Byron Shire Council will match a $79,000 grant from the NSW Government’s Environmental Trust to work on a long-term approach to improving awareness and understanding of flying-foxes in the area.
“Flying-foxes are native species and are hugely important to our natural ecosystem as pollinators and seed-spreaders but they also have a big impact on people when they move into urban areas,” Peter Boyd, Council’s Environmental Projects Officer, said.
“Unfortunately, because of habitat destruction and urbanisation, flying-foxes are roosting in populated areas and they are noisy. In large numbers, they can impact important native vegetation which can be a problem for people living nearby,” Mr Boyd said.
“Council already has a Flying-fox Camp Management Plan and this grant will allow us to implement a number of projects that are aimed at protecting the mammals as well as minimising their impact on residents living near their colonies,” he said.
The black headed and grey-headed flying-foxes are found in the Byron Shire and there are five major roosting sites at Mullumbimby, Byron Bay, Suffolk Park and Bangalow.
Grey-headed flying-foxes are listed as vulnerable under NSW and Federal legislation and are protected by NSW and Federal legislation.
Council will be working with the community to educate people about the values of flying-foxes and to reduce the impact of the animals on local neighbourhoods.
Key activities for the next three years include:
- Development and implementation of Vegetation Management Plans;
- Bush regeneration including primary and secondary weed management, revegetation and the creation of buffers to keep flying-foxes away from homes;
- Development of educational resources and interpretive signage;
- Field days and education to promote a positive change in community attitudes towards flying-foxes.