More urban wildlife 4.3.2012

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There are a couple of towns in the Hunter that sadly have a love-hate relationship with urban wildlife.

Singleton is one and Lorn, a suburb of Maitland, is another. They both have colonies of gorgeous grey-headed flying foxes in residential areas.

The Maitland Mercury reports regularly on the campaign by some councillors and residents to rid their suburb of their colonies so I went to have a look at Lorn.

I went to South Maitland first where a resident told the Mercury the air smelled so bad because of bats that he had trouble breathing. I have a new plug-in for smells and here’s my recording of my visit:

Just kidding – but if I had a plug-in for odours, the above would be a true representation of what I found when I visited. It’s not a colony; there are just a few beautiful Moreton Bay figs. (Did you know they fruit all year round? Isn’t it good that NCC replaces them with magnolias? Morons.)

You can imagine how sympathetic I was to that story. Not that I don’t feel sympathetic to the poor person for the way he feels; I’m just unclear why the paper printed a story that would appear to be misleading. Slow news day?

So then I went to Lorn which is stunning – because of all its trees. Hear that, NCC?

I had to drive around for a while before I found the flying fox colony.

I had thought they’d be obvious because the noise and smell are supposed to be overwhelming.

Eventually I found them living in trees above a playground which is now fenced off and adorned with warning signs. Quite reasonably – who wants bat poop on their child?

Wouldn’t you think you’d move the playground equipment – but then that would involve an investment in the community and an admission that you were committed to leaving the Poor Bloody Bats alone.

I’m always going on about this but the benefits of flying foxes and bats are usually not factored into these discussions. (The genetic diversity and therefore health of our hardwood forests, pollinating fruit and other commercial crops, koala food trees and therefore $1 billion of tourism, etc.)

And it’s Ok for me etc because I don’t live next door to them etc etc and because apparently I’m a treehugging hippie ratbag loonie etc – just ask the anti-Laman Street crew and a few of the councillors in Newcastle. Sorry – frothing at the mouth there: calm down, Caity.

Whole suburbs in Brisbane cope with the smell of flying foxes.Why not in the Hunter?

Anyway, enjoy. Home

Lorn back street

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One Response to “More urban wildlife 4.3.2012”

  1. jacinta dalton Says:

    Wow, thanks for sharing these wonderful photos, I am off to have a look for myself tomorrow before it’s all too late.

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