Flying-foxes are large bats and feed on nectar, pollen and fruit. They are migratory and play a very important role in the environment as a pollinator. Unlike other pollinators such as bees, flying-foxes are able to transport pollen vast distances and also disperse larger seeds.
Flying-foxes are threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, and sadly they are actively targeted and killed when they are considered a threat to fruit trees or if their camps disturb local residents as they migrate through towns.
HSI has secured legal protections for eight species of flying-foxes and bats but some species are still persecuted despite their threatened status—especially grey-headed and spectacled flying-foxes.
HSI has fought hard to end state government policies which allow flying-foxes to be shot in misguided crop protection efforts, securing a phase out in New South Wales with no crop protection licences to be issued after mid-2020. Shooting flying-foxes is ineffective and has massive animal welfare issues. Many animals are wounded and die slowly, sometimes when carrying young. Safe netting is a simple and effective alternative to shooting. Once the New South Wales shooting phase out is complete, only Queensland will still permit the cruel and unnecessary shooting of flying-foxes.
HSI remains steadfast in our commitment to help communities learn to live with these incredible animals and to ensure they have the legal protections they need to ensure their survival as critical pollinators for healthy ecosystems.