Flying-foxes are increasingly moving into urban areas in search of food and shelter, as a result of the loss of their natural habitat. This can sometimes cause problems for residents, because of concerns about flying-fox camp health and amenity impacts. Simple measures that the community can take to minimise conflict include:

  • raising awareness of the mammals
  • what to do and not do in maintaining cohabitation

The grey-headed flying fox is a protected native species of Australia. There is a perception shared by some that the flying-fox is a pest and a threat to biosecurity.

Tamworth Regional Council is trying to raise awareness of the mammal, by installing permanent binoculars to help understand why they are important to Australia and our natural habitat and what we can do to minimise conflict.


The flying-foxes come together during the day to roost in communal camps or colonies. There are some camps in our region which are close to residential areas.

The largest one in the local region – as of 30 May 2017 – with more than 100,000 animals is living in the Peel River Camp at Tamworth between King George V Avenue and the Peel River and a smaller camp at the junction of Goonoo Goonoo Creek and the Peel River opposite Bicentennial Park (on the western side of the river).

Management of the flying fox as a protected species requires local, state and federal agency support. Whilst longer-term strategies are needed to reduce the dependency of flying-foxes on resources in urban areas and orchards by conserving and establishing habitat elsewhere, the interim measures that can assist management of the issue are being explored.

Council has applied for funding from the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) and Local Government NSW (LGNSW) to assist Council in an awareness campaign to provide engaging, educational activity focused on the grey-headed flying fox.

Flying Fox Stocktake


Flying-foxes are currently using the Peel River Camp as a maternity camp. Large influxes of flying-foxes will occur annually in the camp during breeding seasons.

Flying-foxes are intelligent, social animals that live in large colonies comprised of individuals and family groups. They roost in trees during the day and establish permanent and semi-permanent camps near food sources and for birthing.

They use various calls as a form of communication, tending to make the most noise at dawn and dusk, when flying out to feed at night or returning to camp trees to sleep during the day. They can get pretty noisy when they are disturbed, but during the day, flying-foxes are generally quiet if undisturbed.

Indicative flying-fox breeding cycle

Heat Stress

Flying foxes are extremely susceptible to the effects of extreme heat (temperatures above 40*C), which can cause mortality on a massive scale. During this time flying foxes can become distressed or may even be found dead in back yards.

In the event you find a distressed or dead flying fox please follow this guide provided by Armidale Council.

Useful tips for living near flying foxes