Please note: this is an old article
It was published in April 2019, so the information may be out-of-date.
Did you know that grey-headed flying foxes can track nectar pulses to find food more than 70 kilometres? You can find out more interesting facts like this at the Bats in our Neighbourhood event on Saturday 13 April. Part of the Activities in the Park holiday program, RiverConnect and Greater Shepparton City Council along with the Cussen Park Advisory Committee are holding a free interactive bat night for the entire community to be a part of.
Attendees will learn about the little creatures who call the park home with expert guests. These experts include ecologist Rob Gration, Friend of Bats and Bushcare President Lawrence Pope and Shepparton Veterinary Clinic Veterinarian Madeleine Rowe, who will be talking all things bat behaviour, conserving their colonies and health and safety around the winged creatures.
The night will also feature the reveal of the new information signage and nesting boxes supported by the Fairley Leadership Program and funded by the Hugh Williamson Foundation.
Microbat and possum signage were created by local schools and will be installed at Cussen Park and Lake Bartlett as a friendly reminder to residents and visitors of the small creatures which live in our region.
Fairley Leadership Project Coordinator Lisa Cowan said the project was a great opportunity for school students to engage with the parks.
“The project has connected Sacred Heart Primary to a fantastic local resource in Cussen Park, and Tatura Primary to neighbouring Lake Bartlett,” Ms Cowan said.
“Primary school students designed the content for the signs going in each park and Wanganui Park VCAL students built the nesting boxes with the support of the Greater Shepparton Lighthouse Project volunteers.
“Each school has been given a GoPro to encourage them to visit and check what’s living in the possum and microbat boxes after they’re installed. There will be further opportunities for each school to engage with these great spaces in the One Tree Per Child project and organised flora and fauna walks.”
Bats in our Neighbourhood is a free family friendly event to kick start the school holidays as children will be able to enjoy a number of bat related activities such as bat races and making badges, origami bats and masks. Attendees will also see the local microbats up close.
The event will start at 5pm so attendees will be able to see the grey-headed flying foxes fly off to feed at dusk while sharing a free pizza dinner.
RiverConnect’s Project Officer Meg Pethybridge encourages everyone in the local community to come along and be fascinated by these small creatures.
“Grey-headed flying foxes are a hidden creature in the environment, they can come across as a bit scary for some people, however they play an important part in the eco-system which many people would not be aware of,” Ms Pethybridge said.
“Cussen Park is home to a great colony of grey-headed flying foxes and it is important we respect their roosts and preserve the native habitats for these pollinators to remain in our region for years to come.
“This is a great opportunity for children to get up close with the bats, ask our local experts all sorts of questions and share the answers with their family and friends.”
All activities commence at the rotunda at the Ross Street park entrance. Bookings must be made by Saturday 6 April 2019, please contact RiverConnect on firstname.lastname@example.org or 5832 9700.
Bats in Our Neighbourhood presented by RiverConnect and Greater Shepparton City Council
Date: Saturday 13 April
Time: 5:00pm – 8:00pm
Location: Cussen Park, Tatura.