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UTS gets to work on flying fox management plan

The University of Technology Sydney’s Centre for Local Government (UTS) is analysing responses to Council’s recent flying fox survey to inform a new shire-wide flying fox management plan.

During April Council sought feedback from residents on their values and experiences about flying foxes via an online survey and at drop-in sessions held throughout the shire.

Council’s Divisional Manager Environmental Services Deb Lenson praised the community for getting involved.

“We had almost 500 completed surveys, so we were very pleased with the response,” she said.

“The responses are being analysed by UTS and will ultimately assist Council in identifying the most appropriate actions to manage the impacts of flying foxes, and at what point we should carry them out.

“Once the plan is finalised Council will be able to more readily respond and help residents who may be impacted by flying foxes in the future – not just in Batemans Bay but throughout the shire.

“Flying fox camps and foraging locations are not predictable and there are multiple sites across the Eurobodalla both in urban and forested areas that could be suitable.”

Council has engaged environmental consultants Ecosure to prepare the plan. Some survey respondents who indicated they’d like to be involved further in the process may be invited to participate in targeted workshops, along with government regulators, other councils and experts in flying fox management.

The draft plan is expected to be presented to councillors before being placed on public exhibition for community comment during August. Feedback received from the community during the formal public exhibition period will be considered before finalising the plan, which is expected to go to councillors for final approval later this year.

In addition to the preparation of Council’s flying fox management plan, the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage is also undertaking public consultation to inform a new Draft Code of Practice Authorising Flying-fox Camp Management Actions.

Ms Lenson said Eurobodalla Council would be reviewing the code of practice, which links to the approval conditions regarding actions to manage flying fox camps.

“This will also be important in the development of the Eurobodalla Flying Fox Management Plan,” she said.

The OEH draft code of practice is open for public comment until 24 May. For more information visit http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/topics/animals-and-plants/wildlife-management/flying-fox-management/draft-code-of-practice-for-flying-fox-camp-management-actions-public-consultation. Media Release

Photo By Charlesjsharp

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