Flying-foxes in Eurobodalla
April 2018: Flying-foxes are sticking to their mobile behaviours and have returned to Eurobodalla in Spring and Summer.
There are known roosting camps in Catalina and the Water Gardens at Batemans Bay, and Tuross Head.
These camps are currently small and the vegetation buffers Council has created provide physical distance between the roosting flying-foxes and residents. Dispersal activities are not an option while there are dependent young in the camp. In previous years, young have been present until April and May.
Regular monitoring of the camps is underway and we ask that the community help by reporting new day-time sightings of camps to Council.
We want your feedback
Council is currently working with expert consultants to develop a shire-wire Flying-fox Management Plan to provide a framework for how we can best support residents who may be impacted by flying-foxes in the future.
During April 2018, we are seeking feedback from the whole community through a survey and a series of drop-in sessions across Eurobodalla.
In June 2018 Council will hold targeted workshops with residents and business that have been impacted by flying foxes and those who could in the future.
Complete an online survey
Council will use the community feedback to refine a draft plan before it is presented to councillors and publicly exhibited for final comment later this year.
Whether you were impacted by the influx of flying foxes to Batemans Bay in 2016, or you weren’t, we would like to know your concerns, experiences, and values regarding flying foxes.
Input from the community will help us identify what management actions the community believe are most appropriate for Eurobodalla in the future, and at what point we should carry them out. Just by completing the survey you have the chance to win one of three gift vouchers up to $500 in value.
Talk with us at a drop-in session
You can also pick up a printed copy of the survey at Eurobodalla Libraries, Council depots and Council’s administration building in Moruya, or come along to one of our drop in sessions to complete the survey and talk with our Natural Resources Officer for Flying Foxes:
Apex Park, Narooma
Friday 6 April, 8-10am
Dalmeny Meet the Makers Markets
Sunday 8 April, 8am-1pm
Village Centre Batemans Bay
Tuesday 10 April, 10am-2pm
The Mossy Café, Mossy Point
Friday 13 April, 9-11.30am
Evans Park, Tuross Head
Friday 13 April, 12.30-2.30pm
Art on the Path, Broulee
Sunday 15 April, 7.30am-12.30pm
SAGE Farmer’s Market, Moruya
Tuesday 17 April, 2.30-4.30pm
Corrigans Reserve, Batehaven
Tuesday 17 April, 10am-12pm
Benny’s Nelligen Store, Nelligen
Wednesday 18 April, 9-11am
Maloney’s Beach Café, Maloneys Beach
Wednesday 18 April, 12-2pm
NATA Oval, Narooma
Saturday 21 April, 2-4pm
Moruya Country Markets
Saturday 28 April, 7am-1pm
Tell us if you have seen new flying-fox roosts
To help us monitor flying-foxes across Eurobodalla Shire, if you see flying-foxes camping in new areas, please call our Natural Resource Officer - Flying-Foxes, Mitchell Jarvis, on 02 4474 1263, or use the online form below:
If you see a dead flying-fox on power lines, report it to Essential Energy on 13 20 80.
What is Council doing?
Flying-fox management actions being performed by Eurobodalla Shire Council include:
- continued employment of a dedicated Natural Resources Officer - Flying-Foxes to facilitate flying-fox management and engagement with the community
- providing relief to residents through subsidised services when conditions require
- undertaking flying-fox dispersal (where necessary and in accordance with approval conditions)
- preparing a shire-wide Eurobodalla Flying-Fox Management Plan
- participating in flying-fox monitoring and research
- maintaining buffer zones on Council land
- ongoing restoration of the Batemans Bay Water Gardens with planting of native species and weed control
- collaborating with other councils, agencies, land managers and community groups
- implementing a communication strategy based on community feedback.
Assistance for residents
Council provides access to high pressure washers that can be borrowed from Council's Batemans Bay Depot to clean hard surfaces, cars and homes. Residents can contact the Depot on 02 4472 4035 to arrange borrowing the washers.
Further assistance may be considered by Council if residents are impacted by excessive numbers of flying-foxes.
Cocos palms, which attract foraging flying-foxes, can be removed from private property without the need for Council approval.
Native plants such as lilli pillis, gum trees and banksias cannot be removed without Council approval under the Tree Preservation Code. Council will not allow the removal of native trees unless they pose a significant risk to people or infrastructure (such as falling limbs). Contact Council on 02 4474 1000 for further information.
For more information on these services, please contact our Natural Resource Officer - Flying-Foxes, Mitchell Jarvis on 02 4474 1263.
Grey-headed flying-foxes, also called fruit bats, have always had camps in the Eurobodalla Shire. Population numbers vary with seasonal migration. Any flying-foxes in the region are likely to forage around residential areas at night wherever there are food sources, regardless of where they have day-time camps.
The CSIRO has developed a methodology to measure national flying-fox populations:
The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage regularly monitored the camp areas at Batemans Bay after the massive influx of flying-foxes in 2016, up until dispersal activities finished at the end of July 2016. Council now performs this task, assessing the location and size of camps, flying-fox behaviour, wellbeing and breeding status.
Camp sizes and location
In mid to late October 2017, flying-foxes returned in small numbers to one camp in Eurobodalla Shire at the Catalina Country Club. They also returned the Water Gardens in mid-December. Numbers have fluctuated in both camps since then reaching up to 4000 between the two camps. It is unlikely that numbers will reach the levels we experienced during the first half of 2016.
The map below shows the extent of the flying-fox camps at their peak in April 2016 when prolific spotted gum flowering brought unprecedented numbers to the region, and the extent of the camps in March 2018.
Click for larger images
Water Gardens restoration
Vegetation in and around the Water Gardens in Batemans Bay was cleared as part of extending buffer zones between residences, businesses and flying-fox habitat in 2016.
Unfortunately, some people are using the Water Gardens to dispose of rubbish or dump shopping trolleys. Our Rangers issue fines for littering, so if you see somebody doing the wrong thing, please report it to Council immediately on 02 4474 1000.
The Australian Government provided a Green Army team to help out in the Water Gardens. The team completed their work program in September 2017. The team removed weeds and rubbish, laid mulch and planted native shrubs and grasses. The Green Army also installed wildlife cameras to monitor native and feral animals, and mounted nest boxes in the tree canopy for birds and gliders.
View photos of the restoration of the Water Gardens (click for larger images):
Get the facts
- Read answers to frequently asked questions about flying-foxes
- Find out more about the grey-headed flying-fox species.
Download our fact sheets:
- Contact our Natural Resource Officer - Flying-Foxes if you would like a presentation about flying-foxes
If you would like to find out more:
- contact Council's Natural Resource Officer - Flying-Foxes, Mitchell Jarvis, on 02 4474 1263 or email Mitchell.Jarvis@esc.nsw.gov.au
- phone Lorraine Oliver from the Office of Environment and Heritage on 02 6229 7120, or visit the Office of Environment and Heritage website.
Photograph by Beth Noël, EcoLogical Australia.