A colony of flying fox has flown into Armidale in search of food and set up camp.
Pre-planning is now underway to develop a Flying Fox Management Plan. Council has limited resources and is applying to the Office, Environment & Heritage for available funding to develop and implement a plan. The Grey Headed Flying Fox is listed as a vulnerable species across Australia. Prior approval is required from the State Government to disturb or relocate a grey headed flying fox camp or modify its habitat. Given that the flying-foxes are in the latter stages of their breeding cycle with females either heavily pregnant and/or having small dependent infants or creche young, advice from the Office and Environment and Heritage is that there be no direct intervention between the months of October through to March the camp. Direct disturbances may cause the flying foxes to terminate their pregnancies, drop dependent infants, or refuse to settle and feed their crèche young.
The current best advice from the Office of Environment and Heritage is not to disturb the animals.
- Flying foxes pose no public health risk unless you are bitten or scratched
- The risk of them transmitting disease to humans is very low
- Do not disturb colonies and do not handle the animals. Flying foxes are quieter if left alone
- If you find an injured animal report it to the local wildlife carers or WIRES group
- Remove any pet food and drink sources from beneath trees where flying foxes are roosting
- Bats are not to be touched, the bats will get hurt if they are touched by someone other than a wildlife carer trained in care of bats and immunised.
- If dead bats are found, keep pets & children away, only use a shovel or steel gloves to move the bat for disposal
- If a bite or scratch occurs, wash wounds well, seek medical help asap. Medical help will likely involve a series of injections, including at the wound site.
- Bats, like other animals, carry other germs. Wash hands after handling bat faeces or urine.
Flying foxes are highly intelligent animals and part of a complex natural system. They are important pollinators of natural forest trees and have increasingly moved into urban areas due to the loss of roosting and foraging habitat. If there are visiting colonies near your house, it is more than likely that they will not stay very long and move on.
For more information see the following links:
Watch the flying fox information session here
Download our fact sheets here (PDF 3.4MB)
Do you have distressed or dead bats in your yard? (PDF 1.4MB)
Published on 07 Dec 2017