Flying fox

Flying foxes near your home

Flying foxes are a protected species the Northern Territory (NT).

Flying foxes are one of the most important pollinators of trees across the NT so are vital to the Territory's ecosystem.

Flying foxes on your property

If you have flying foxes on your property, contact your local Parks and Wildlife office for advice.

Trained staff may advise you to try any of the following actions:

  • remove or prune tall trees that may be chosen by flying foxes as roosting sites
  • tie bags around developing fruit on your fruit trees and remove any excess fruit
  • cover your vehicles and washing lines with a tarpaulin to protect them from flying fox droppings
  • if flying foxes have recently moved to your backyard, you can encourage them to move on by making loud noises with an air horn or banging on pots.

If flying foxes have young, do not disturb them. Wait until the colony moves on, or the young are weaned and can relocate themselves to another site, before taking action.

If you find an injured flying fox

If you find an injured flying fox, contact your local Parks and Wildlife office or wildlife rescue group. They will aim to collect and care for the animal.

Flying foxes are difficult to handle, and only people that are vaccinated and trained in the care and rehabilitation of these animals should do so.

Australian bat lyssavirus

You must not handle or interfere with flying foxes.

Like all Australian bat species, flying foxes carry diseases such as Australian bat lyssavirus (ABL) that can be fatal if transmitted to humans.

You can be exposed to ABL if you come into contact with infected saliva through your eyes, nose and mouth, or if you are bitten or scratched by an infected animal.

You should assume that any bat you find might carry the disease.

The behaviour of a bat does not reveal if the animal is infected.

If you're bitten or scratched by a flying fox or bat, flush the wound with fresh water and seek medical help immediately.

Contact or exposure to bat urine, faeces or blood does not pose a risk of transmitting ABL.

You're also not at risk by living, playing or walking near or underneath a roost or colony.

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Last updated: 20 September 2022

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