About flying foxes
Flying foxes are the largest flying mammals in the world. There are four native species of flying foxes on mainland Australia and three of these reside in the Gladstone region – the grey-headed, the black and the little red flying fox. They are highly social animals living in large groups that often include more than one species. They roost/ sleep in communal camps, which can be occupied permanently, seasonally or temporarily, and the number of occupants often varies throughout the year. Currently the little red and black flying foxes predominate the roost in our parklands.
All three species located in the Gladstone region are protected under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992 and the grey-headed flying fox is also listed as ‘vulnerable’ under the Australian Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. It is an offence to harass, disturb or harm them. Flying foxes provide essential services to the plants and forest ecosystems from which they get their food by pollinating flowers, and dispersing seeds.
Flying foxes and humans
As human land uses impact natural habitat for flying foxes, the gaps between forested areas become wider. This has resulted in flying foxes increasingly establishing new roost sites in urban areas and foraging for food in urban backyards and orchards. This can bring flying foxes into conflict with people. Flying foxes may carry bacteria and viruses which can be harmful to humans, but the risk of infection is low.
The health and wellbeing of our community, employees and the flying foxes are our key priority. Please avoid using the areas of our parklands where flying foxes are roosting. People who are not trained and vaccinated should not handle flying foxes.
What is GPC doing about flying foxes in the parklands?
The management of roosts must be undertaken under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992, which ensures acceptable welfare outcomes for flying foxes. It is an offence to harass, disturb or harm flying foxes without an approved permit.
GPC respects the important role of flying foxes in the environment and is working with a range of key stakeholders to ensure a coordinated approach to sustainably manage the situation in the Marina Parklands. We are engaging regional ecologists to develop a Flying Fox Management Plan in consultation with the Queensland Department of Environment and Science and the Gladstone Regional Council.