Negative public attitudes toward particular species can have significant impact on their conservation. Traditional approaches to improving public perceptions of flying-foxes include defending them, encouraging co-existence with them and promoting empathy for them following publicised mortality events. We propose a shift toward “normalising” flying-foxes, in which they are portrayed as interesting species and a natural part of our highly esteemed biodiversity. This has somewhat already begun in a piecemeal fashion, and we provide examples of flying-foxes being represented in a range of formats, including museum and photography exhibitions, public artwork and street décor, books, preschool and school education, wildlife-based tourism and community events. However, there remains paucity in flying-foxes being represented alongside portrayals of Australian wildlife at a broader scale. We suggest that proponents fearing public backlash or impacts on market responses are a likely barrier to seeing flying-foxes being represented more widely; but conclude with hope that current participation in depicting flying-foxes as interesting and part of biodiversity will gain momentum. Ultimately, through normalising flying-foxes, public attitudes adopting their intrinsic value may eventually overshadow the perspectives of flying-foxes connected to contentious issues.

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