Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens are now batless?

Posted by barbara on August 19, 2012

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For the first time since 1989, the Royal Botanic Gardens no longer plays host, at least by day, to the large colony of grey-headed flying foxes, an estimated 22,000 in all. 

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Ten weeks after the playing of electronic noises at dawn and dusk, there's not a bat in sight. 

This makes walking through the Palm Grove in mid August 2012 a novel experience after two decades of their noisy occupation of the tropical grove, when one's attention was irrevocably drawn to the roosting, sleeping and squawking bats overhead.

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Not a squawk, not a flap of wings, as in absolutedly nothing.

Playing the recorded sounds of engines starting and metal being banged at full volume has apparently done the trick, with the action taken to scare off the bats after a Federal Court ruling gave the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust the go-ahead to encourage the bats to move on.

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Where have they gone? The hope was that the bats would move to existing flying fox camps throughout Sydney including Cabramatta, Ku-ring-gai and Parramatta. But have they?

And what of the trees that have been stripped of their foliage by the bats? The tree in the middle distance for example has lost all its leaves. It will be interesting to see if and when they recover.

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