KBCS position on flying-fox camps
- KBCS does not support the disturbance of flying-fox camps, including the current noise disturbance at Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney.
- Disturbance of established camps is likely to result in flying-foxes moving to less desirable sites, for both people and bats.
The grey-headed flying-fox is a threatened species because of –
- habitat loss
- disturbance and removal of camp sites.
Flying-foxes play a crucial role in the continued health and regeneration of forest and woodland ecosystems. It follows that any threat to flying-foxes is a threat to these ecosystems.
Dispersal from RBG, Sydney –
- KBCS is concerned that this will set a precedent which will lead to public pressure to disturb and disperse many other camps, especially those close to residential areas.
- Disturbance of camps (such as Maclean and Singleton) has required ongoing, wasteful funding from the public purse.
Antipathy to flying-foxes is widespread and largely due to –
- ignorance of their ecological importance (read more)
- misunderstanding and misrepresentation of health risks (read more)
- failure to invest in effective fruit crop protection
Viable solutions are available, but require public funding –
- effective education programs
- establishment of alternative camp habitat away from dwellings and along waterways
- conservation and re-establishment of foraging habitat in rural areas, especially of high-nectar-producing species such as broadleaf paperbark, swamp mahogany, forest redgum, yelloy box, white box, etc.
- incentives to invest in netting for fruit crop protection