Public Health Concern
Flying foxes pose no more of a risk to the safety of your tank water than other animal such as possums, birds and frogs. Rainwater tanks should be designed, constructed and maintained to ensure that any contaminates are removed from the tank. Tips for rainwater safety can be found on the Fitzroy River Water website.
Flying foxes use noise and odour as a means of communication. If stressed, disturbed or frightened flying foxes will create more noise and odour than when being left alone. Generally the most noise associated with a flying fox roost will be in the early morning and early evening during fly out and fly ins.
For more information regarding living with or near flying foxes visit:
Department of Environment and Science
Bacteria and Viruses
Flying foxes may carry bacteria and viruses which can be harmful to humans.
Australian Bat Lyssavrius (ABL) can only be transmitted to humans when the saliva from an infected animal comes into contact with human tissue through an open wound such as a bite or scratch or through the mucous membrane e.g. eyes, nose and mouth.
Although flying foxes have the potential to have ABL, only a small percentage carry the virus and the virus is more widespread in flying foxes that have been stressed or are disturbed.
Although the risk of infection is low, people should avoid handling the animals.
If you find an injured bat or flying fox, do not attempt to help the animal yourself or touch it in any way.
Contact the RSPCA (1300 ANIMAL) or your local wildlife care group/rescuer/carer, or the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (1300 130 372) for assistance.
If a person is scratched or bitten by a flying fox they should seek urgent medical attention.
Further information on ABL can be found at:
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Hendra Virus is a virus that can be transmitted from flying foxes to humans, however only through a secondary animal such as a horse.
A vaccine is available for horses against Hendra Virus.
To learn more about Hendra Virus visit: