Megabats: Adelaide Adjusts To New And Growing Colonies Of Flying Foxes

"With wingspans over a metre and an insatiable love for fruit and nectar, grey-headed flying foxes have settled in massive numbers across South Australia".

"A stand of pine trees near the Adelaide zoo erupts every sunset as tens of thousands of megabats take to the sky. The metre-wide, scalloped wings of these grey-headed flying foxes silhouette against the sky like the summoning sign for a certain superhero.

Flying foxes first appeared in numbers in Adelaide around 2010 after climate change-related food shortages drove them further south. Drought conditions and habitat loss forced them out of New South Wales and Victoria, and once they found a good spot they settled in – and bred.

Nowadays they gather in a single, enormous colony in Botanic park – about 46,000 of them – before heading out for a night’s feed, causing disruption along the way.

“For an urban camp [those numbers are] pretty high … it’s up there with the highest we’ve had in South Australia,” says Jason van Weenen, Green Adelaide’s urban biodiversity team leader."

Tory Shepherd reports for the Guardian January 28, 2024.

Source: Guardian, 01/29/2024