Finding flying foxes a place to call home

Local Government NSW (LGNSW) is partnering with the State Government to deliver a $5 million project to help councils research, restore and build flying-fox habitats.

The funding, announced by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) will be made available over 10 years for projects that protect flying-foxes while also reducing their impact on residential areas.

LGNSW President Linda Scott said many councils faced the challenge of managing flying-fox camps that had moved into or near residential areas, destroying gardens, making noise, creating a mess and raising concerns about risks to human health.

“We need to strike a balance because flying-foxes are important to our ecosystem,” Cr Scott said.

“Some councils have already developed camp management plans to manage the impact of colonies on communities but this new funding will allow that work to be taken to the next level – establishing or enhancing camps in places that minimise conflict with humans.

“Managing conflict at existing camps is all well and good but flying-foxes need somewhere to go long-term.”

The project has two phases. The first will involve testing a model to predict flying-fox habitat, followed by mapping and identification of potential sites for creating roost and/or foraging habitat.

Working with subject matter experts, LGNSW will design the second phase of the program to test whether flying-foxes will move to newly created roost habitat sites and investigate factors that make them do so.

In the second phase, OEH Environmental Trust grants will be made available to councils to restore and enhance habitat in suitable areas.

LGNSW will work with councils and the OEH to roll out the project and will be responsible for coordination and administration.

Source: Get Regional