Community plantings supporting the threatened grey-headed flying fox

By Claire Laws 5 March 2024

Volunteers are working to enhance habitat, mitigate urban challenges, and ensure the long-term survival of these vital pollinators.

There are plenty of community plantings taking place in the lead up to National Tree Day.  Fairfield City Council are installing over 15,000 seedlings in western Sydney’s Cabramatta and 5,000 of those will be planted on Saturday 16 March. 

The planting is part of a broader project, supported by Local Government NSW, which aims to improve habitat and build resilience within the local Grey-headed flying fox camp. Like much of our native wildlife, Grey-headed flying foxes must contend with a sprawling urban environment and need our support.  

The species is listed as vulnerable within New South Wales and nationally. Some current threats to their survival are loss of roosting and foraging sites, heat stress, conflict with humans and electrocution on powerlines. The Grey-headed flying fox plays an important role in keeping many of eastern Australia’s native ecosystems healthy, by pollinating and helping to disperse the seeds of many native trees. 

Fairfield City Council’s planting is in the Flying Fox Reserve, located along Cabramatta Creek. As part of the broader project, the council hopes to restore 1.8 hectares of native vegetation in the rear of the reserve (comprised of the River-flat eucalypt forest on coastal floodplains endangered ecological community), which will hopefully encourage the Flying fox camp to return to this quieter section of the reserve. The area being restored is further away from residential properties, commercial premises, and the Warwick Farm Racecourse than the current camp site. These efforts should help support the long-term survival of the local flying fox camp. 

Fairfield City Council will also run workshops and other educational events to encourage the community to support the protection of this important species that we share our urban landscape with.  

If you live in western Sydney, and want to support this great project, head along to the community planting. Be sure to register your attendance, so the council can provide morning tea for all volunteers.  

There are plenty of other community plantings taking place in the months leading up to National Tree Day on Sunday 28 July.  

Get involved  

  • Host a planting  

  • Volunteer at a planting site near you 

  • Donate to Planet Ark’s Seedling Bank 

Claire Laws
Claire joined the Planet Ark team in 2021. With a background in Environmental Science and a Masters in Environmental Law and Sustainable Development, Claire is keen to build on her previous work in ecological research and be part of Planet Ark's actions-based approach to environmental protection.