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Byron Shire Council consults residents over flying fox camp management plan

Byron Shire Council is seeking residents’ input on how to manage flying fox camps in Mullumbimby, Bangalow, Byron Bay and Suffolk Park.

Interested residents are encouraged to attend upcoming community meetings on 2 May (Bangalow Bowling Club), 3 May (Council Chambers, Mullumbimby), 10 May (Cavanbah Centre, Byron Bay) and 11 May (Broken Head Community Hall, Broken Head). The meetings will be held from 6pm to 8pm.

Input from the sessions will inform the Byron Shire Flying Fox Camp Management Plan that Council is developing with the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) and local environmental and engineer consultancy, GeoLINK.

The plan will take into consideration the protected status of the flying foxes.

Flying foxes are a protected species in NSW under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 and, in the case of the Grey-headed flying-fox, under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 and the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

"We want to work with people affected by the impact of flying-foxes, as well as educate the public about the important role these animals play in maintaining the natural environment around the Shire," the Council's Biodiversity Officer, Clare Manning said.

“Records show that the Grey-headed flying-fox may once have numbered in the millions but there are now as few as 400,000 nationally. Flying foxes provide important ecological services, pollinating and spreading seed of native flora, including endangered plant species and communities,” Ms Manning said.

Council recognises however, that flying-foxes are increasingly setting up camps near towns and people, and are in search of food and shelter because of the loss of their natural habitat and in response to local food availability.

“Council also acknowledges that living near flying-fox camps can be difficult,” Ms Manning said.

“In recent times, local residents have noticed an increase in the number of flying foxes in urban areas, particularly in Bangalow and Byron Bay.”

Council invites residents to attend one of the flying fox community meetings which will have representatives from Council, OEH, Department of Health, Department of Primary Industries and GeoLINK.

Flying fox community meetings will be held between 6-8pm for a 6.30pm start on:

2 May, 2017 - Bangalow Bowling Club

3 May, 2017 - Council Chambers, Mullumbimby

10 May, 2017 - Cavanbah Centre Room 1, Byron Bay

11 May, 2017 - Broken Head Community Hall, Broken Head

For more information residents are encouraged to contact Council's Biodiversity Officer on 02 6626 7324.

This project has been assisted by the NSW Government and supported by Local Government NSW and Council.

Grey-headed flying foxes

Media contact:

Media Communication Officer
Byron Shire Council
Ph: 02 6626 7320

Byron Shire is located at Australia's eastern-most point with a population of almost 29,000. It is a thriving community where residents and visitors live, work and play in a sustainable environment and where Council strives to deliver the highest standard of local government services and infrastructure.