Sydney Park Uses Industrial Music to Chase Off Bats

Sydney’s Royal Botanical Gardens are using industrial music and banging noises to fend off fruit bats. While about 5,000 bats had been routinely seen hanging from trees in the park, only about ten now remain, says Agence France-Presse.

The executive director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Brett Summerell, says that 45 minutes of “annoying sounds” in the morning and 35 in the evening have been enough to scare away the bats.

Also known as flying foxes, the bats have, say the Botanical Parks, damaged several hundred trees and plants, resulting in the loss of more than 28 trees and 30 palms. The introduction of industrial music — of heavy-duty noise — has led to “peace and quiet” in the park for the first time in its 196 year history, says the Daily Telegraph.

Sydney residents and animal advocates including Sydney Bats have raised concerns about where the bats will go to. Sydney Bats has posted an action alert asking for volunteers to monitor the results of the Botanical Gardens’ noise dispersal campaign. While it is “impossible to predict” the bats’ new location, Sydney Bats points out that “during previous dispersal actions in Melbourne and Maclean, new camps were formed not only close to the place of dispersal but also some distance away.”

Summerell says that fears about the bats creating a new camp in suburban areas have not materialized. 100 bats have been fitted with satellite collars to track their movements; the bats have flown as far as 434 miles away to Queensland as well as to Canberra.

The noise dispersal campaign only began on June 4 so it remains to be seen how effective it might be in the long run. As Sydney Bats notes, the bats — the largest in Australia — play an important role as pollinators and seed dispersers and, therefore, in the regeneration and health of forest and woodland ecosystems. The success of the noise dispersal program could set a worrisome precedent, says Sydney Bats, as it may “lead to public pressure to disturb and disperse many other camps, especially those close to residential areas”; whenever the bats are removed from one site, they must of course seek out another and there is no telling where.

Have the Sydney Royal Botanical Gardens only created new problems with its noise dispersal campaign?

Related Care2 Coverage

Dolphin Dies After Deafening Rave at Park

Great White Sharks Apparently Enjoy Songs by AC/DC

Up To 6.7 Million Bats Dead From White-Nose Syndrome


Photo by Shek Graham


Angelinajullie Angelinaju
Past Member 4 years ago

When I searched the blogs suddenly I saw this one and when I read it, amazing stuff out there that compelled me to comment.
get more info

Carrie Anne Brown

thanks for sharing

HELENE D5 years ago


Pamela H.
Pamela H5 years ago

Mara C is right, we think we know everything by killing one species only to upset the balance of nature, then we end up with major problems. Next they'll be bombing the area with toxic chemicals to kill the increasing mosquitoes, which will then also kill other species. Humans are the most stupid species of them all. They never do their homework first, they just rush in like the proverbial fools.

Pamela H.
Pamela H5 years ago

Disgusting and cruel, perpetrated by the ignorant. These hysterical people need to do some independent research, as always.

Christine Stewart

I think the botanic gardens should be required to plant fruit trees and put up artificial roosts for the bats maybe a few miles down the road as mitigation. Heck, if I lived nearby, I'd rather visit the bat playground than the botanic gardens!

Sue Griffiths
SUE Griffiths5 years ago

Do the idiots who are ridding Sydney park of their bats actually like having gnats, mosquitoes,flies and wasps flying around? Brown bats especially eat about 1200 mosquitoes etc. an hour. And when it comes to pollination I hope you haven't got the problem of a shortage of bees that many other countries have, as you now won't have the bats to pollinate and disperse seeds. My advice, to be on the safe side you'd better find out what kind of music bats like to encourage them to come back when you start having problems. Man is never happy unless he's interfering with mother nature. And when you start getting bites, I hope it's a nice big gnat or horsefly bite.

Kathleen G.
Kathleen G5 years ago

The bats should be left alone.While it is sad that trees are being destroyed( if that is what is really happening )The gardens have been there for 196 years,so there couldn't have been that much damage.Why change things now? What is the real reason for ridding the garden of bats?They are going to find out that their gardens won't grow as well because the pollinating bats are gone.Do not mess with Mother Nature!!!

RobynRobyn Brice
Robyn Vorsa5 years ago

I loved walking through the gardens and seeing the flying foxes hanging from the trees. I will certainly miss them. The Botanic Gardens staff were concerned about the destruction of the trees and feared that the flying foxes would destroy many more.
Whether this is true or not, I do hope that this will will not become common practice as these bats are important to the ecology of the area.

Susan Griffiths
Susan G5 years ago

A similar, in principle, excersize of noise dispersal is used in New York to discourage pigeons. Certainly this is a marvelous move in the right direction - far more human than killing the animals.