Two species of flying fox are present within the Charters Towers Regional Council area, namely the little red (Pteropus scapulatus) and the black (Pteropus alecto) flying fox. A roost is established in Lissner Park, Charters Towers and large numbers of flying foxes tend to visit the Ravenswood Showgrounds periodically.Successive Council’s have attempted to disperse the roosts from the established locations in response to public concerns and complaints relating to health and nuisance issues including loss of sleep, noise, stench and loss of business and business opportunity. Council’s attempts in that regard have not been successful.Research indicates that flying foxes are highly intelligent animals that are a part of a complex and interdependent natural system. As long range pollinators, flying foxes are considered to be critical for the survival of valuable forests. It is reported that increasing roosting habits within urban environments is the direct consequence of the loss of forage in the rural areas..The approximate area of the camp is shown on the map (replace map) below. This area is not always fully occupied at any one time; and some times there have been no flying foxes.
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Flying-foxes are extremely important because they help pollinate plants and spread seeds, making sure our native forests and bush survive. They do this over much larger distances than birds or insects. They are wild animals, with each species forming one large population that travels large distances to find food, and suitable habitat to live in.
The grey-headed flying-fox is easily recognisable by its rusty reddish-coloured collar, grey head and hairy legs. It is a native species and under NSW law all native species are protected. The grey-headed flying-fox is also listed as vulnerable to extinction under NSW and national threatened species legislation. Records show that grey headed flying-foxes may once have numbered in the millions but have now reduced to as few as 400,000.
The little-red flying-fox is the smallest Australian flying-fox; it has reddish brown-coloured fur. and is protected asit is a native species.
All flying-foxes are nocturnal. They roost during the day in camps and travel at night, up to 50 km, to feed. These communal camps may range in number from a few to hundreds of thousands of animals, with individual flying-foxes often moving between camps.
Usually, the amount of food within a 20-50 km radius of a camp site will influence the size of a camp. That's why flying-fox camps are most often temporary and seasonal because they are connected to the flowering of flying-fox food trees. However, because we can't say exactly when and where flowering and fruiting will happen there can be seasonal and yearly changes to the numbers of animals using the camps.
Not a lot is known about what makes flying-foxes camp at certain sites; however, in addition to being close to a source of food, research does suggest that flying-foxes choose to roost in vegetation that has some of the following general characteristics:
SEQ Catchments, 2012, Management and Restoration of flying-fox Roosts: Guidelines and Recommendations, SEQ Catchments Ltd funded by the Australian Government’s Caring for Our Country, viewed 10 August 2016 https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/resources/animals/flying-fox-2014-subs/flyingfoxsub-jenny-beatson-part3.pdf