Bats have flown in for flowering gums

Published: 13 March 2023

The autumn outbreak of flowering eucalypts has seen increased numbers at some of Eurobodalla’s flying-fox camps.

Eurobodalla Council is closely monitoring the grey-headed flying-foxes – estimated to number 12,000 across the shire – and is offering help to impacted residents living near the two main camps at Batemans Bay and Moruya. Council’s manager of environmental service Deb Lenson said numbers usually decrease as the weather cools.

“Flying-fox numbers typically peak here between December and May, with six of Eurobodalla’s eight known camps occupied this season,” Ms Lenson said.

“Currently there are four occupied camps – the newest of these located in the Moruya township area, which is not often used and is extending into some new areas.

“We’ve done a letter-box drop for nearby Moruya residents – who may be less familiar with living alongside a camp – with information about services available to them. We try to help residents and business better understand flying-fox movements to minimise impacts such as noise, odour and faecal drop.”

Grey-headed flying-foxes are nationally listed as threatened – with declining populations and significant loss of habitat. It is illegal to disturb or kill flying-foxes without authorisation. Ms Lenson said the public health risk from flying-foxes was negligible.

“Australian bat lyssavirus and Hendra virus cause serious health issues but are extremely rare as long as you don’t handle or directly touch the bats,” she said.

“We’ll continue to monitor the shire’s flying-fox population closely in the coming weeks, and take action in accordance with Council’s Flying-fox Management Plan, developed with community input after the influx of more than 300,000 flying foxes at Batemans Bay in 2016.”

For more information on flying-foxes in Eurobodalla, including current and historical data on numbers and Council services to help impacted residents, visit  our flying-fox webpage.

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