Relocation of flying-fox camps
There are sometimes calls for camps to be ‘relocated’ and occasionally efforts are undertaken to disturb camps in an attempt to chase flying-foxes off.
To date, no cost-effective, reliable method has been found to achieve camp ‘relocation’, with many merely disturbing and stressing the bats. If animals do leave, unless disturbance methods are continued into the long term bats may return. Relocation efforts require expensive ongoing commitments with uncertain outcomes. There is no way to control where flying-foxes will move to, with relocation attempts often resulting in flying-foxes moving into less desirable sites, both for people and the animals themselves.
It is best to learn to live with the animals and improve planning in the future to minimise impact. This can be done by:
- developing buffer zones, where possible, around existing camp sites
- for new development – require buffer zones exceeding 200m and retention of maximum area of roosting habitat; include in urban planning reforms
- establishing nearby additional camp habitat away from dwellings and along waterways
- effective education programs to provide the general public with the facts about living in close quarters with wildlife.