A NEW display in Sale aims to educate people on a widely misunderstood species, the Grey-headed Flying Fox, which has again taken roost around Wellington Shire, including along the shores of Sale's Lake Guthridge and Lake Guyatt.
The exhibit, which is now showing at Nakunbalook Environmental and Cultural Education Centre, next to Seed Community Garden, centres on Australia's largest native bat and the crucial role it plays in the health of the bush as a major pollinator.
Between 11am and 1pm each day until Friday, February 3,Lynne and Chris from Moonshadow Flying Fox Rescue will be at Nakunbalook to share stories and answer any questions.
A free ‘Meet the Bats’ session will also be held at Nakunbalook on Monday, January 23 from 7.30pm. Attendees should meet at Nakunbalook for a short presentation, followed by a short walk to Lake Guthridge to see the bats skim the lake to collect water on their fur before heading out to feed for the evening.
A day session will be held on Wednesday, January 25, from 11am.
No booking is required for either session.
Bats are foragers and will travel to where food is available, which means that they will likely move on when resources diminish. Council does not have a definitive time frame for how and when this might occur.
Grey-headed Flying Foxes are protected under the Wildlife Act 1975 as they are a nationally threatened species. Penalties apply for harassing or disturbing them. The bats are sensitive to noise, so it is in their best interests to minimise noise when near them.
Grey-headed flying foxes pose no risk to humans when they are flying overhead or roosting. It is very important, however, that flying foxes are not handled because a small percentage may carry Australian batlyssa virus or Hendra virus. Neither droppings or urine can spread these viruses, so it is not dangerous to have a colony sited nearby.
If you see a bat on the ground or low in trees this indicates it may need help. Do not touch the bat. Alert a wildlife carer by phoning Moonshadow Flying Fox Rescue on 0429 930 138 or The Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action as the responsible authority on 136 186.