Nature conservation

Threatened species

Grey-headed Flying-fox - profile

Indicative distribution

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The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Pteropus poliocephalus
Conservation status in NSW: Vulnerable
Commonwealth status: Vulnerable
Gazetted date: 04 May 2001
Profile last updated: 13 Dec 2016


The Grey-headed Flying-fox is the largest Australian bat, with a head and body length of 23 - 29 cm. It has dark grey fur on the body, lighter grey fur on the head and a russet collar encircling the neck. The wing membranes are black and the wingspan can be up to 1 m. It can be distinguished from other flying-foxes by the leg fur, which extends to the ankle.


Grey-headed Flying-foxes are generally found within 200 km of the eastern coast of Australia, from Rockhampton in Queensland to Adelaide in South Australia. In times of natural resource shortages, they may be found in unusual locations.

Habitat and ecology

  • Occur in subtropical and temperate rainforests, tall sclerophyll forests and woodlands, heaths and swamps as well as urban gardens and cultivated fruit crops.
  • Roosting camps are generally located within 20 km of a regular food source and are commonly found in gullies, close to water, in vegetation with a dense canopy.
  • Individual camps may have tens of thousands of animals and are used for mating, and for giving birth and rearing young.
  • Annual mating commences in January and conception occurs in April or May; a single young is born in October or November.
  • Site fidelity to camps is high; some camps have been used for over a century.
  • Can travel up to 50 km from the camp to forage; commuting distances are more often <20 km.
  • Feed on the nectar and pollen of native trees, in particular Eucalyptus, Melaleuca and Banksia, and fruits of rainforest trees and vines.
  • Also forage in cultivated gardens and fruit crops.

Regional distribution and habitat

Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.


Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

CMA CMA sub-region Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
Border Rivers-GwydirBeardy River Hills Predicted None
Border Rivers-GwydirBinghi Plateau Predicted None
Border Rivers-GwydirBundarra Downs (Part A) Predicted None
Border Rivers-GwydirBundarra Downs (Part B) Predicted None
Border Rivers-GwydirDeepwater Downs Known None
Border Rivers-GwydirEastern Nandewars (Part A) Predicted None
Border Rivers-GwydirEastern Nandewars (Part B) Predicted None
Border Rivers-GwydirGlenn Innes-Guyra Basalts Predicted None
Border Rivers-GwydirInverell Basalts Known None
Border Rivers-GwydirKaputar Predicted None
Border Rivers-GwydirMoredun Volcanics Predicted None
Border Rivers-GwydirNandewar, Northern Complex Predicted None
Border Rivers-GwydirNortheast Forest Lands Predicted None
Border Rivers-GwydirNorthern Basalts Known None
Border Rivers-GwydirNorthern Outwash Predicted None
Border Rivers-GwydirPeel Known None
Border Rivers-GwydirSevern River Volcanics Predicted None
Border Rivers-GwydirTenterfield Plateau Predicted None
Border Rivers-GwydirTingha Plateau Predicted None
Border Rivers-GwydirYarrowyck-Kentucky Downs Predicted None
Central WestBathurst Known
Central WestBogan-Macquarie Known None
Central WestLower Slopes Known None
Central WestOrange Known
Central WestPilliga Known None
Hawkesbury-NepeanBathurst Predicted None
Hawkesbury-NepeanBungonia Predicted None
Hawkesbury-NepeanBurragorang (Part A) Known None
Hawkesbury-NepeanBurragorang (Part B) Predicted None
Hawkesbury-NepeanCapertee (Part A) Predicted None
Hawkesbury-NepeanCapertee (Part B) Predicted None
Hawkesbury-NepeanCrookwell Predicted None
Hawkesbury-NepeanCumberland Known None
Hawkesbury-NepeanKanangra Known None
Hawkesbury-NepeanMonaro Predicted None
Hawkesbury-NepeanMoss Vale Known None
Hawkesbury-NepeanOberon Predicted None
Hawkesbury-NepeanPittwater Known None
Hawkesbury-NepeanSydney Cataract Known None
Hawkesbury-NepeanWollemi Known None
Hawkesbury-NepeanYengo Known None
Hunter-Central RiversBarrington Known None
Hunter-Central RiversComboyne Plateau Predicted None
Hunter-Central RiversEllerston Predicted None
Hunter-Central RiversHunter Known None
Hunter-Central RiversKaruah Manning Known None
Hunter-Central RiversKerrabee Known None
Hunter-Central RiversLiverpool Range Predicted None
Hunter-Central RiversMacleay Hastings Known None
Hunter-Central RiversMummel Escarpment Known None
Hunter-Central RiversPilliga Predicted None
Hunter-Central RiversTomalla Known None
Hunter-Central RiversUpper Hunter Known None
Hunter-Central RiversWalcha Plateau Predicted None
Hunter-Central RiversWollemi (Part A) Predicted None
Hunter-Central RiversWollemi (Part B) Predicted None
Hunter-Central RiversWollemi (Part C) Predicted None
Hunter-Central RiversWyong Known None
Hunter-Central RiversYengo Known None
LachlanLower Slopes Known
MurrayUpper Slopes Known
MurrumbidgeeLower Slopes Known
MurrumbidgeeUpper Slopes Known
NamoiPeel Known None
Northern RiversArmidale Plateau Predicted None
Northern RiversCarrai Plateau Predicted None
Northern RiversCataract Known None
Northern RiversChaelundi Known None
Northern RiversClarence Lowlands Known None
Northern RiversClarence Sandstones Known None
Northern RiversCoffs Coast & Escarpment Known None
Northern RiversComboyne Plateau Known None
Northern RiversDalmorton Known None
Northern RiversEbor Basalts Predicted None
Northern RiversGlenn Innes-Guyra Basalts (Part A) Predicted None
Northern RiversGlenn Innes-Guyra Basalts (Part B) Predicted None
Northern RiversGuy Fawkes Predicted None
Northern RiversMacleay Gorges Known None
Northern RiversMacleay Hastings Known None
Northern RiversMurwillumbah (Qld - Southeast Hills and Ranges) Known None
Northern RiversNightcap Predicted None
Northern RiversNortheast Forest Lands Known None
Northern RiversRichmond - Tweed (Qld - Scenic Rim) (Part A) Known None
Northern RiversRichmond - Tweed (Qld - Scenic Rim) (Part B) Predicted None
Northern RiversRocky River Gorge Predicted None
Northern RiversRound Mountain Known None
Northern RiversStanthorpe Plateau Known None
Northern RiversUpper Manning Predicted None
Northern RiversWalcha Plateau Predicted None
Northern RiversWashpool Known None
Northern RiversWongwibinda Plateau Predicted None
Northern RiversWoodenbong Known None
Northern RiversYuraygir Known None
Southern RiversBateman Known None
Southern RiversEast Gippsland Lowlands (Part B) Known None
Southern RiversEttrema Known None
Southern RiversIllawarra Known None
Southern RiversJervis Known None
Southern RiversSouth East Coastal Plains Known None
Southern RiversSouth East Coastal Ranges (Part C) Known None
Sydney MetroCumberland Known None
Sydney MetroPittwater (Part A) Known None
Sydney MetroPittwater (Part B) Known None
Sydney MetroSydney Cataract Known None