
Angophora costataSnow in summerCorymbia gummifera fruit _2_
P1000574 The Flying-foxes have also been suffering from the recent heat waves. When the temperature in the camp reaches 40 degrees there is a risk of mortality, greatest among juvenile Flying-foxes (not currently in the camp) but also among adults in poor condition. On days like last Tuesday (17 January) with the temperature up in the mid or high 30s, the Flying-foxes cope by moving from the Melaleucas, Cheese Trees and Swamp Oaks in the wetland into Turpentines and Blackbutts on the neighbouring footslopes. These trees have a thicker and more continuous canopy, giving greater shade. They also fan themselves with their wings for cooling.

MD FFoxes 2016to2017


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