The Department for Environment and Heritage (DEH) says there are now over 1,000 Grey-headed Flying-foxes in Adelaide's eastern suburbs.
It is believed that the Grey-headed Flying-foxes have travelled from western Victoria and the South East of South Australia, having been displaced from their original range in Queensland and New South Wales, probably due to habitat clearance and a critical lack of lack of food.
It is expected that the Grey-headed Flying-foxes will move out of Adelaide and go back to eastern Australia in the next month or so, but there is a chance they may stay in Adelaide for longer.
DEH is working with other government and non-government agencies including the SA Museum and the University of South Australia on a plan to relocate the Grey-headed Flying-foxes from the site at Fullarton, so that they may resettle in a more appropriate area, where their impacts on properties and residents will not be so great.
If any of the sites where the Grey-headed Flying-foxes resettle are deemed inappropriate, then further efforts will be made to relocate them. It's important that any relocation efforts are done in a careful and coordinated manner to ensure that the Grey-headed Flying-foxes remain strong and healthy, so that when the time comes they are fit to travel back east.
Grey-headed Flying-foxes are considered threatened nationally, have experienced a serious decline in numbers in recent times and are a protected species in South Australia.
It is very important that members of the public do not attempt to disperse, frighten or harass Grey-headed Flying-foxes, because it may reduce the effectiveness of any coordinated relocation methods being used by DEH.
Molesting a protected species is also an offence under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972.
What should I do if I see a flying-fox?
If you see any flying-foxes, particularly if they are roosting in a particular location during the day, please call the Department of Environment and Heritage on ph 8336 0926 or email FlyingFoxWatch@sa.gov.au
What should I do if I find an injured Flying-fox?
If people find a sick or injured Grey-headed Flying-fox or one trapped in fruit-netting, they should not touch it, but instead call DEH on (08) 8336 0926 for advice.
All sick or stressed wild animals can scratch or bite when handled and a very low percentage of Grey-headed Flying-foxes carry diseases including Australian Bat Lyssavirus. There's no need to be frightened, but it's important to avoid physical contact with them.
What should I do if I get bitten or scratched by a flying-fox?
In the unlikely event someone is bitten or scratched by a Grey-headed Flying-fox, or any other Australian bat species, they should immediately wash the wound thoroughly with warm soapy water for five minutes and then seek medical advice as soon as possible.