The Grey Headed Flying Fox are the most common type of bat we see in the Woollahra Local Government Area (LGA) and it is a species which is native to the Greater Sydney Region including urban and bushland environments. Loss of their natural habitat is the reason they seek food in urban areas such as Woollahra. Bats use our trees at night to forage and they move out of the area to a colony during the day to roost. The CSIRO, in conjunction with OEH and other state environmental agencies, has mapped all the known flying fox colony sites around Australia and found that there are none in our LGA (http://www.environment.gov.au/node/16393).
This type of Flying Fox is listed as a Vulnerable Species under both State and Federal legislation. As a Vulnerable Species, approval is required from the State Government to disturb or relocate a Grey-Headed Flying-Fox or modify its habitat. Based on this, we are unable to prune or remove trees specifically for bats.
The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) have produced a Draft Flying-fox Camp Management Policy. However, there are no colonies in Woollahra and any amendments to the policy should have no impact on the Woollahra LGA.
Also the Woollahra Council Tree Management Policy 2011 outlines that generally, we will not consider leaf or fruit fall, or sap drop, or bird or bat droppings as valid reasons for pruning trees as these are natural processes of trees and wildlife.