Flying foxes are a common sight in most major cities and many rural towns of my homeland, Australia. They are large fruit-eating bats (megabats) and two of the four flying fox species found across the continent are federally listed as vulnerable to extinction. But the continual movement of flying foxes into urban areas has resulted in serious management problems, as people living nearby, concerned about health, noise and smell, have called for the removal of these animals.
In recent years, the Australian government has allowed local councils to attempt to relocate these colonies. But without planning at a landscape scale, these attempts have proven costly, usually non-effective and potentially harmful. When a flying fox camp is moved to another site, the problem starts there all over again. Bat Conservation International recently supported a submission by the Australasian Bat Society to the Australian federal government to strengthen proposed regulations that guide the relocation attempts. We called for greater oversight of these practices by the federal government and for stronger regulations to ensure lasting protection of Australia’s flying foxes.
BCI Communications Manager