To help secure the future of our animal pollinators and reduce the risk of disease spillover, GER is working with ecologist Dr Peggy Eby and partners to collect important flying fox data and restore flowering trees and shrubs to boost sources of food for nectar-dependant bats and birds.
Like pollinating insects, our native animal pollinators are intimately connected with the health of our forests. Species like the nationally threatened grey-headed flying-fox, spread the pollen and seeds of over 100 species of flowering and fruiting trees over thousands of kilometres every year, increasing the diversity of our forests and helping to reconnect isolated patches of habitat.
But ongoing loss and fragmentation of bird and bat habitat across eastern Australia are leading to significant food shortages occurring for these nectar-dependent animals, particularly during winter and spring. This is resulting in the alarming decline of our animal pollinators and is forcing flying foxes to concentrate in new places with more reliable food sources, bringing them into conflict with people and increasing the risk of disease spillover.
By putting the right nectar-rich trees back into our landscapes in the right places, Planting for Pollinators provides birds and bats with the energy-rich food they need to thrive whilst securing the vital services they provide.
Increasing natural sources of food for flying foxes in their old feeding grounds also reduces the need for them to congregate in urban areas, serving to reduce human-wildlife conflict and reducing the risk of disease spread.