FLYING HIGH: Greg Thomas has helped organise a workshop tomorrow to better educate the community on the local flying fox colony.
FLYING HIGH: Greg Thomas has helped organise a workshop tomorrow to better educate the community on the local flying fox colony. Chris Ison Rokcbats

Greg wants Yeppoon to get batty

YEPPOON'S Greg Thomas thinks the community is in the dark on just how "awesome" bats can be.

That's why he and others from the Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland will be running the Flying Fox Awareness Event tomorrow afternoon.

Greg said the event, which starts at 4pm at Appleton Park, was being held to educate the public on the Ross Creek bat colony, while also trying to address the negative stereotypes surrounding the mammals.

"There is a millennia of history of bats being vampires, evil and sinister and that has unfortunately worked its way into the psyche of our society and this is something we are trying to counteract," he said.

"They are a problem in that they poo on things, but that is about the worst thing they do.

"In regards to the disease and virus factor, they are very rare, it's very unusual, and in fact there are more people dying from dog attacks in Australia than bats.

"Bats are benign animals that are crucial to the environment and the health of our bushland."

About 40 people went to the event last year, and Greg is hoping for an attendance of about 100 this time around.

And it's not just about the bats, with educational talks surrounding the mangroves and crocodiles also on the agenda.

Greg said the event would wrap up about 6.30pm, when the bats hit the skies.

"We are hoping the bat take-off will be as spectacular as it often is here, it is quite magic here sometimes. It is quite awesome," he said.

The event is facilitated by Capricornia Catchments and is jointly funded by the Fitzroy Basin Association and the National Landcare Program.

Bat facts

The black flying fox is native to Australia, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia

It is one of the largest bats in the world

They roost in mangroves, swamps, rainforests, bamboo forests and very rarely in caves



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