The method used for estimating the number of bats is known as a ‘fly-out count’ and involves counting the number of bats exiting the roost at dusk.
The Lachlan Swamp within Centennial Park is inhabited by a flying-fox colony. The colony established at Centennial Park during February 2010 in response to an exceptionally large food shortage event that affected large parts of coastal NSW between February and September. During this food shortage event flying-foxes were observed to establish new colonies closer to food resources. The Centennial Park colony has been observed to comprise greater than 40,000 flying-foxes, primarily Grey-headed Flying-fox (GHFF) (Pteropus poliocephalus), and Black Flying-foxes (P. alecto). The GHFF is listed as vulnerable to extinction under the both the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
Flying-foxes have been visiting the Parklands to feed on the flowers and fruits of native plants for many years. Flying-foxes play an important role in the Australian environment as they are natural pollinators and seed dispersers.
Centennial Parklands staff work in conjunction with enthusiastic volunteers to organise population counts of the Centennial Park flying fox colony. The method used for estimating the abundance of bats is known as a ‘fly-out count’ and involves counting the number of bats exiting the roost at dusk.
The bat counts assist in monitoring trends in the flying fox population to assess status and condition of the camp, and to better inform management strategies.