New Flying Fox Management Strategy For Port Macquarie Electorate

New Flying Fox Management Strategy For Port Macquarie Electorate

Member for Port Macquarie, Leslie Williams today welcomed the announcement of a new NSW Government strategy to minimise the impacts of flying-fox camps surrounding populated areas.

Mrs Williams said the draft policy has the prime purpose of minimising health impacts of flying-fox camps on people.

“It will empower land managers, primarily councils, to work with their communities to sustainably manage flying-fox camps.

“I plan on discussing how our council is going to manage the flying foxes in the Kooloonbung Creek Nature Reserve when I meet with the Mayor and General Manager next week,” Mrs Williams said.

“I am sure the more than 10,000 people who signed a petition calling for more action on the increased build-up of flying foxes in urban areas will be happy with the draft policy.

“The strategy strongly encourages councils and other land managers to prepare camp management plans for sites where the local community is affected.

“We are taking a pragmatic approach to addressing the frustration that the community has felt and this policy will deliver better outcomes for people and for the species,” Mrs Williams said.

Flying-foxes remain protected and under the new policy land managers will be able to get a five year license to:

· Create buffer zones by removing vegetation to create a separation from populated areas and to disturb animals at the boundary of the camp to encourage roosting away from human settlement;
· Carry out camp disturbance or dispersal by clearing of vegetation or dispersal of animals by noise, water, smoke or light; and
· Undertake camp management such as removal of trees that pose a health and safety risk, weed removal (including removal of noxious weeds), trimming of understorey vegetation and the planting of vegetation.

NSW Health advises that the public should avoid direct contact with flying-foxes as there is always the possibility of being scratched or bitten and it leading to infection.

Anyone who encounters an injured bat should contact the local Wildlife Information Rescue & Education Service (WIRES) network on 1300 094 737 or visit their website.

The Flying-fox Management Policy is now on public exhibition and can be viewed at: http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/threatenedspecies/flyingfoxcamppol.htm

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