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Love thy neighbour: learning to appreciate flying foxes


LITTLE red flying-foxes are making an impression on skies across the Sunshine Coast.

The Sunshine Coast council is monitoring the migratory mammals as part of its Environment Levy program.

Infrastructure Services director Andrew Ryan said increased numbers of the flying foxes had been reported at Coolum and Tooway Lake but were due to return to their maternity roosts in north and western areas of Queensland by late March.

Mr Ryan said the animals were following the flowering events around the region and helping other flora and fauna at the same time.

"Little reds are night-time pollinators and are essential to many of our local eucalypts, whose flowers only open at night," Mr Ryan said.

Danielle Crawford watches the flying foxes when she picks up her daughter, Ava, 3, from daycare around dusk.

"I think they are beautiful, they have beautiful little faces and they are so important ecologically," she said.

Ms Crawford said it was a shame many people associated bats with health risks when the chance of catching a serious disease was less than being bitten by a snake.

She said they were interesting animals worth appreciating.

"You just don't see those mass migrations any more, and they have this amazing social system, too."

The secret life of flying foxes will be the subject of presentations by Gecko's Wildlife at council libraries this month.

Go to sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au for information and bookings.

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