An historical perspective of changing community attitudes towards Flying-foxes in Sydney
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Denise Ford, 2002. "An historical perspective of changing community attitudes towards Flying-foxes in Sydney", Managing the Grey-headed Flying-fox: As a Threatened Species in NSW, Peggy Eby, Daniel Lunney
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Conservation of flying-foxes is dependent upon a greater understanding by the general public of their role in the environment and their behavioural characteristics. Negative stereotypes and attitudes perpetuated through the media can have a detrimental impact on their conservation.
Since 1985 the Ku-ring-gai Bat Conservation Society (KBCS) has been running a bat education program in Sydney. This program aims to increase public knowledge and understanding of flying-foxes and microbats in order to improve their profile and assist in the development of more positive attitudes and a greater understanding toward bats species in general. A key feature of the program is the opportunity for people to observe at close quarters a live flying-fox with an experienced bat handler and educator.
In 1996 a study was conducted to assess the effectiveness of this education program on upper primary school-aged children. The results of this study indicated that this program increased student knowledge on bats as well as assisted in changing negative attitudes held toward them by some students.
Further studies would need to be conducted to determine whether the recorded changes were of an enduring nature.