Flying Fox Discovery Tour at Yarra Bend Park


Flying Fox Discovery Tour at Yarra Bend Park Transcript  

Welcome to Melbourne's best-kept secret - this is Yarra Bend Park. 

I think it's a fantastic park and I'm going to tell you all about it.  

But before I do, I want to acknowledge the Traditional Owners and pay my respects to their elders past present and emerging. It's really important to talk about the Traditional Owners because of course they were so associated with the Flying Fox. 

Bunjil's brother was Balliung - a flying fox - and there's also a legend about why the bats only fly at night. They used to be able to fly during the day but they got to excited and went to high that the sun burnt their wings which is why they have black wings and now to avoid getting burnt again they only ever fly at night. 

Let's go on a walk and I'll show you the park and show you more about the bats. 

So why these guys flying foxes? It's because of their face with that their pointed snout and the little pointy ears people felt they resemble foxes but scientists actually think they're much closer to monkeys and often when I hear them laughing and cackling as they are now actually this is what monkeys sound like. 

I always stop people here because I just think the river looks so magnificent in both directions and honestly if you took a photograph of it and sent it to your friends and said you were visiting the Murray they would believe you yet here we are not five kilometres from the CBD. 

Why do the flying foxes always roost alongside rivers? Well, during the summer yep they do dip into the river to drink but we think that the river helps provide a landmark for navigation when they're flying at night and of course if they're on either side of the river you've got a 

much better view where if you imagine you in the in a forest block you wouldn't quite be able to see what was going on and feel quite so in contact with the rest of the colony. 

Day care - who puts their kids into daycare? Well, the bats actually have night care so there comes a point in time when they're just too heavy for the mum to carry and at that point in time they creche their young. 

This is one of the creche areas - there's three or four in the in the colony area - and they leave their bubs here at night. What's incredible is that amongst all the hundreds if not thousands of babies the mothers can come directly back to their own youngster who may have actually moved around during the night. 

They are a threatened species and people say how can I be threatened when there're so many of them but the bats are like a big wave as they move across Australia and if you're saying well there's thousands of Melbourne what you're really saying is there's only hundreds in Queensland.  

And the big threats to these guys are climate change and in the summer of 2019 we lost about four and a half thousand bats over those really hot days on a much more individual level there's backyard fruit tree netting every year in Melbourne alone we get a couple of hundred bats for the caught up and backyard fruit tree netting and it's so easy to stop. One share the fruit in your backyard if you can and if you want to net the whole tree use wildlife 

safe netting and the guide to that is quite simple if you can stick your finger through the hole it's going to catch a bat. 

So that's the end of our tour for today. Thank you very much for coming along. I do hope you've enjoyed it.  

The park is a treasure the bats are amazing and we're so lucky to have it right here in the centre of town. 

I also hope this virtual tour spark your interest to learn more about the bats. Parks Victoria does run tours led by passionate and generous and knowledgeable volunteers. So book yourself on a tour and come and see the bats for yourself. 

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