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Spatial ecology and demography of the vulnerable Grey-headed flying-fox and Black flying-fox

Start date:
01 Jan 2010
Dr Justin Welbergen Dr John Martin 
Project sponsors:
Royal Botanic Garden & Domain Trust
Project partners:
Western Sydney University

Project aims

  • Assess the landscape scale movements of flying-foxes across eastern Australia;
  • Assess the seasonal and annual variability of the flying-fox population within the Sydney region;
  • Assess the annual reproductive variability of female flying-foxes within the Sydney region;

Project Summary

Over 3000 flying-foxes have been caught to assess their health and the age structure of the population. A subset of these individuals have been fitted with satellite transmitters, allowing an assessment of flying-fox movements across eastern Australia. From this sample we have recorded flying-foxes move from Sydney north to Bundaberg (Qld), west to Dubbo (NSW) and south to Melbourne (Vic). Over 100 colonies have been visited by the sample of animals caught in Sydney, clearly demonstrating the mobility of flying-foxes and the need for conservation at a national scale of these important pollinators and seed dispersers.   

Research Update

Monitoring is on-going of individuals fitted with transmitters, Sydney region colony populations and female birthing rates.