National Flying-fox Monitoring Program
The National Flying-fox Monitoring Program (NFFMP) began in 2013 and is a collaborative project between the Australian, New South Wales, Queensland, Victorian, South Australian and ACT governments and the CSIRO.
New research is being carried out to improve current methods for counting flying-foxes.
Status and trends of Australia's EPBC-listed flying-foxes
This report reviews past and current monitoring of Australia’s two threatened flying-fox species, the spectacled flying-fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) and the grey-headed flying-fox (P. poliocephalus). On the basis of this review it considers their current conservation status.
Flying-fox movements research has shown that flying-foxes are highly nomadic. This has important implications for how they they should be managed and conserved.
Read Long-distance and frequent movements of the Pteropus poliocephalus: implications for management and Extreme mobility of the world's largest flying mammals creates key challenges for management and conservation.
Flying-foxes play an important role in pollinating native plants and dispersing seeds and in return rely on the availability of foraging habitat to survive. Research on flying-fox foraging habitat is therefore necessary for informing decisions for conserving both the species and the important function they perform.
Planting to conserve threatened nomadic pollinators in NSW
In 2016, the previous Office of Environment and Heritage funded a project examining how habitat restoration, enhancement and regeneration initiatives can target vegetation communities that provide food for threatened nomadic pollinators during seasonal bottlenecks in food availability.
The report identifies key winter and spring food plants for nomadic pollinators like the grey-headed flying-fox, and the vegetation communities that contain them. Recommendations for plantings in key regional areas are made, and the threatened pollinators that may benefit from the plantings are identified.
Ranking the feeding habitats of grey-headed flying-foxes
This project defined foraging habitats for grey-headed flying foxes, ranked native vegetation within the range of the species according to the quality of foraging habitat it provides and generated bi-monthly nectar maps to describe seasonal resource changes.
This resource was further developed in 2019 to provide a state-wide assessment of foraging habitat for all three flying-fox species in NSW. This project was undertaken as part of the establishment of the Flying-fox Habitat Restoration Program, funded by the NSW Environmental Trust.
Causes of flying-fox mortality
Flying-foxes succumb to injury or death by a number of natural and non-natural causes. Understanding these causes of mortality is important for informing conservation priorities and strategies for flying-foxes.
A recent study using rescue records from wildlife carers identified that entanglements in barbed-wire and fruit-netting, hyperthermia, orphaned pups and electrocutions on powerlines were leading causes of flying-fox injuries. This study also found that the large majority of recorded flying-fox rescues in NSW were the vulnerable grey-headed flying-fox.
Extreme heat events
Extreme heat events can cause heat stress in flying-fox camps, in some cases leading to mass mortalities.