Flying-foxes are intelligent, social animals that live in large colonies comprised of individuals and family groups. They are critical in ensuring ecosystem health and the long-term survival of our Eucalypt forests. Flying-foxes are also a threatened species under NSW and Commonwealth legislation.
There are six known flying-fox camps in Eurobodalla, which are occupied during most years. Camps are the home for flying-foxes during the day and the animals forage at night often travelling long distances for food.
Council is managing flying-foxes in line with the Eurobodalla Flying-Fox Management Plan 2018, which takes resident impacts and flying-fox welfare into account. This may also include carrying out approved dispersal activities in extreme circumstances where the impacts on residents are very high on Council-managed lands.
For population monitoring and the history of known camps, please visit our population monitoring page.
The only camp known to be currently occupied in the Eurobodalla Shire is on the Catalina golf course in Batemans Bay. Overall, numbers of flying-foxes in the Shire are significantly less than recorded for the same period in previous years.
We expect that flying-fox numbers will increase over the coming months. This is also the time of year when females have dependant young, so please consider their wellbeing as they are birthing and raising their pups in the camps.
Find out about
- flying-fox populations in Eurobodalla: Council regularly monitors camp sizes, population and locations in Eurobodalla.
- frequently asked questions about flying-foxes: get the facts and find what you can do to reduce the impact of living near flying-foxes, noise and smell.
- the grey-headed flying-fox species: Flying-foxes are critical in ensuring ecosystem health and the long-term survival of our Eucalypt forests.
- relevant plans, legislation and approvals: read about the Batemans Bay Flying-Fox Dispersal Plan, approvals required for dispersal, legislation and Council's dispersal activities in 2016.
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 Natural Resource Officer Natalie Foster on 4474 7329
- or use our online form.
If you see a dead flying-fox on power lines report it to Essential Energy by phoning 13 20 80.
What is Council doing about flying foxes?
Flying-fox management actions being performed by Eurobodalla Shire Council include:
- developed a shire-wide Eurobodalla Flying-fox Management Plan
- ongoing 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 for students and adults to learn about flying-foxes and other bats.
Pressure washers for free hire
Council provides access to high pressure washers that can be borrowed from Council's Batemans Bay Depot to clean hard surfaces, cars and homes. Further assistance may be considered by Council if residents are impacted by excessive numbers of flying-foxes.
- To arrange to borrow the washers, please phone our Batemans Bay Depot on 4472 4035.
Cocos palms, which attract foraging flying-foxes, can be removed from private property without the need for Council approval.
Under the Tree Preservation Code, native plants such as Lilli pilli, gum trees and Banksias cannot be removed without Council approval. Council will not allow the removal of native trees unless they pose a significant risk to people or infrastructure (such as falling limbs).
- For more information about Council approval to remove trees, contact Council on 4474 1000.
- Tree Preservation Code (1.3MB)
Council and WIRES volunteers offer educational programs for school children and parents on flying–foxes and other bats that live and visit Eurobodalla Shire. Students and parents learn 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 arrange a session, please phone our Natural Resource Officer flying-foxes, Natalie Foster, on 4474 7329.
- You can also read about other environmental school education programs that are available.
You can learn about grey-headed flying-foxes in Eurobodalla by watching this short film.
Grey-headed flying-foxes, also called fruit bats, have always had camps in Eurobodalla Shire. Population numbers vary with seasonal migration. Regardless of where their day-time camp is, any flying-foxes in the region are likely to forage around residential areas at night wherever there are food sources.
The CSIRO has developed a methodology to measure national flying-fox populations:
- Flying-fox population methodology and results on Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment's website.
After the massive influx of flying-foxes in 2016, the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment regularly monitored the camp areas at Batemans Bay up until dispersal activities finished at the end of July 2016. Now Council monitors camp areas while flying-foxes are present in the six known camps.
Monitoring involves Council officers assessing the population, camp footprint, distance to nearby residents, presence of dependent young, and overall health of the flying-foxes. We also monitor the community's concerns and offer advice and assistance where we can.
Council provides regular reports to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, which add to the growing body of information that helps us to understand the behaviour and movements of the grey-headed flying-foxes in Australia.
What else is happening towards future flying-fox management?
Flying-fox researchers, councils and land managers across Australia continue to learn and share information about flying-foxes and their environment. Some projects Eurobodalla Council has contributed to include:
Odour neutralising trial study:
- Who: Eurobodalla Council, the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, and Ecosure
- Aim: If successful, the odour coming from the flying-fox camps and affecting nearby residents will be able to be greatly reduced.
- Current status: Stage one, identify a component that will enable flying-fox odour to be neutralised. If a component can be found, the trial will move to stage two, which is to conduct a misting odour neutralising trial on a flying-fox camp.
National monitoring project:
- Who: with support from the NSW, Queensland and Federal governments have supported since 2012.
- Aim: determine whether the grey-headed flying-fox should still be considered threatened. This entails counting flying-fox populations in all known camps four times a year.
- Current status: Council continues to monitor all Eurobodalla camps regularly and communicate findings to the public and Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.
- Find out more: on the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment's website.
Collaboration with agencies and universities:
- Aim: contribute to research to help improve understanding of flying foxes in urban locations.
- Research papers:
- NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment: Subsidies for products and services to assist communities living with flying-foxes.
- Australian Zoologist journal: NSW Batemans Bay camp management case study.
- NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment: Flying-foxes
- NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment: Living with flying-foxes
- Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment: Flying-foxes
- NSW Health: Flying-foxes and health
- Contact our Natural Resource Officer - flying-foxes if you would like a presentation about flying-foxes.
To find out more about flying-foxes, contact:
- Council's Natural Resource Officer - Flying-Foxes, Natalie Foster:
- T: 02 4474 7329
- E: Natural Resource Officer - Flying-Foxes
- Lorraine Oliver, Department of Planning, Industry and Environment:
- T: 02 6229 7120