Grey-headed Flying-fox

Ku-ring-gai is home to an important maternal colony of the Grey-headed Flying-fox, located in the Ku-ring-gai Flying-fox Reserve, Gordon.

The colony consists on average of about 30,000 to 40,000 bats during summer. During the winter months the population may drop to a few dozen bats or even no bats at all as they leave the reserve to feed on flowering trees elsewhere in NSW or as far north as Queensland.

The Grey-headed Flying-fox is a declining protected species listed as 'Vulnerable' under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 and the Environment Protection and Conservation Act 1999.

It is an offence to harm threatened species or their habitat. Large fines and/or prison sentences may apply.

Flying-foxes and Microbats Fact Sheet 2013.pdf  (pdf. 420KB)


Ku-ring-gai Flying-fox Reserve

Management of the Reserve

Ku-ring-gai Flying-fox Reserve is subject to a long-term Conservation Agreement with the NSW Government.  The Reserve is managed in accordance with this agreement and the Ku-ring-gai Flying-fox Reserve Management Plan 2013. 

Conservation Agreement (PDF)  (pdf. 530KB)

Ku-ring-gai Flying-Fox Reserve Management Plan 2013.pdf  (pdf. 44MB)

Access to the Reserve

Access to the Reserve is restricted. This is to prevent disturbance to the breeding bats, the surrounding neighbours and possible safety issues.

The Reserve is located in a narrow gully surrounded by rock cliffs. Access is via steep slippery surfaces with two entry points only.

The best time to view the bats flying is at dusk during the warmer months, from the bridge located on Rosedale Road near Minns Road, Gordon. Interpretive signs are located at this point.

Pets are not allowed in the Reserve.

To visit the Reserve, for research or other purposes, please contact Council's Natural Areas Officer on 9424 0000 or email

Ku-ring-gai Flying-fox Reserve map (484KB)  (pdf. 484KB)

Ku-ring-gai Bat Conservation Society 

The Ku-ring-gai Bat Conservation Society (KBCS) was established in 1985 and runs a long-term habitat restoration project. The Society has also produced a number of publications in collaboration with Council and conducts interpretive walks and talks.

KBCS regularly counts the seasonal changes in Flying-fox numbers at Ku-ring-gai Flying-fox Reserve. Each month experienced volunteers count the number of Flying-foxes flying out at two or three points around the Reserve perimeter and provide the data to Council.
Ku-ring-gai Bat Conservation Society website

Flying-fox counts KFFR-2009-2013 (56KB)  (doc. 1MB) 

Botanic Gardens Trust dispersal program

The first phase of the Botanic Gardens Trust program to disperse Flying-foxes from the Royal Botanic Gardens commenced on 4 June 2012.

Flying-foxes dispersed from the gardens are expected to move to other established camp sites around the inner Sydney area. It is possible that some may move to the Ku-ring-gai Flying-fox Reserve at least temporarily. As part of the Botanic Gardens Trust's monitoring program they have placed coloured thumb bands on a number of bats to check their movements.

Find more information about the different bands through the Grey-headed and Black Flying-fox colour banding information.pdf  (pdf. 163KB)

You can report bats with bands to the Botanic Gardens Trust by e-mailing

View more information on the  Botanic Gardens Trust's relocation licence and dispersal program.

Notes and outcomes from public forum (88KB)  (pdf. 88KB)

Any queries about the dispersal of Flying-foxes or thumb bands should be directed to:

Royal Botanic Gardens:

Mrs Macquaries Road

Sydney NSW 2000


Phone: 02-9231 8111

Fax: 02-9251 4403

Useful links

Other relevant management plans for Grey-headed Flying-foxes

NSW Priority Actions Statements

Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Comminities (SEWPaC)

Australian Government Recovery Plans

Grey-headed flying-fox species profile

The Action Plan for Australian Bats

Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH)

Final Determination - Grey-headed flying-fox

Species Profile - Grey-headed flying-fox

Detailed Species Profile - Grey-headed flying-fox

Priority Action Statement for bats in NSW

Flying fox camp management policy in NSW

Flying fox camps fact sheet- NSW

Living with Grey-headed Flying Foxes in urban areas

Why was the Grey-headed flying-fox listed as vulnerable? How does this affect me? - NSW

Other Government bat websites

CSIRO - Bat Lyssavirus

Non-Government organisation resources

Ku-ring-gai Bat Conservation Society

Australasian Bat Society

Ku-ring-gai Flying-fox Reserve report on Habitat Restoration Project.pdf  (pdf. 6MB)