We are a community group in Australia working for the conservation of bats and their habitat

through partnerships in education, research, advocacy, rescue and landcare work.

Our activities began in 1990, the year tick paralysis was discovered in Spectacled flying foxes (SFF) on the Atherton Tablelands. We originally worked with the SFFs resident at the Tolga Scrub, and hence our name. We now work with any bat, megabat or microbat, from anywhere. Bats come to us for rescue from hundreds of kilometres away, and we also take bats for sanctuary who are being retired from zoos. We became incorporated in 2002 as a not-for-profit community group, listed on the Register of Environmental Organisations in 2007, and registered as a charity in 2008. This enables us to accept tax-deductible donations. In 2009 we opened the Visitor Centre onsite at the Bat Hospital. Finally in 2013 we had the funds to build a space to accommodate the real needs of the bat hospital, rather than making do with what was already here. This 2 storey building has a large storage area underneath, and a shared people/bat area upstairs.

We have won several awards for our work:

2005 Cassowary Award, from the Wet Tropics Management Authority, for Community Conservation

2009 Award for Animal Welfare and Education, from the International Fund for Animal Welfare

2011 Serventy Conservation Medal, from the Wildlife Preservation Society of Australia

2015 Heritage Bank Volunteer of the Year Award


Photos: Tolga Bat Hospital won Best Non-motorised Float in the local Atherton festival 2004. The theme was cartoon characters and we chose "Batwoman and Friends'. Giant bat costumes were worn by 3 young women on stilts. Our 'friends' were other local environmental groups.

We followed in the footsteps of Friends of Far North Flying Foxes. Begun in 1990 and incorporated in1993, this group was very active in the 1990s, but from 1998 slowly folded until ceasing in 2002. Their work largely centred around the colonies at Zillie Falls and Whiteing Road on the southern Tablelands. Ann and Bruce Johnson, the mainstay committee members of the group, left a legacy of very informative newsletters. On 18 August 2002, an AGM of the group voted to fold FFNFF and that all FFNFF funds be transferred to Tolga Bat Rescue and Research Inc.

Each year our work has become more holistic and wide-ranging. In 2004 we became endorsed as a Landcare group, in recognition of our habitat restoration work at the Tolga Scrub and other flying fox camp sites. "The Landcare Ethic: To protect our environment and way of life now and for future generations, we must carefully manage our land, air, water and biodiversity. "


1. Wildlife care. To rescue, rehabilitate and release all species of bats with a high standard of care, as well as provide a sanctuary for some of those who cannot be released.

2. Education. Educate and raise awareness of issues affecting bats, involving
(i) bat carers and volunteers
(ii) the education community, teachers and students of all ages and disciplines.
(iii) the public health, research, scientific and veterinary communities
(iv) the general community

3. Actively seek partnerships in the community for all aspects of our work, networking with:
(i) other community groups especially those with environmental aims
(ii) public health, research, scientific, veterinary and education communities
(iii) other local. national and international bat groups

4. Habitat protection. Negotiate with landowners to facilitate the repair and protection of bat habitat, especially the Tolga Scrub.

5. Research. Support ethical research into the general ecology of bats and their management.

6. Advocacy. Advocate for conservation values of bats and their habitat.

7. Recognising the rights and responsibilities of Volunteers. Implementing an increasingly safe and harmonious volunteering environment.

8. Establishment of the Public Fund. To establish and maintain a public fund to be called the Tolga Bat Hospital Fund for the specific purpose of supporting the environmental objects/purposes of Tolga Bat Rescue and Research Inc.


2013 Office Bearers

President / Secretary   Jenny Maclean
Vice-Presidents   Ceinwen Edwards
Treasurer   Debra Johnston
Membership Officer   Ashleigh Johnson
Honorary Veterinarians   Tableland Veterinary Service

Our inaugural meeting was held August 18, 2002

Active members are involved as volunteers in the activities of the group and pay a $10 membership fee, discount family rate.
Associate members like to support the good work of the group but are unable to volunteer.This can also include group memberships where groups would like to support us. Membership fee $20.

Our membership usually hovers around 80-150. We have an occasional email newsletter. If you would like a membership form please email us.