Fruit bats take up residence in Botanic Gardens

14 November 2013

A colony of around 200 grey-headed flying foxes or fruit bats has taken up residence in the Albury Botanic Gardens.

AlburyCity Director Community and Recreation, James Jenkins says while it’s not uncommon for bats to nest in the gardens, it’s the first time a population of this size has moved in. He says it’s possible the bats are just roosting in the gardens until they find another food source.

“We’ve put in place a number of measures to ensure that the bats are not causing disruption to normal gardens activities or upcoming events, including roping off the area where the bats are roosting and installing signage warning of their presence,” Mr Jenkins said.

“We are liaising with the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage about options to manage the colony, but at this stage the bats could remain in the gardens for some time. We believe many of the females have pups, therefore they cannot be moved until the pups have separated from their mothers and learnt to fly.”

“While we are concerned about the impact a population of this size will have on trees within the gardens as the bats break off branches and twigs when they move around, we’ll be taking measures to ensure that the health of the trees and the amenity of the gardens, one of Albury’s most popular venues, is not compromised by their presence.” Mr Jenkins said.

He says visitors to the gardens need to be aware of the bats, and avoid coming into contact with them. He says the risk to public safety is minimal as the bats are rarely on the ground. If visitors are bitten or scratched it is recommended that they seek medical advice.