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Flying foxes

Brett Dolsen flying fox
image: Brett Dolsen

Kooloonbung Creek Nature Reserve is home to the largest flying fox population in the Port-Macquarie Hastings Local Government Area with almost 80,000 Black and Grey-headed flying-foxes (November 2019 National Flying Fox Census) making the reserve their home.

Flying Foxes are the single most important animal for the survival of Australia’s eucalypt and rainforest ecosystems and are key for pollination and seed dispersal of many fruiting trees such as bananas, peaches, dates, carob, avocados, jack fruit, mango, guava, cashews, figs, durian and macadamia

The grey-headed flying fox is one of the largest bats in the world and is only found in Australia. It is currently vulnerable to extinction under state and federal legislation with an estimated decline of more than 30% over the last three generations due to urban expansion and loss of native habitat. All flying foxes are protected under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and the New South Wales Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016.

Management of flying-foxes or their habitat must be in line with the Australian Government’s Referral guideline for management actions in grey-headed and spectacled flying-fox camps and the Draft Recovery Plan for the Grey-headed Flying-fox Pteropus poliocephalus.

Council is currently working with consultants, Ecosure to develop a Camp Management Plan to help alleviate community concerns and impacts while ensuring the critical ecosystem functions they provide, are conserved. Three levels of actions are being considered as part of the plan policy including:

  • Level 1 actions - Routine camp management actions
    - Property modification (possible subsidies)Service subsidies
    - Routine camp management & operational activities
    - Revegetation & land management to create alternative habitat
    - Provision of artificial roosting habitat
    - Protocols to avoid incidents
    - Land use planning
    - Property acquisition
    - Education, research
  • Level 2 actions - Creation of buffers - Buffers: vegetation removal, deterrents
    - Physical barriers: planting, noise attenuation fencing
    - Physical deterrents: installation of water sprinklers to disrupt roosting
  • Level 3 actions - Camp disturbance or dispersal
    - Nudging, active/passive dispersal

Project Updates

  • Draft Camp Management Plan approved by Council

    09 July 2019

    Council has approved draft Kooloonbung Creek Flying-fox Camp Management Plan and is currently being reviewed by the NSW State Government. Upon endorsement, Council will be working to implement actions that have been identified as part of the plan. Please refer to table 8 in the plan.

    Council has received funding to the value of $30,750 from the NSW State Governments Flying-fox Grant Program to help manage the flying-fox camp at Kooloonbung Creek and this funding will be matched by Council.

     

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This page was last updated on: 09 July 2019