Flying foxes

Flying foxes, also known as fruit bats, are the largest flying mammals on earth.  There are three species of flying fox in the Moreton Bay Region.

Grey headed flying fox

Grey-headed flying fox
(Pteropus poliocephalus)

Images by Cathie Howie

Black flying fox
Black flying fox
(Pteropus alecto)


Little red flying fox

Little red flying fox
(Pteropus scapulatus)


Australian Bat Lyssavirus is closely related to the rabies virus. A bat bite, scratch or mucous membrane exposure to bat saliva is necessary to transmit the virus.

There is no evidence that Australian Bat Lyssavirus can be spread from bat and flying fox faeces or urine to humans. The best protection against being exposed to the virus is to avoid handling flying foxes.

For more information visit the  Queensland Health, WorkCover Queensland or Biosecurity Queensland websites, or phone Queensland Health on 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84). 

Council monitors flying fox numbers at known roost sites in the region, and the data is used to inform flying fox management. Some roost sites are occupied throughout the year, others seasonally when preferred food trees are flowering or fruiting.

View Council's monitoring data.

Flying foxes are a native species protected by state and federal legislation.  Moreton Bay Regional Council adopts a balanced approach to flying fox roost management that recognises the well-being of residents and the need for responsible management of wildlife. Council’s preferred approach is to create buffer zones between flying foxes and houses through modification of non-native vegetation within roost sites.

Further information can be found with Council's Statement of Management intent to manage flying fox roosts(PDF, 943KB).

Council does not support flying fox dispersal

Council's flying fox management approach excludes dispersal actions.  This direction is based on research and experience that dispersal does not work, with flying foxes often returning to the dispersal site in the next season.

Council supports a national approach to fox management

As a member of the Local Government Association of Queensland, Council will continue to call on the state and federal governments to take a more active role in the study and management of flying foxes.

Flying foxes on private land

Council can provide advice but does not reimburse residents for work or impacts on privately owned land.