Manager perspectives on strategies used at flying-fox camps

Date: 29, May, 2018
Author(s):   Kaye Currey, Pia E. Lentini, Rodney van der Ree, and Dave Kendal
Publisher: TSR Hub

Mainland Australia is home to four species of flying-foxes or ‘fruit bats’ (Figure 1). Flying-foxes are increasingly found in urban areas, most likely because of ongoing habitat loss and an increase in the diversity and reliability of foraging resources in many cities and towns. Roosts (or ‘camps’) of flying-foxes can vary in size, ranging from hundreds to many thousands of bats. The associated noise, smell, mess, loss of amenity and perceived disease risk of these can result in conflict with local communities. Land managers use a range of approaches to address community concerns about the impacts of flying-fox camps. However, they are often operating with limited resources, time, and few opportunities to interact with- and learn from others in the same situation. Collating and sharing their experiences and knowledge will highlight key factors and risks to consider, and hopefully provide a more realistic picture of costs that can then be incorporated into planning. In 2017 we conducted interviews with- and distributed an open invitation to managers to complete an online questionnaire (consisting of 35 questions) to understand why they chose to actively manage camps, what they had tried, how effective they perceived it to be and what it cost. Our findings provide a general picture of what many managers of flying-fox camps are doing.