Flying foxes are a protected species that play a vital role in the health and regeneration of our native forests and vegetation. They feed on the nectar and pollen of native flowers and fruits, dispersing seeds and pollinating plants over long distances as they go. These processes are crucial for preserving native trees and rainforest ecosystems, especially Eucalypts, and improve habitat for other native wildlife.

Visit Flying Foxes in the Clarence Valley or Little Aussie Battlers and for more information.

Flying-foxes in our region

The Clarence Valley is home to three species of flying-foxes: Little Red flying-foxes; Black flying-foxes; and the threatened Grey-Headed flying-foxes.  

They are nomadic species, travelling long distances and setting up camps seasonally based on food and water supplies. In the Clarence Valley there are 34 established flying-fox camps, where they can be found roosting in trees during the day depending on the time of year. Some camps are permanently occupied, while others attract flying-foxes in the warmer months when numbers in the region generally increase.

Due to the loss of natural habitat, we are increasingly seeing flying-foxes move into urban areas in search of food and shelter. This has been exacerbated in recent years by extreme weather conditions, where droughts have caused food shortages and heat stress for flying-foxes and led to them setting up temporary camps in residential areas of our region.

You can view locations of local flying-fox camps on our Flying-fox Camp Monitor, or add new ones if you notice a camp forming.

Managing Flying-foxes in the Clarence

Clarence Valley Council acknowledge the difficulties that can arise when living close to flying-foxes. Council is working to develop an LGA-wide Flying-fox Management Strategy to address the concerns and impacts of flying-foxes on the local community, while ensuring flying-foxes are protected from harm.

Maclean Flying-fox Management Strategy 2018 has been developed for the region’s largest permanent camp in Maclean. This strategy aims to reduce conflicts between humans and flying-foxes in Maclean, addressing the concerns of the local community who are impacted whilst conserving and co-existing with the flying-fox population.

Susan Island – Restoring to Reduce Conflict is a new project funded through the Local Government New South Wales 10-year Flying-fox Habitat Restoration Program. This project will improve flying-fox habitat on Susan Island – already an important roosting and breeding area - by restoring remnant floodplain rainforest. The aim is to encourage flying-foxes back to the island and reduce ‘spill-over’ influxes into residential areas in South Grafton and Grafton. This long-term project will not only increase suitable habitat that supports healthy flying-fox populations but will have positive flow on effects for the overall biodiversity of Susan Island. 

Flying-foxes in the Clarence Valley provides up-to-date information on Council’s flying-fox projects and management activities. This Clarence Conversations webpage has been created as an engagement tool to communicate with the local community on everything flying-fox related, including helpful resources.

Living near flying-foxes

Living near a flying-fox camp can have its challenges and cause community concern about health and amenity impacts. Use these resources to find some simple measures to reduce impacts and minimise conflict:

Flying-foxes In Your Backyard(PDF, 1MB)

Living near a flying-fox camp

It is important to never touch or approach a flying-fox. Flying-foxes pose no major health risk to humans, unless you are bitten or scratched.

If you find a sick, injured, or dead flying-fox contact WIRES on 1300 094 737