In order to effectively respond to the risk of Hendra virus spillover, and to plan for the conservation of flying-foxes, it is important to understand the dynamics in their abundance and distribution. This report describes a program of research that set out to establish a national Flying-Fox monitoring program and to provide up to date information on the abundance and distribution of the four flying-fox species along the eastern seaboard to decision makers and the public. The first 2.5 years of operation of the national program and the first 10 years of the spectacled flying-fox program are reported on. This information is used to assess the performance of the program and to estimate the population trends of the two species whose entire distribution are encompassed by the scope of the monitoring. The report also considers changes in the distribution of the species and attempts to identify drivers of their distributions at different scales.
The report is targeted primarily towards decision makers at a Commonwealth and State level working in the area of the management of zoonoses and the conservation and management of flying-foxes. The report and the associated data, which are available on the Department of the Environment’s website, will assist local governments and those assessing the need for mitigation and referrals for actions under State and Commonwealth legislation.