Funding has been announced to help communities living with flying foxes.
Funding has been announced to help communities living with flying foxes. Judy Leitch

Fancy a job as a flying fox officer?

A NEW flying fox officer will be employed and a new roost created in an attempt to ease the impact of flying foxes on the community.

Clarence and Richmond Valley Councils have both been successful in securing funding from the NSW Government to help manage local flying fox camps at Maclean and Casino, Clarence Nationals MP Chris Gulaptis announced.

Clarence Valley Council will receive $42,000 to employ a flying fox officer to oversee the implementation of education and awareness programs and develop a flying-fox strategy for the local government area.

"The funding will also help council maintain vegetated buffers through vine weed removal and revegetation of existing habitat to better manage them and their impact on the local community,” Mr Gulaptis said.

Richmond Valley Council will receive $15,000 to create roost habitat away from the current Casino flying-fox camp.

"Richmond Valley Council has approved a camp management plan and it will prioritise vegetation removal to create a buffer between the camp and nearby residences to better manage their impact on the local community,” Mr Gulaptis said.

Clarence and Richmond Valley Councils are two of 15 local government areas to receive funding in the latest round of the NSW State Government's Flying-fox Grant Program which supports local communities living with flying foxes.

There are three species of flying fox native to NSW - the grey-headed, black and little red flying-foxes. The largest and most vulnerable of the three is the Grey headed Flying-fox, which weighs up to a kilogram and has a one-metre wing span.”

Environment Minister Matt Kean said the NSW Government is also working to reduce the conflict between people and flying-fox colonies by supporting long-term solutions that improve and restore flying-fox habitat.

"When flying-fox colonies decide to set-up camp close to houses, noise and odour issues can cause concerns for residents,” Mr Kean said.

"Flying-foxes are native to NSW and protected by law. We are working to protect these nomadic creatures but also look after the health of our community.

"This program has been going since 2016 and already supported 25 councils to manage flying-fox camps and help local communities.

"The grants are administered by Local Government NSW and will be extended to the end of 2019.”

Under the Flying-fox Habitat Restoration Program, the NSW Environmental Trust has committed $5 million to trial flying-fox habitat restoration away from human settlements, finding long-term solutions to conflict.



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