Volunteers showcase bats contributing to biodiversity

Friday 15 November, 2019

Join the fun of a Flying Fox Discovery Tour at Yarra Bend Park

Visitors to Melbourne’s Yarra Bend Park can participate in Flying Fox Discovery Tours where Volunteer Park Guides will be showcasing the Grey-headed Flying Fox colony, one of Melbourne’s most loved wildlife encounters.

Funded by the Victorian Government’s Great Outdoors package, Parks Victoria’s free Flying Fox Discovery Tours will be available on weekends and selected weekdays throughout November, December and January.

Grey-headed Flying Foxes, also known as fruit bats, are a threatened species that provide an important ecosystem service, being some of the most efficient pollinators and seed dispersers in Australia. The population at Yarra Bend Park ranges from 3,000 in winter to 30,000 individuals in summer and is a spectacular sight to see on warm evenings on their mass migration across Melbourne in search of nectar and fruit.

Spring is the perfect time of year to go on a Discovery Tour, as the bats are currently visible all the way from the Bellbird Picnic Area along the path downstream to the ‘bat nursery’, full of mums and babies. The Discovery Tours give visitors the chance to learn about and experience this fascinating mammal up close in its natural habitat, while exploring the city’s closest block of remnant bushland.

The colony was relocated in 2003 from the Royal Botanic Gardens when the population became too large for the area. A ground-breaking wildlife management experiment was undertaken to successfully move them and ensure their long-term survival in Melbourne.

Yarra Bend Park is a protected area that provides ideal roosting opportunities for these intelligent creatures, with no residential neighbours, they can sleep all day. The main viewing area is wheel-chair accessible from Bellbird Picnic Area.

To book a Flying Fox Discovery Tour visit https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/flying-fox-discovery-tour-tickets-76397686537 or call Parks Victoria on 13 19 63.

Quotes, attributed to Leesa Riley, Statewide Volunteer Coordinator, Parks Victoria

“The Flying Fox Discovery Tour at Yarra Bend Park, only 5km from Melbourne CBD, enables our visitors to learn and connect with the unique wildlife of Melbourne’s parks through the eyes of our passionate and knowledgeable volunteers.”

Quotes, attributed to Tony Burton, Volunteer Park Guide

“I’m excited to start leading the Discovery Tours at Yarra Bend Park as a Volunteer Park Guide to share my knowledge with visitors and raise awareness of the importance of the Grey-headed Flying Foxes”.

Quote, attributed to Stephen Brend, Grey-headed Flying Fox Project Officer, Parks Victoria

“Parks Victoria is committed to conservation in Victoria’s parks - looking after the most important areas of habitat for our native animals and plants. Our work at Yarra Bend Park has helped the Grey-headed Flying Foxes to thrive.”


Media enquiries

Gareth Rees

Mobile: 0417 067 706

gareth.rees@parks.vic.gov.au

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