Why are flying-foxes integral parts of the ecosystem?
Flying-foxes feed on the nectar and pollen of native flowers and fruits. As a result, they benefit the health of vegetation by spreading seeds and pollinating native plants.
How can I tell the three local species of flying-fox apart?
Three species of flying-fox occur in New South Wales.
Grey-headed flying-foxes (Pteropus poliocephalus) have a rusty reddish-coloured collar, grey head and hairy legs.
Black flying-foxes (Pteropus alecto) are almost completely black in colour with a slight rusty red-coloured collar and a brush of silvery grey on its belly.
Little red flying-foxes (Pteropus scapulatus) are the smallest Australian flying-fox and has reddish brown-coloured fur.
For more information on identification and to view images, as well as distribution maps, head to the NSW Government website. The SEQ Catchments 2018 flying-fox fact sheet also has great information on identification.
Why is the grey-headed flying-fox listed as a threatened species?
What is a flying-fox management policy and plan?
NSW Government state that "The Flying-fox Camp Management Policy 2015 empowers land managers, primarily local councils, to work with their communities to manage flying-fox camps effectively. The main purpose of this policy is to minimise health and amenity impacts of flying-fox camps on people at the same time as avoiding unnecessary harm to flying-foxes."
Who do you call in the Clarence if you find a sick or injured flying-fox?
Call Wildlife Rescue 1300 094 737 (WIRES) or go online:
Experienced, trained handlers will advise what should be done to assist the flying-fox.
Please note that flying-foxes can carry disease and so you should not touch the flying-fox. Wait for trained handlers to assist.
What do I do if I notice flying-foxes in heat distress?
Heat stress affects flying-foxes when temperatures reach 42°C or more and occurs when the body produces more heat than it can dissipate. The NSW Government website has excellent information on how to handle heat stress - view their Responding to heat stress in flying-fox camps page.