To some surprise, Bendigo's anti-vax protesters who took to the streets in December were not Rosalind Park's most controversial dwellers.
Dangling beneath the fernery's Red River Gum trees, you'll find Bendigo's native flying fox population.
Last summer, bats were falling lifeless out of the treetops due to extreme heat stress, resulting in a divisive council decision to install a cooling system in the fernery.
Others sought to protect the mammals, arguing the bats were vital to Bendigo's ecosystem.
However, the debate hasn't seemed to have stumped the population, as the species begins to bounce back in the first summer since the cooling system was installed.
DELWP senior wildlife management officer Leila Brook said the bats have had a cool summer.
"The Grey-headed Flying-fox camp in Rosalind Park has not experienced severe heat stress this summer," she said.
"While there has been some hot weather, temperatures have not exceeded 40 degrees."
Council said the sprinkler system had been activated this summer, however, it is unclear how much it has helped the bats at this stage.
"Sprinklers in the fernery are activated on hot days to provide cooling conditions and help reduce the stress on the animals," a spokesperson said.
"What we do know is the cooling system can reduce atmospheric temperature by up to eight degrees in 60 minutes.
"Testing of the cooling system is ongoing and its value will only be known following consecutive days of extreme heat."
The nomadic Grey-headed Flying-foxes are dispersed along Australia's east coast between Adelaide and central Queensland and established a camp in Bendigo's historic Rosalind Park in 2010.
The DELWP said flying-foxes have evolved to deal with temperatures in excess of 40 degrees for short periods, however, they are not equipped to deal with prolonged periods of high temperatures coupled with low humidity.
As the peak of summer passes, the Bureau of Meteorology is not expecting consistent temperatures above 40 degrees in the coming months, meaning the bats may be spared this year.
However, as climate change continues to wreak havoc on native ecosystems, the fragility of the species continues to be a concern for environmentalists.
Unlike the anti-vax protesters, the flying-foxes are listed as a threatened species and are protected under the Victorian Wildlife Act 1975.
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