A new management plan guiding how flying foxes will be managed throughout the Eurobodalla Shire was adopted by the council this week.
The Eurobodalla Flying Fox Management Plan provides a framework to help reduce the effects of flying foxes on people in shire, while conserving the animals and the ecosystem services they provide.
It provides some level of certainty to the community as to how current and future camps are likely to be managed and will be updated as situations change, or further research improves understanding of flying foxes and how to minimise their impacts on people.
The plan’s development involved an extensive effort by the council to engage with the community and key stakeholders to ensure the community’s values were considered and the concerns of people directly impacted were addressed.
The plan shows how community input helped identify triggers for management options, depending on the level of impact.
The primary focus is minimising impacts of flying foxes on people within 300 metres of camps, particularly on council-managed land.
The council also provides a supporting role to the broader community impacted by roosting and foraging flying foxes.
The council’s Environment Services Manager Deb Lenson said it was important to recognise that managing the number and locations of flying foxes was unpredictable and extremely challenging.
“We know that flying foxes return to the Eurobodalla annually and we are continuing to monitor the camps and providing updates and information to residents,” Ms Lenson said.
“Flying fox numbers in Eurobodalla usually start to increase at this time of year. As of late November, there is one known flying fox camp in Catalina.
“Flying foxes can travel large distances for food, and council has also had reports of night-time foraging in Batemans Bay, Bodalla, Moruya Heads and Tuross.
“New camps may also establish across the Eurobodalla so it is important the community notifies Council of daytime sightings so we can investigate.”
To view the Eurobodalla Flying Fox Management Plan or report new flying fox roost sites visit the website here.