About the guideline
The grey-headed flying-fox (Pteropus poliocephalus) and the spectacled flying-fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) are vulnerable species under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). These two mainland flying-foxes play an important role across their distributions, providing key ecosystem services - such as pollination and seed-dispersal - for many vegetation communities along the east coast of Australia. They can move long distances in search of food on a seasonal basis. Grey-headed flying-foxes can move between camps in different states and the ACT. Each species is considered to exist as a single national population covering its entire range. This makes national coordination important in managing these species. The Department has worked closely with state, territory and local governments, species experts and the general public to finalise a guideline for use by proponents and others to ensure high protection standards for these species whilst seeking streamlined assessment outcomes.
The intention of this guideline is to ensure that there are no significant impacts on these EPBC Act listed flying-foxes due to actions to manage their camps. This guideline urges proponents to consider dispersal of flying-foxes from camps as a last resort management option only and describes which actions at camps of EPBC Act listed flying-foxes are likely to have a significant impact and provides mitigation standards to avoid significant impacts.
A referral to the Department will be required for management actions proposed at nationally important camps that do not adopt mitigation standards and for proposed dispersal of flying-foxes from these camps during times of significant population stress. Government funded research and monitoring has shown that the spectacled flying-fox population of far north Queensland is currently experiencing significant population stress having declined considerably in the last ten years. Monitoring is showing a vulnerable but relatively stable grey-headed flying-fox population.
This guideline is informed by the National Flying-fox Monitoring Programme and draws on the Department's interactive flying-fox web viewer to display location and population data for all flying-fox camps across the range of the grey-headed and spectacled flying-fox.
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