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Re: Long, long last gasp. (fwd)
On Sun, 1 Feb 2004, Dann Pigdon wrote:
> Even wild colonies are quite active during the day - especially since
> they must avoid predators like raptors and pythons while they roost.
> During the breeding season they have been known to form huge
> super-colonies of several million strong (something that tests both the
> eardrum and nose of any researcher). Fishing eagles and pythons hardly
> make a dent in such numbers though.
If they come together in very large colonies at one time then they are an
ephemeral resource (from a predator's perspective). But what I'm not
understanding is how, in normal times and population densities they avoid
predation. And, if they are accessible (because they're flying about in
daylight--and, in any case don't seem to have a very effective hiding
place) why they don't fuel a population explosion in predators?
> They don't just exist in tropical or sub-tropical areas either. Both
> Sydney and Melbourne have sizable and permanent populations.
So what's going on? Why are they extending their range and why do they
seem to be unchecked? I lived in Melbourne from 1950 until 1976 and
didn't see a single flying fox. How have they been able to manage this
invasion? Sounds like predator extirpation to me. Or are we supplying
them with better fruit now in Victoria.