Susan is bare of flying foxes

LIFELONG Grafton resident Bill Dougherty is wondering where all the Susan Island flying foxes have gone.

Mr Dougherty has lived beside the river opposite Susan Island for the past 25 years and has observed the flying foxes on their summer evening food hunt for all of those years.

But this year, he says, numbers have dwindled from perhaps hundreds of thousands to a handful.

“I don't know how many are there, but I have a job counting 20 of them any afternoon,” he said.

He said that years ago there were so many flying foxes on the island, shooting trips, which were advertised in The Daily Examiner, would be organised to reduce their numbers.

He said numbers fluctuated but 'there has never as few as this'.

National Parks and Wildlife Service spokesman Lawrence Orel said flying foxes moved to where they could find food.

He said there were increased numbers in south-east Queensland and on the Tablelands, but because of a relatively poor flowering season for eucalypts on the Clarence, reduced numbers here.

They were expected to return when conditions improved.

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