Flying-foxes in Eurobodalla
May 2019: Flying-foxes currently occupy five camps in Eurobodalla, with all camps experiencing recent decreases in population and extent. The five known camps are located at Catalina, the Water Gardens in Batemans Bay, Moruya Heads, Tuross Head and Narooma. Camps are the home for flying-foxes during the day, and the animals forage at night often travelling large distances for food.
The recent decrease in flying-fox activity is likely due to colder temperatures this time of year when the animals typically migrate north where food sources are more abundant. This trend is also being experienced in adjoining shires.
We understand that the impacts of flying-fox activity, including noise, odour and faecal drop, can be difficult on residents. We're continuing to monitor the camps and their impacts, and will enact actions according to the Eurobodalla Flying-Fox Management Plan 2018.
We ask the community for help by reporting day-time sightings of any camps to Council.
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 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:
- developed a shire-wide Eurobodalla Flying-Fox Management Plan
- 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)
- 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
- community education, students and adults learning about flying-foxes and other bats.
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 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 4474 1000 for further information.
- For more information on these services, phone our Natural Resource Officer - Flying-Foxes, Mitchell Jarvis on 4474 1263.
Council and WIRES volunteers are running educational programs for school children and parents on flying–foxes and other bats that live and visit Eurobodalla Shire. The programs provide information about the role that bats have in the environment, health concerns, threats to their long-term survival and where they live.
Teachers who would like to book a session can contact our Natural Resource Officer - Flying-Foxes, Mitchell Jarvis, on 4474 1263.
Grey-headed flying-foxes, also called fruit bats, have always had camps in 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
The maps below show 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 latest extent of the camps in May 2019.
Click for larger images
The extent of flying-fox camps at their peak in April 2016
The extent of flying-fox camps in Batemans Bay in May 2019
Flying-fox activity in Eurobodalla Shire has been monitored regularly since their return for the 2017-2018 season, with weekly monitoring reports sent to the Office of Environment and Heritage.
During the monitoring, Council officers assess the population, camp footprint, distance to nearby residents, presence of dependent young and overall health of the flying-foxes. In addition, we monitor the community's concerns and offer advice and assistance where we can.
The graph below indicates camp populations from May 2018 to May 2019.
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 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.
Get the facts
Download our fact sheets:
Contact our Natural Resource Officer - Flying-Foxes if you would like a presentation about flying-foxes.
- Flying-foxes - NSW Government Office of Environment & Heritage
- Living with flying-foxes - NSW Government Office of Environment & Heritage
- Flying-foxes - Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy
- Flying-foxes and health - NSW Government Health
We can help you
If you would like to find out more about flying-foxes, contact: