We have been looking forward to eating our nectarines this year, having watched last year as they disappeared in the evenings. I had tried everything from Perspex barriers to nets, none worked, it seemed that the possums and the flying foxes were not going to be deterred.
Unfortunately we didnt get to enjoy any of the fruit in 2009 and I was at a loss as to what I should be doing. I am aware that Flying Fox populations are declining due to extensive habitat loss and harrassment from fruit growers. This is a concern as these remarkable animals have an important role in our environment, because through their feeding they help to pollinate and disperse the seeds of native trees. (Photo Courtesy of KBCS Inc)
This year I took a different approach and decided that it just wasn?t worth the effort of trying to net and protect the fruit, so each day I have been checking to see if the fruit is ready to pick. I could see where the flying foxes had started testing as well and decided to pick the best early.
Our new night camera provided us with the proof that the flying foxes still made their nightly visits it was fascinating to see just how impressive these very large bats are, hovering and eating the fruit on the tree.
I have decided to let the trees grow so hopefully in future there will be enough fruit for the bats and us too!