Wildlife Ecologist to further develop the Flying-fox Camp Management Plan

Warragamba Panorama

Wildlife Ecologist to further develop the Flying-fox Camp Management Plan

Posted on: 31.05.2017

Wollondilly Shire Council will soon contract a Wildlife Ecologist to finalise the Stonequarry Creek Flying-fox Camp Management Plan and to identify what actions can be taken to reduce the impact of flying-foxes on neighbouring properties. This has been possible thanks to the recent $7000 grant to Council by the NSW Government through its Flying-fox Grant Program.

The Grey Headed Flying-fox is a threatened species and has been listed as vulnerable at both State and Commonwealth levels. A Wildlife Ecologist will ensure that the recommended actions in Council’s Camp Management Plan will have minimal detrimental effects on the local flying-fox populations.

Acting General Manager, Ally Dench said, “Council would like to thank the NSW Government for awarding Council with this grant. This funding will ensure that our Camp Management Plan will assist in addressing the issues that the flying-foxes present to local farms and residential properties as well as ensure that we adhere to the rules that protect this threatened species.

Flying-foxes are an issue that needs a collaborative approach and Council will continue to work collaboratively with residents, farmers and government bodies to develop and implement this plan.”

To grow our knowledge of Grey Headed Flying-foxes Council has joined the National Flying-fox Monitoring program and has been actively monitoring their activity in the Shire. The most recent study, conducted in May 2017, found over 4200 flying-foxes living at the camp near Stonequarry Creek. This data will be entered into the national database and will help the Department of the Environment and Energy determine how flying-foxes are trending across the country.

Council has also undertaken a community engagement survey providing an opportunity for residents to give feedback on the impact flying-foxes have had on them. This information has been collated and will inform the development of the Camp Management Plan and recommend actions that can help reduce the impacts of the camp.

The Grey Headed Flying-foxes moved into the area in early 2014 and a camp has established in a bushland creek reserve that borders a number of private residences. Concerns raised by local residents include; smell, noise, faecal mess in yards and the possible spread of disease.

The reasons for the establishment of the camp are unclear, however the Stonequarry Creek flying-fox camp established shortly after the Halls Road Fire which occurred in October 2013. The fire was quite extensive and burnt out some 15,600 Ha of bushland between Balmoral, Bargo, Yanderra, Picton and Wilton and is likely to have burnt out previously existing habitat.

Council has produced a number of educational resources including the fact sheet ‘Living near flying foxes,’ a ‘Frequently Asked Questions Page’ and the community the survey. These are available on council’s website http://www.wollondilly.nsw.gov.au/resident-services/environment-and-sustainability/flying-foxes/

For more information on Flying-foxes contact Council’s Environment Education Officer on 4677 1100