Flying foxes briefly return to spruced-up camp

Grey-headed flying foxes briefly returned to the Batemans Bay Water Gardens last week after an 11-month hiatus.

The flying-fox camp at the Gardens had been occupied by flying-foxes each summer and autumn since they were first recorded there in 2012. However, in April 2020 the bats vacated the camp and did not return until late April this year.

Eurobodalla Council’s flying fox officer Natalie Foster explained that flying foxes were very unpredictable.

“We’re not sure why they did not come back to the Water Gardens until now,” she said, adding that this year, they seemed to favour the Catalina golf course, as well as camps in Moruya, Tuross Head and Narooma.

The Water Gardens have been spruced up thanks to the hard work of volunteers at a Landcare working bee.

About 25 volunteers helped to remove weeds, collect rubbish and plant native shrubs and rushes, and took the opportunity to learn more about the reserve and its plants and animals. New educational signs about flying foxes and various water birds were also recently installed.

“Grey-headed flying-foxes are important pollinators of the region’s native forests and, like much of our fauna, were impacted by the Black Summer bushfires,” she said.

“Council continues to monitor flying-fox camps and help residents who might be impacted by flying foxes, where possible.”

Ms Foster said the Water Gardens were a wonderful asset in the heart of the Batemans Bay CBD.

“It’s the perfect spot to take a work break or a stroll or simply throw a picnic rug on the grass,” she said.

“You can watch water birds going about their business on the meandering wheelchair-friendly path, which continues into the forest where frogs sing and sometimes flying foxes gather after a night of foraging.

“We hope the community will continue to be involved in preserving the unique habitat at the Water Gardens and have regular working bees there.”

To register interest in attending future working bees or for queries about flying foxes in Eurobodalla contact Ms Foster on 4474 7329.

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