Flying foxes are the most important animal to the Australian ecology and economy. Flying foxes pollinate our hardwood forests across great distances, unlike birds and bees that pollinate within a stand of trees, or perhaps between two or perhaps at a pinch three stands of trees, flying foxes travel over 50km each night on their forays for food and spread seed and pollen as they go. This long distance pollination and seed dispersal ensures the genetic health of the hardwood forests. Without flying foxes the genetic pool of each stand of hardwood trees would narrow and eventually with inbreeding the health of the trees would fail. The hardwood trees provide shade from their canopy in which the understorey can grow, they provide food for many other animals such as koalas and possums. The roots of the trees bind together the fragile top soil and prevent soil erosion. Our rivers would fill with top soil and it would be washed out to sea each time the wind blew and the land would be barren. the romantic ideal of Australia's rainforests would vanish. No longer would orchids deck the tree tops and ferns the warm dark soil... The country that we all love so much will no longer exist. Already the grey headed flying fox and the spectacled flying fox are vulnerable to extinction, if Charters Towers Regional Council goes ahead with their plans along with several other councils in Queensland, it will not be long before the black flying fox and the little red flying fox join their cousins on the way to extinction. It is true that the planned dispersals wont affect you and I now in a big way. but they will affect future generations and the effect will be irreversible and future generations will look back on these actions as unforgivable. I know political parties and councils only really need to concern themselves with staying in power now and in the immediate future, but the people of Australia must concern themselves with the bigger picture.
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