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Flying foxes populations in Lachlan Swamp

Lachlan Swamp and flying fox populations

Centennial Park's Lachlan Swamp is home to Sydney's largest grey-headed flying fox colony. 

Regular tree assessment and environmental monitoring is carried out in this area to ensure the ongoing health and sustainability of the ecosystem as bat numbers fluctuate with the seasons.

The main tree species in the wetland is the Broad-Leaved Paperbark. These were planted about 30 years ago and grow in ideal conditions. Read about Broad-Leaved Paperbarks in Centennial Park.


View a bird’s eye view of Lachlan Swamp in the video Lachlan Swamp in Centennial Park

Lachlan Swamp and flying fox population activities

  • View the aerial imagery in the video of Lachlan Swamp in Centennial Park. List the natural and human features of the wetland and surrounding areas. How does Lachlan Swamp provide for the needs of flying foxes? 
  • ​Locate Lachlan Swamp on a satellite image. Zoom out to about 30 kilometres from Lachlan Swamp in each direction and look for areas of bushland that flying foxes may use as feeding locations. Flying foxes spread pollen as they feed on nectar from blossoms. They spread seeds from fruit at feeding sites and as they fly between locations. Infer the environmental benefits of flying fox movements across such large areas.
  • Listen for flying foxes feeding on nectar and fruit at night in your local area. They visit when trees such as eucalypts, angophoras, melaleucas and silky oaks are flowering. Their presence is indicated by their louds squabbles and screeches. Record ‘sightings’ over several months. Identify flowering tree species over the period to make connections between plants and flying foxes. Mark it on the calendar and know when to expect visits from flying foxes the following year.
  • ​Every three months counts are made of the number of flying foxes in all flying fox colonies in Australia. Use the Australian Government Interactive Flying-Fox Web Viewer to investigate the population size of the Centennial Park flying fox colony. Make comparisons among flying fox colonies. What is the purpose of the National Flying-Fox Monitoring Program?