Batty Boat cruises.
You hear the name of this Cruise and you really do wonder what might be behind it. This is one of the rare instances when a name in Australian is extended. This is a cruise about Bats. We went on it because we see bats flying past our deck every night – at around dusk as the light is fading they all fly out looking for their dinner while I am busy in the kitchen cooking mine.
They are also called flying foxes, I suppose because their sweet little faces do resemble foxes. Bats are one of these creatures that suffer from a terrible reputation. From disease spreading to rabies carrying they seem to attract the worst.
However they are very vital to the environment and deserve our protection if not our cuddles. They are mammals of course and produce babies like us. There are big ones and little ones. We mainly see the big ones flying around but the small ones eat insects and the bigger ones, which are vegetarian, are very important for seed dispersal and pollination. Here is a picture of one rescued in our garden in India.
One of the reasons I am writing about this is because when the boat cruises started back in 1984 there were over 160,000 bats flying out every night or near those numbers from Indooroopilly Island. But when we were there the other day the numbers were way, way down and according to the organisers they are falling drastically every year. Part of it is changing habitats and this is a huge issue in areas like Brisbane where the city is expanding so quickly and where normally remote habitats come within the city boundaries.We travelled from Mowbray Park down the Brisbane river about 22 kms away from the sea. While on the cruise we listened to some interesting commentary about bats and were also able to see some baby orphaned bats which were very cute.
Picture taken from Animals of Australia website
The cruises are run by the Wildlife Preservation of Queensland Brisbane Branch and I suppose the reason I am writing about this is because I understand what a hard task they have on their hands. So if you are interested in becoming a member or a volunteer or going to their really interesting talks then go to http://www.wildlife.org.au and check out the details.
In their newsletter I came across a very interesting article entitled "Wild Brisbane Companions" and I will blog about this soon.