Flying-fox project at Paddys Creek succeeds against odds

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A project to improve habitat for flying-foxes at Paddys Creek in Bangalow has been a great success with more than 600 local native riparian trees holding steady despite the devastation caused by recent floods.

Byron Shire Council, the local Landcare group and neighbours at Paddys Creek began planting the trees in June and November 2021 to provide food and new homes for the Grey-headed and Black Flying-fox populations of Byron Shire.

The work is part of the NSW Environmental Trust – Flying Improvement project which has been underway at Paddys Creek since 2018.

“Stabilising habitat through planting is a critical part of this work and we were lucky that around 85 percent of the plantings remained alive and were largely unaffected by the recent flood events,” Council’s Biodiversity Coordinator, Liz Caddick said.

“Nature has designed these specific riparian plants to grow their roots quickly, lean over and hang on if there is a flood, so it’s a win-win for the flying-foxes and for us,” she said.

“We now have plantings in place that are helping to stabilise, protect and shade the riverbank by widening the vegetated area next to the creek by up to 8 metres in some parts,” Ms Caddick said.

“The aim of this Flying Improvement project is to encourage the flying-foxes to create their homes in areas rich in food and habitat, but away from people, and we are pleased to report that we are well on track to deliver these outcomes,” she said.

This project has been assisted by the New South Wales Government through its Environmental Trust.

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