Grey-headed Flying-foxes are at risk of extinction. Much of their natural habitat has been cleared for development and they are moving into urban areas.

Grey headed flying fox - Kareela camp Grey headed flying fox - Kareela camp
Grey headed flying fox - Kareela camp

Grey-headed Flying-foxes in Sutherland Shire

Sutherland Shire is home to three Grey-headed Flying-fox camps: Kareela Flying-fox camp, Camellia Gardens Flying-fox camp, and the Desalination Plant Flying-fox camp at Kurnell. Other temporary camps pop up from time to time.

Our role in managing Flying-foxes

Council works hard to manage Flying-fox camps. Our management plans strictly follow state and federal laws. We make sure Flying-foxes have safe places to feed, breed, and roost. We also try to reduce the impacts their camps have on the community.

The Kareela and Camellia Gardens camps have their own management plans, as do the temporary camps.

You can help monitor the camps by reporting a Flying-fox sighting.

It is normal to see flying-foxes flying overhead, or feeding in trees at night. Night-time feeding is temporary and does not need to be reported. However, if you see a flying-fox roosting in the daytime, please report it to Council.

Report a Flying-fox sighting

Living with Flying-foxes

Flying-foxes roost in trees in camps during the day. At night they fly long distances to find fruit and nectar. They help maintain Sutherland Shire’s ecosystem and natural biodiversity by pollinating native plants and dispersing seeds.

Living near Flying-foxes can be difficult. Camps can be noisy, smelly, and messy between March and May when Flying-foxes flock to Sydney to breed.

Eligible residents living near the Camellia Gardens camp can apply for a grant from Council to help remove Cocos Palm trees. This exotic palm species is harmful to flying-foxes. Removing them reduces the harm caused to Flying-foxes, as well as their impact on residents.

Health risks

Flying-foxes are known to carry viruses. The risk to human health is small but can be serious. According to NSW Health, the risk to humans is rare unless an infected animal is handled.

If you find an injured bat or Flying-fox, don’t touch it. Contact WIRES (1300 094 737) and they will assign a trained and vaccinated volunteer to help.

If you have questions about Council’s role in managing Flying-foxes, email

Find out more about these amazing creatures: