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Helping Team Flying Fox

Centennial Park is part of Team Flying Fox. We are so happy that a big group of superheroes has chosen our park for their secret Sydney headquarters. To help them with their secret mission, we count them 4 times a year to see how many we have in the colony.

This helps us learn how healthy the colony is and if their numbers are getting smaller. We add our counts to the National Flying-fox Monitoring Program. This gives information to scientists working for the Australian Government and helps them work out where flying foxes are living and what might be making their numbers smaller. They can then work out ways to help flying foxes and make sure these important pollinators and seed dispersers can keep doing their important job.

Activities

Be a Flying Fox Scientist
There are 2 ways scientists estimate flying fox numbers:

  1. They do a fly-out count where animals are counted as they fly out of their camp to find food in the evening.

  2. They do a ground count where animals are counted during the day while hanging in trees in their colony.

Note - only people trained to handle these wild animals should ever touch flying foxes which are on the ground.
 
Which way is better?
Look at the video of flying foxes leaving their camp. How many can you count? Did you count the same number as your friends?

Look at the video of the flying foxes from the ground. How many can you count?
[Christian to provide video link]

Did you count the same number as your friends?
If you were the head scientist, would you use the fly out count or the ground count to estimate flying fox numbers in Centennial Park?
Why?
 
Where is your closest flying fox colony?

Find out how many flying foxes live there and how the numbers have changed over time.

[download activity sheet – sharepoint ]

Top image banner was sourced from https://www.pikist.com/free-photo-vacjy
 

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