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The Grey-headed Flying-fox Pteropus poliocephalus is a large (to 1000 g) bat, endemic to coastal, south-eastern Australia (Queensland, NSW, Victoria). Sustainable management of P. poliocephalus, recently listed at State and Federal level as Vulnerable, must ensure its conservation in perpetuity - and cost-effective and environmentally and socially acceptable ways of minimising conflicts with people in rural and urban contexts. Exclusion netting can achieve this in some, although not all, orchard situations but is usually inappropriate for managing camp occupation. There is a need for the development of approaches, other than netting, to suit a variety of problem situations. Attainment of this goal has been constrained by factionalisation of stakeholders at community and government levels, inadequate resourcing and ineffective evaluation and communication. Little attention has been directed toward the apparent ability of flying-foxes to learn - and, hence, the possibility of training flocks to avoid certain areas. Potential effects could be long-lasting given the P. poliocephalus life-span of at least 13 years. Adequate funding, coupled with effective communication across communities and governments, could enable development and uptake of much-needed, best-practice flying-fox management through participatory trials and rigorous and transparent monitoring.

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