Kareela Flying-fox Camp

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Kareela Flying-fox Camp

The Kareela camp was established in 2008 adjacent Bates Drive and has held up to 20,000 flying-foxes during peak periods. The camp is situated adjacent special needs schools, residential properties and Harrie Denning soccer fields at Kareela. The following management actions have been undertaken at Kareela in order to reduce the impacts on the community and to improve the amenity of the area:

  • Preparation of a Flying-fox Camp Management Plan (2013)
  • Removal of vegetation to create a 20m buffer between schools/residents and the flying-fox camp (2014)
  • Revegetation of the 20m cleared buffer with low-growing vegetation (2015)
  • Developing procedures for the community if an encounter with a flying-fox should occur
  • Dispersal of the Kareela camp (2015-2016)
  • Eliminating activities that could disturb the flying-fox camp, which in turn disturbs the surrounding community (ongoing)
  • Community engagement and events (ongoing)
  • Amenity impact reduction actions (2017-2018)
  • Further vegetation removal to create a 50m buffer (2017)
  • Bush regeneration and weed control (ongoing)

Since undertaking extensive vegetation removal works over winter 2017, the Kareela flying-fox camp has returned to roost in much lower numbers. The Autumn months (March – May) are peak breeding season for the Grey-headed Flying-fox and there tends to be higher than usual amounts of flying-foxes occupying all Sydney camps at this time. There is estimated to be an average of 1200 - 1500 animals in the Kareela camp at present, which is significantly less than the maximum numbers experienced here in previous years when there were up to 20,000. As is the nature of flying-fox migration patterns, it is expected that this number will start to decrease as winter approaches, and there is a possibility the camp will empty of its own accord as it has over previous winters.

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