skip to main content
Flying foxes
To assist the survival of the Grey-headed flying-fox and limit human exposure to the Australian Bat Lyssavirus (ABLV), Georges River Council advises the community to avoid visiting Myles Dunphy Reserve on hot days over 40°C as flying-foxes can fall from trees in the extreme heat.

If you see flying-foxes on the ground in distress, please do not touch them but contact WIRES first on 13 000 WIRES , then Council on 02 9330 6400.

Please visit the WIRES website for more information on what to do if you see injured flying-foxes.

There are historic records of at least six species of flying-fox, or fruit bat, within the Georges River LGA, however the most common is the Vulnerable Grey-Headed Flying-fox.

The Grey-headed Flying-fox (Pteropus poliocephalus) is native to the Australian east coast and is threatened by habitat loss and a warming climate. The species is nocturnal and roosts together in camps during the day. Temperatures hotter than 40°C can cause them to fall from trees and die from heat-stress.

Why Are They Important?

Flying-foxes are important pollinators of our plants and crops. Unlike other pollinators such as bees and birds, flying-foxes can transport pollen over vast distances and can disperse larger seeds. This makes them vital for our native plants.

You may have seen or heard them at night feeding on flowering plants in backyards or street trees. You may not know that in the day, they are very social and roost in camps, often visiting and chirping at each other, grooming each other and mating.

Myles Dunphy Reserve, Oatley is home to a camp of Grey-headed Flying-foxes. Being nocturnal animals, they roost in the southern part of the reserve during daylight and fly out each evening at dusk. During the day, you can view them without causing disturbance from the reserve’s footbridge, looking south.

Threats to Flying-foxes

Habitat loss Driven by land clearing due mostly to urbanisation and farming, flying-foxes are being driven into smaller, more consolidated areas to find appropriate roosting habitat and flowering plants
Heat waves associated with climate change Roosting camps are increasingly vulnerable to heat stress due to more frequent heat waves of temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius. Severity of heat stress can be increased when camps are disturbed at critical times during an extreme heat event, potentially forcing individuals to leave their cooler microhabitats and become fully exposed to the extreme heat.

What is Council Doing?

Council’s Oatley Flying-fox Camp Management Plan 2021 aims to protect the flying-foxes in Myles Dunphy Reserve while managing human health by listing actions to:

  • Minimise conflict between flying-foxes and humans through track redirections,
  • Reduce flying-fox exposure to extreme heat in the reserve through improved canopy cover and planned heat responses, and
  • Improve understanding of flying-foxes through education programs and signage.

Council has installed informative signs at entrances to Myles Dunphy Reserve and has formalised some tracks and closed off others to limit pedestrians passing underneath the flying-foxes during the day. 

How Can You Help?

You can watch this video to learn more about flying-foxes and how to respond when you see one injured or on the ground.

If you live near Myles Dunphy Reserve, you can watch the following videos from Eurobodalla Shire Council which provide tips on dealing with flying-fox droppings:

Busting bat poo myths - YouTube
Removing bat poo at home - YouTube
Removing bat poo from your car - YouTube
Removing bat poo from clothing - YouTube
Removing bat poo from water tanks - YouTube

Did you find this content useful?

Your feedback allows us to measure our customers' satisfaction with our website content.

If you wish to raise a particular issue with us, we recommend you raise a Customer Service Request. This will ensure your matter is scheduled with the appropriate teams and will allow you to track the progress of the issue.

Thank you for your feedback.