Living with Flying-foxes

Flying-fox camps vary in size according to the season. Camps can be noisy and smelly, especially at their peak in autumn. While we understand that this can cause inconvenience to those living nearby, Grey-headed Flying-foxes are a protected species, so management options are limited.

It is an offence under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 to disturb Grey-headed Flying-foxes or their habitats.

If Flying-foxes visit your property to feed, they will only stay while a tree is flowering or contains fruit. Flying-foxes will move on once the food source is removed or depleted.

Tips to reduce the impact of Grey-headed Flying-foxes

  • Bring your washing inside overnight or hang washing under cover
  • Hang shiny, moving objects around the problem area - CDs, strips of aluminium foil or foil pie-dishes are ideal
  • Cover your car and pool at night
  • Remove palm fruit regularly and cover fruit trees with wildlife-friendly netting
  • Use a scarecrow or hang a hawk or owl-shaped decoy in your yard
  • Remove Cocos palms from your property.
25766

Eligible residents who live adjacent to Flying-fox camps may apply for a subsidy to remove Cocos Palms.

flying foxes hanging from tree branch
Grey headed flying fox mid flight
2022 Flying fox hanging upside down

Are Flying-foxes a health risk?

The risk of contracting a disease is low. Fewer than one per cent carry the Australian Bat Lyssavirus (ABLV).

ABLV can only be transmitted through a bite or a scratch and cannot be transmitted through urine or faeces.

According to the NSW Department of Planning and the Environment, living, working or playing near a Flying-fox camp does not pose a significant risk.

Flying-foxes are not usually aggressive towards humans or other animals but may scratch or bite if frightened or injured.

NSW Health advises against handling dead or injured flying-foxes.

If you find a dead or injured animal, contact WIRES on 1300 094 737. WIRES wildlife carers are vaccinated and trained to rescue and care for Flying-foxes.