Flying-fox education project winds up with terrific success

Published on 17 November 2023

Close up of furry flying fox hanging upside down and looking in the direction of camera

Byron Shire Council’s flying-fox education project, No Bat No Me, has ended with feedback from more than 300 primary school students indicating it succeeded in its aim to improve their understanding about the mammals.

The project, which was funded by WIRES, ran for 10 months and during this time Council staff spoke to children in years four to six from nine schools and a home-schooling group, providing information about flying-foxes and their crucial role in the natural environment.

“The feedback from the students was terrific and they seemed to really enjoy learning some of the lesser-known facts about flying-foxes,” Claudia Caliari, Biodiversity Projects Officer said.

“They loved hearing that some have a wingspan of more than one metre, and they can travel up to 100km in one night and a simple survey showed 99 percent of students learnt some key things about flying-foxes as a result of our presentations,” Ms Caliari said.

The school program was part of a broader community education campaign.

“We implemented an extensive print and social media campaign highlighting the role flying-foxes play in pollinating our bush, as well as addressing the issue of habitat clearing which is forcing the mammals into urban areas,” Ms Caliari said. 

“The reality is, our forests won’t survive without them, and we need to learn to coexist, and this is why No Bat No Me has been strongly focussed on educating the younger members of our community.

“We also attended public events such as Splendour in the Grass and farmers markets to talk to people about how unique these flying mammals are and how vitally important it is that we protect and value them and their role in the ecosystem,” Ms Caliari said. 

The results of the No Bat No Me project will be used to develop educational projects and the data will be shared with researchers from Griffith University as well as being used in the Flying-Fox Camp Management Plan review which is currently underway.

It will also be shared with WIRES and environmental groups.

Note:  image courtesy of Judy Leitch.

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