Flying Fox Habitat Restoration Program

Local Government NSW (LGNSW) is partnering with the State Government to deliver a $5 million project over 10 years to help councils research, restore and create flying fox habitat. 

The Program aims to:

  • Test whether flying foxes will move to created roost habitat sites, and why.
  • Enhance and/or restore roosting and foraging habitat for flying-foxes at contentious campsites to reduce conflict and associated impacts on flying foxes.

Establishment Phase 2018-19

During the set-up period, an expert advisory group will work closely with LGNSW to advise on program design, collaboration and joint ventures. Several exploratory and research actions are also in train, including:

  • Update and expand flying fox camp and foraging habitat mapping
  • Refine and enhance our ability to identify habitat suitable for flying foxes
  • Review existing, and consider new, community engagement methods to reduce conflict with flying foxes

Habitat Restoration Phase 2019-29

Following successful completion of the establishment phase, habitat restoration and enhancement will run until 2029. Details about how this phase will operate are to be outlined in guidance documents to be produced in mid-2019.

Background

Flying fox management is generally undertaken in line with Camp Management Plans (CMP), which have been developed by councils based on the state Flying fox Camp Management Policy 2015.

Many actions included in CMPs are short-term and aimed at reducing impacts from camps on surrounding communities. For example:

  • Routine camp management activities, such as weed removal and trimming under-storey vegetation
  • Creation of buffers by clearing or trimming canopy trees or disturbing animals at the camp boundary
  • Camp disturbance or dispersal

Traditionally there has been little focus on providing longer-term flying fox conservation focussed interventions. Contributing to this is uncertainty around whether actions such as creating roost habitat will help, as factors leading flying foxes to move into created habitat are unknown.

This project has been assisted by the New South Wales Government through its Environmental Trust.