Flying fox management in Katherine

The black flying fox and the little red flying fox roost in Katherine at various times throughout the year. 

Flying foxes are important to the Northern Territory's (NT) natural environment as they spread seeds and pollinate many native plant species.

The relationship between humans and flying foxes in urban areas has been a long term problem in towns and visitor facilities in the Katherine region.

Reducing flying fox impact

Parks and Wildlife in Katherine has been working to reduce human and flying fox interaction by aiming to reduce how often flying foxes roost in Katherine and to educate the community about living with wildlife.

To reduce the impact of flying foxes Parks and Wildlife do all of the following:

  • encourage residents to prune or lop roosting trees like African mahogany
  • encourage tree lopping and pruning of preferred flying fox roosting sites on public land around Katherine
  • monitor the habits and movements of flying fox species
  • educate the public on how to reduce potential flying fox roosts around town through alternative garden plants and other means such as approved disturbance techniques
  • encourage planting of alternative plant species that are less attractive to flying foxes 

Community engagement officers are also available to present Bat Chat talks to schools or community groups.

Handling and health

Only people that have been vaccinated and trained in the care and rehabilitation of these animals should care for flying foxes.

Before handling or caring for flying foxes, you should be vaccinated against the Australian bat lyssavirus, which has been identified in the little red flying fox, the black flying fox and microbats.

The virus can be transmitted from flying fox and bat saliva to humans through bites and scratches.

If you are scratched or bitten by a flying fox, wash the wound thoroughly with soap under running water. 

Cover the wound and seek medical advice at your nearest hospital or clinic immediately.

Fruit soiled by flying fox urine or faeces should be washed before consumption.

Contact

If you find a sick or injured flying fox contact Parks and Wildlife in Katherine on (08) 8973 8888 or the Wildlife Rescue Service on 0412 955 336. 

For more information on Australian bat lyssavirus contact the Centre for Disease Control on (08) 8973 9049. 

For Bat Chats in the Katherine area, contact Community Engagement on (08) 8973 8865. 

In the Darwin area call (08) 8999 4432.

Last updated: 27 June 2017