Queensland

Western Queensland drought forces Little Red Bats to feast on Sunshine Coast

Little Red Bats, which normally live in dry inland areas, have arrived for a rare visit to the Sunshine Coast to feed upon the flowers and bark of eucalypts, bloodwoods and myrtles.

The blossom-seekers, with leathery translucent wings, red fur and jointed thumbs, are nomadic and are found throughout Australia but rarely visit Queensland's coastal areas.

The Sunshine Coast Council posted this photograph of the usually nocturnal creatures on Friday on its website.

Councillor Stephen Robinson said the flying foxes, or megabats (Pteropus alecto), had been spotted at Coolum, Maroochydore and Tooway Lake areas over the past week.

"Little Reds are generally only on the Sunshine Coast for a short time and should be returning to the maternity camps in north and western Queensland by late March, Cr Robinson said. It is currently breeding season. Mums carry their young ones in flight.

They also inhabit paperbark swamps, mangroves and woodlands.

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