Bats visit school but not for long

THOUSANDS of grey-headed flying foxes have descended on an area near Maclean High School, but bat experts say they won't be there long.

The chairman of the Maclean Flying Fox Working Group, Jon Keats, said the mass flowering of paperbark trees in the Lower Clarence has attracted several thousand bats, which have camped near the western car park and nearby gully at the Maclean High School.

Mr Keats said during the day the flying foxes rest in their camp, which is adjacent to their traditional rainforest reserve roost site. At dusk they fly out to feed in the surrounding melaleuca trees.

“While some people may be concerned about the appearance of large numbers the flying foxes, we would expect this is only temporary,” Mr Keats said.

“Once the paperbarks finish flowering in the coming weeks, the flying fox numbers are expected to drop dramatically as they disperse for the winter months. This has been the pattern in previous years."

Mr Keats said some work had been done to create vegetation buffers around the school and residences, but these had been halted by the arrival of the bats.

This work will continue when they disperse in a few weeks.

Attempts to secure alternative habitation to divert bats away from the school will also continue.



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