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Bats fly in for flowering gums

Eurobodalla Council is closely monitoring numbers of grey-headed flying-foxes in the shire and is offering help to lessen any impacts felt by residents who live near flying-fox camps.

There are around 18,900 flying foxes shire-wide, most are in Batemans Bay, however numbers are expected to decrease as the weather further cools, with populations typically peaking from December to April.

Council’s flying-fox officer Natalie Foster said grey-headed flying-foxes, like many other bat species, played a vital role in keeping native forests healthy.

She said the recent increase was due to their favourite food source becoming available along the south-east coast – flowering spotted gums and other eucalypts.

“Council is monitoring Eurobodalla’s flying-fox population closely and we’re offering residents who live near flying-fox camps help with free Cocos palm removal, odour neutralisation pots, and loans of water pressure cleaners,” she said.

“We’ll also be doing a letter-box drop this week to residents nearby the shire’s two biggest camps – the Batemans Bay Water Gardens and the Catalina golf course - with information about services available.

“These actions are in accordance with our Flying-fox Management Plan. It guides Council on managing the species and was developed with community input after an influx of more than 300,000 flying-foxes into Batemans Bay in 2016.”

Council has so far removed 131 Cocos palms in the Batemans Bay region and plans to remove around 150 more and replace them with suitable native trees. An introduced species, Cocos palms cause a range of health problems for flying-foxes, who have learnt to harvest the tree’s fruit to their detriment.

Flying-foxes feeding at night in a Cocos palm tree is also noisy, messy and the fruit can make the flying-fox droppings stickier and more difficult to remove.

For more information on the Cocos palms removal program, contact Eurobodalla Council’s natural resource officer – flying-foxes Natalie Foster on 4474 7329 or Natalie.foster@esc.nsw.gov.au

Odour neutralisation pots and water pressure cleaners for loan are available from the Batemans Bay Depot during opening hours.

For more information on flying-foxes in Eurobodalla, including population data and Council’s Eurobodalla Flying-Fox Management Plan, visit www.esc.nsw.gov.au/flyingfoxes


Above: Grey-headed flying foxes are taking advantage of flowering eucalypts along the south-east coast, including in Eurobodalla.

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