Monitoring Flying-Fox Populations

Biodiversity -> Threatened species & ecological communities -> Threatened species

An interactive Flying-fox web viewer has been developed to visually present the camp census data collected via the National Flying-fox Monitoring Programme. The viewer shows the camp occurrence of the Grey-headed and Spectacled Flying-fox. Within the eastern coastal belt, the viewer also shows Black Flying-fox and Little Red Flying-fox camps. The Grey-headed and Spectacled Flying-fox are listed threatened under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. See the ‘Environment Law’ tab above for more information on Australia’s Flying-foxes and their legal status.

The viewer allows users to explore Flying-fox camps and the numbers of each species counted over time. This information spans the data gathered from November 2012 to present.

If you are aware of Flying-fox camps that contain either Grey-headed or Spectacled Flying-foxes, but are not shown on this interactive web tool then you can notify the Department of the Environment by emailing details of the camp to
National Monitoring Methodology

The CSIRO has developed a scientifically rigorous monitoring methodology to gather updated information about the status of the national Grey-headed Flying-fox population and population trends (see below). The Commonwealth and state governments are working together to implement a multi-year monitoring programme, based on the CSIRO's methodology (see below).
National Flying-Fox Monitoring Programme

On 29 July 2011, the Australian Government announced a new commitment of $6 million for Hendra virus research, including $1 million from the Department of the Environment (DoE). Australian Government Hendra funding will complement contributions of $3 million each from the NSW and Queensland Governments. The National Hendra Virus Research Programme has allocated $9 million to a number of Hendra virus, human health and Flying-fox related research projects which will continue until 2015. The National Health and Medical Research Council has also allocated $3 million to research projects to better understand and fight Hendra virus.

Six new research projects totaling just over $2 million were announced on 31 May 2012, including $794,717 to CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences (Dr David Westcott) for the project 'Implementing a National Flying-fox Monitoring programme' (NFFMP). The Minister approved an additional $700,000 towards the NFFMP under the 'Emerging Priorities' of the National Environment Research Programme (NERP). This funding will be used to estimate the accuracy of Flying-fox counts made through the NFFMP.

The NFFMP will be focused primarily on monitoring national Grey-headed and Spectacled Flying-fox populations, however within the range of these two species, counts of Black and Little Red Flying-foxes will also be undertaken. The monitoring programme will include four censuses per year for the first three years. The NFFMP is being coordinated by CSIRO and DoE, with additional resources and support from relevant state governments. CSIRO is also contributing resources into the radio tracking component of the programme and working on and funding separately the development of a new generation of energy-efficient technologies that can continuously track the position of Flying-foxes.
Reports of the National Flying-fox Monitoring Programme

The views and opinions expressed in these publications are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Australian Government or the Minister for the Environment. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that the contents of this publication are factually correct, the Commonwealth does not accept responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the contents, and shall not be liable for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the contents of this publication.
Status and Trends of Australia’s EPBC-Listed Flying-Foxes
Monitoring event reports
Reports of counts under the National Flying Fox Monitoring Programme are published below once the data has been checked and analysed.
The Monitor – Newsletter of the National Flying-fox Monitoring Programme

The Monitor is a newsletter with background stories on the National Flying Fox Monitoring Programme.
Subscribe to The Monitor


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Megabats and Microbats: Monitoring Flying-Fox Populations
Monitoring Flying-Fox Populations
Megabats and Microbats
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