Managing flying-foxes

Living near a flying-fox colony is challenging. The noise they make as they fly in and out in the early evenings and very early mornings, combined with the strong odours, can dramatically impact nearby residents’ quality of life. Council has a long-term plan for managing flying-fox colonies throughout the Gympie region. Part of this plan involves rehabilitating historical roost sites that are away from residential areas to encourage the flying-foxes to return. Other parts of the plan involve taking action to make roost sites that are in our urban residential areas less desirable.

Statement of Intent to Manage flying-fox roosts.

Council delivers a staged approach to managing flying-fox roost sites that are in an undesirable location.

The stages are:

  1. Monitor known and emerging roost sites
  2. Engage residents nearby known and emerging roost sites
  3. Light vegetation work to discourage roost sites
  4. Moderate vegetation work to discourage roost sites
  5. Deterrent (where practical)
  6. Major vegetation work.

Roost dispersal is generally not considered an option, as it is very costly and proven to be ineffective. For example, the experiences of other councils that have attempted to disperse flying-fox colonies have seen the flying foxes return to the site shortly after or the following year, or the colony disperses into many smaller colonies, which creates multiple new roost sites affecting a greater number of residents.

Legal framework protecting flying foxes

The state and federal governments have strong laws regarding the management of flying-fox roost sites. Councils and private landholders are bound by these laws regarding the action they can take to discourage flying-foxes in a particular area.

State government legislation and resources

Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1994

Queensland Government's Department of Environment and Science Authorised Flying-fox Roost Management Guidelines

Federal government legislation and resources

Environment Protection & Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

Federal Government’s referral guideline for management actions in grey-headed and spectacled flying-fox camps

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