Fresh funding is now available to help councils implement plans to manage the impact of flying fox colonies on their residents and ratepayers.
The funding is part of the $1 million Flying-Fox Grant Program, which is funded by the Office of Environment and Heritage and administered by The Local Government NSW (LGNSW).
Two initial funding streams – both of which will remain open until April 30 – provided funding to support emergency measures and the development of longer-term management plans for communities impacted by the native Australian mammal often referred to as a fruit bat.
The third stream supports the implementation of management plans.
“Flying foxes are a protected species and play a crucial role in pollinating native forests and spreading seeds to ensure longevity of the Australian bush,” an LGNSW spokeswoman said.
During the day they gather in large roosts known as camps, which consist of hundreds to tens of thousands of individual creatures and are formed in seemingly random locations.
“But in recent times these camps have come into greater and greater collision with residential areas – possibly due to the greater reliable food supply offered by native eucalypt plantings and backyard fruit trees, although climate change and the warming created by increased urbanisation may also play a role.”
Flying foxes are a protected species and play a crucial role in pollinating native forests and spreading seeds to ensure longevity of the Australian bush.Local Government NSW spokesperson.
In some cases, the odour, noise and droppings from the camps can dramatically impact on the quality of life for families, who find themselves forced to keep doors and windows closed and are prevented from hanging washing on the line, parking cars on the street or even enjoying their own backyards for months at a time.
A number of councils including Coffs Harbour City Council and Nambucca Shire Council have already successfully accessed funding to develop long-term camp management plans and to implement actions in approved plans.