Sunday, December 22, 2013

Going batty in Geelong this summer

from w
There's a huge bat that visits our apricot three every evening and has a feast, but I can't catch him/her to take a photo.  Here's a story though from the local paper:

Bats on the rise at Eastern Park, Geelong

·         DECEMBER 04, 2013 12:19PM
GEELONG'S Eastern Park bat colony is poised to explode because of hotter conditions in the north.
There are at present about 4400 bats/flying foxes in Geelong's Eastern Park bat colony, but City Hall is expecting substantial numbers of bats to start arriving soon after Christmas.
General manager of city services Gary Van Driel said the peak years for colony numbers were 2010 and 2011, when they grew to about 31,000 and 35,000 respectively.
"They come south in the new year because of the hotter conditions to the north," he said.
"The hotter conditions up north can take a toll on the bats themselves, as many get heatstroke and suffer significant die-offs, but the hot conditions can also have the effect of cutting back the food supplies for the bats. Bushfires, such as those parts of NSW have already been experiencing, also take a heavy toll on the bats' food supplies. When these conditions are prevalent up north the bats come south looking for food in Victoria's cooler, milder conditions."
Mr Van Driel said because of this it would be no surprise if the Geelong colony numbers swelled to more than 30,000 in January, February and March.

He said the bat colony in Eastern Park had become one of Geelong's tourist attractions.


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