Eurobodalla’s flying foxes are on the move north to warmer weather.
Eurobodalla Shire Council reports that flying fox numbers in the shire are as low as 300 at Catalina golf course, and camps at Tuross Head, Narooma and Batemans Bay’s Water Gardens are empty.
Staff from Council and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage have been monitoring the camps and report that after a peak of around 4,000 in March, the flying foxes have now made their annual migration north for warmer weather.
Director of Planning and Sustainability Lindsay Usher says this year’s numbers mark a stark contrast to the huge influx of flying foxes that Batemans Bay residents endured during the autumn months last year.
“The prolific spotted gum flowering last year saw us trying to manage more than 200,000 flying foxes in an urban area, culminating in a dispersal effort that coincided with their natural departure to northern NSW and Queensland,” he said.
“Since then, we’ve had people on the ground monitoring the numbers and health of the flying foxes, and the community has been great in letting us know where the animals are foraging or camping.
“We know these creatures are unpredictable, but we feel quietly confident, based on the numbers and our observation of food supply, that our season is over.”
“We will continue to monitor and wait to see what happens.”
Mr Usher said he’s pleased the Federal Government has followed through on its commitment to provide a Green Army team to help out in the Water Gardens.
“We have a team of seven young people working in the Water Gardens until September, removing weeds and rubbish, laying mulch, and planting native shrubs and grasses. This builds on Council’s work last year to clear vegetation buffers and return the gardens to a more park-like appearance.”
The Green Army will also install wildlife cameras to monitor native and feral animals and mount nest boxes in the tree canopy for birds and gliders.
In late March, Council made a submission to the Australian Government’s draft Recovery Plan for the Grey-headed Flying-fox,recommending a greater focus on short-term actions to reduce human-flying fox conflict and calling for a consistent framework across all levels of government to streamline flying fox management. Media Release