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Flying Foxes, Wingham - NSW

sunny 20 °C

Wingham Brush is rare and endangered. It represents 90% of the last remaining subtropical lowland rainforest in the manning Valley and 10% of this type in NSW. It has at least 195 species of native plants, including 76 species of trees and 32 different vines.
The most predominant tress in the Brush are the huge Moreton Bay Figs. they are a type of strangler fig and are hundreds of years old. In a constant state of change, beginning as a tiny seed deposited in the fork of a host tree by a roosting bird or bat and growing year by ear, down to the ground and eventually taking over and strangling the host tree. Massive buttress roots support the weight of the trees in the shallow rainforest soils.

Grey Headed Flying Foxes
Classified as vulnerable specifies under both NSW and Commonwealth legislation. Wingham Brush is the only known continuously occupied roosting and maternity site for these animals between Bellingen and the Hunter Valley, peaking at over 200,000 (40% of the total population).

Flying Foxes are sociable an intelligent flying mammals which evolved in tropical rainforests Asia and New Guinea. They have adapted for life in the forest canopy.
They roost by day and fly out at night to feed wherever they can find trees producing nectar, pollen-rich flowers and succulent native fruits.
Guided in the dark by excellent eyesight and sense of smell, they forage for up to 40km from their roost.
Whilst feeding they do important pollination and seed dispersal work in the forest canopy.
Flying Fox numbers build in spring as nectar and pollen supplies become more abundant and it's around this time of the year the females give birth to their young.
On Christmas Day in 2005 a heat wave bought day temperatures in excess of 40 degrees and thousands of flying foxes experienced heat stress. More than 5,000 died, mainly the young. Rangers and volunteers helped by spraying the bats with cool water.
At sunset each day, thousands of flying foxes fly up to 50km in search of food and water. Moving amid the forest canopy they pollinate the trees.
Due to land clearing , remaining natural places like Wingham Brush are very important. Flying Foxes are endangered native wildlife and are protected by law.

Posted by charlystyles 13:57 Archived in Australia Tagged flying_foxes Comments (0)

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