Damage mitigation permits for crop protection

Each of Queensland’s flying-fox species is protected under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 (the Act) administered by the the department.

It is an offence to kill or otherwise harm a flying-fox in contravention of the Act and there are substantial penalties for those who do. However, Queensland’s nature conservation laws do recognise that there are circumstances where it is necessary to remove limited numbers of wildlife in order to protect human health and well-being or to protect property.

Each year, the department issues a limited number of damage mitigation permits (DMPs) under the Act allowing the ‘lethal take’ of flying-foxes by shooting in order to protect commercial fruit crops.

The department grants a lethal take DMP only after non-harmful control measures have been used and found to be ineffective. Each lethal take DMP application is considered on a case-by-case basis and the number of flying-foxes allowed to be taken is tightly constrained by quotas based on wild population numbers and the conservation status of each species.

A lethal take DMP cannot be issued for the spectacled flying-fox which is listed as ‘vulnerable’ under the Act.

Damage mitigation permits for crop protection review

The Queensland Government is reviewing its flying-fox management arrangements for crop protection and will introduce changes as necessary that will be effective, scientifically-sound and will not put flying-fox populations at risk. This is consistent with commitments made at the last election.

Obtaining a damage mitigation permit for crop protection

Shooting of flying-foxes

Lethal control of flying-foxes is intended to provide fruit growers with an additional form of crop protection only where non-harmful measures have been attempted. It is a requirement that fruit growers use lethal measures in conjunction with two other non-harmful practises, such as netting, as part of an effective integrated crop protection strategy.

For information about DMPs for the lethal control of flying-foxes for crop protection, refer to:

Non-harmful control of flying-foxes

The department encourages the use of flying-fox deterrents that are non-harmful. These include:

  • netting
  • sound
  • light
  • smoke
  • movement
  • development of alternative roost sites.

For more details about non-lethal deterrents, refer to: Code of practice—Ecologically sustainable lethal take of flying-foxes for crop protection (PDF, 400 KB) .

Pre-lodgment service

Anyone considering applying for a DMP to protect a crop can arrange a meeting with the department to discuss their issues before they apply. This meeting will outline the information requirements of the application.

To arrange a meeting, please contact Permit and Licence Management or email .

Summary of DMPs issued for the lethal take of flying-foxes for crop protection for the 2020/21 growing season

DMP applications summary
Applications received Applications approved
13 13
Total 8780 6670
Queensland quota and allocation for the lethal take of flying-foxes 2020–2021
SpeciesQuota Quota unallocated
Black flying-fox 3500 2560
Little red flying-fox 4000 3120
Grey-headed flying-fox 1280 990

Summary of DMPs issued for the lethal take of flying-foxes for crop protection from 2012/2013 to 2020/21 growing seasons

Year No. of DMPs approvedQuota Quota unallocated % of allocation shot
2020/21 13 8780 6670 n/a
2019/20 17 8780 6210 n/a
2018/19 15 8780 6650 n/a
2017/18 21 8780 6110 n/a
2016/17 18 8780 5910 9.4
2015/16 16 8780 6105 17.7
2014/15 14 10,580 8220 14
2013/14 16 10,580 7660 23
2012/13 10 10,580 8635 16