The Grey-headed Flying-fox is the largest flying-fox (also known as a fruit bat) species in Australia, with a wingspan of over a metre and weighing up to 1kg. It is one of four species of flying-fox in Australia and the more common of two species found in Victoria. Their diet is comprised mainly of fruit, nectar and pollen and they are considered very important pollinators and seed dispersers of native vegetation. Grey-headed Flying-foxes can travel up to 100 km a night and reach speeds up to 50 km per hour!
Grey-headed Flying-foxes occur along the east coast of Australia and have been visiting Melbourne, mostly during summer and autumn, as far back as records go (at least the late 1800’s). However, it was not until 1986 that they established their most southern permanent camp in the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne. Since then the colony has grown to about 35,000 animals at the camp’s peak in summer, which prompted the relocation in 2003 from the Botanic Gardens to Yarra Bend Park in Kew to protect heritage-listed vegetation from further roosting pressures.
Want to know more?
Check out fact sheets on Grey-headed Flying-foxes and other cool bat related stuff at http://ausbats.org.au/#/bat-fact-packs/4562894228
You can also find out more about the facilities and activities at Yarra Bend Park at http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/yarra-bend-park
If you feel like going a little battier then there are also monthly micro-bat roost-box checks that happen at Wilson’s Reserve in Ivanhoe generally on the third Saturday of every month but this can vary. If you’re interested in taking part with this exciting little project, contact Robert Bender on 03 9499 2413 or email on email@example.com