Flying-foxes head north

Following months of flying fox activity across Eurobodalla, the shire’s grey-headed flying-foxes have left the six known roosting sites, with no camps currently occupied.

Cool winter temperatures and a reduction in food sources see flying-foxes head north as a part of their natural migration pattern – searching out the plentiful food sources found in warmer climates. Their absence follows fluctuating numbers across the shire’s six flying-fox camps over summer and autumn.

Grey-headed flying-foxes feed on the nectar and pollen of native trees and a single flying-fox can spread up to 60,000 seeds each night, travelling up to 50 kilometres as they forage. This makes flying-foxes one of the most important pollinators and seed dispersers in the Australian bush, and critical to the health and sustainability of ecosystems of which they are a part.  The animals return to roost in their camps during the day and seek food at night.

The grey-headed flying-fox is listed as a threatened species because their overall numbers in Australia have rapidly declined over a relatively short period of time.  Habitat loss due to land clearing is the most significant threat. Clearing native vegetation removes feeding sites and suitable roosting for the species. A lack of feeding resources can result in large influxes of flying-foxes to localised areas, particularly when favoured eucalypt species are in flower.

Flying-foxes are particular about roosting sites and typically use the same camps for generations. There is an increasing trend in Australia for urban camps – with 72% of flying-fox camps are in urban areas – and flying foxes seem to be travelling further south and to inland areas across Australia.   Understanding these changes is important in assisting with how flying-foxes are managed into the future.

Eurobodalla Council adopted the Eurobodalla Flying-Fox Management Plan in November 2018. It provides a framework to conserve the bats and the ecosystem services they provide while helping to reduce the impacts of flying-fox camps on residents.

To view the plan or to learn more about grey-headed flying-foxes in Eurobodalla, visit www.esc.nsw.gov.au/flyingfoxes or contact Council’s natural resource officer Natalie Foster on 4474 7329.

Above: Grey-headed flying-foxes are important pollinators and seed dispersers in the Australian bush.


COMMENTS : You can use a pen name or better yet use your real name, you must provide a valid email address (that does not get published) and your comment will be moderated prior to approval (or rejection if that is the determination of the moderator). Refer to our Terms and Conditions if you have any questions) 

Please note that from time to time comments are archived. If you are looking for a previous comment no longer visible please contact us. Last Archived 7th July 2019