Wambuul Macquarie River Bathurst Flying-fox Camp Habitat Restoration Project
In 2022, Bathurst Regional Council was successful in securing funding through the Local Government NSW Flying-Fox Camp Habitat Restoration Program. The grant of $264,650 will help fund the environmental restoration of 700m of flying-fox or budharu (the Wiradjuri word for flying-fox) habitat along the Wambuul Macquarie River in Bathurst. The project site is an area of high conservation value as it is a seasonal camp for the Little-red Flying-fox (Pteropus scapulatus) and the threatened Grey-headed Flying-fox (Pteropus poliocephalus).
To continue important flying-fox habitat restoration works already undertaken at the site since 2018, best practice weed control works and vegetation restoration activities will commence along the river in late 2022. The focus will be on invasive and riparian dominant species including willow, blackberry, poplar and elm, to improve the health and structural complexity of the native riparian vegetation and flying-fox habitat. The revegetation works, which are set to commence in late 2023, will include the planting of 3,500 riparian dominant and roosting specific species including She-oak and Ribbon Gum by community and school volunteers, and local environmental conservation contractors.
Community education and engagement will also play a big part in the success of the project with Council-hosted community and school's tree plantings days, flying-fox information evenings in Machattie Park, interpretative signage at the project site and digital media that focuses on raising awareness of flying-foxes within the community.
Loss of roosting habitat has been identified as one of several key threats to flying-foxes with camp vegetation along the Wambuul Macquarie River due to historical patterns of clearing and degradation. These practices may have led to flying-foxes establishing a camp in the heritage-listed Machattie Park in 2018.
The project site along the Wambuul Macquarie River is identified as having a high habitat suitability rating for flying foxes and is a non-contentious flying fox habitat site as per the Machattie Park & Kings Parade Camp Management Plan 2018. The plan also sets out actions for the restoration of flying-fox roosting habitat at this site.
BAT NIGHT @ MACHATTIE PARK 2023
What can we say! A big thank you to all that joined us on Friday 17 March 2023 for our inaugural Bat Night @ Machattie Park as part of the Wambuul Macquarie River Bathurst Flying-fox Camp Habitat Restoration Project.
The evening was warmly opened by Bathurst Regional Council Mayor Robert Taylor, with ecologists Matthew Mo and Libby Timmiss from the NSW Department of Planning & Environments giving a great educational talk on the important ecological role that flying-foxes play in our environment.
The talk was followed by an engaging wildlife walk with Matthew, Libby and WIRES Central West Flying-Fox Rescue Coordinator Pamela Drury through the park with the evening capped off by the beauty of thousands of flying-foxes flying-out at dusk. Talk about a wow moment!
Bathurst Regional Council is incredibly grateful to Matthew, Libby, NSW Department of Planning and Environment, Pamela and WIRES Central West for their time and sharing their incredible depth of knowledge with us. We can’t thank you enough!
The Wambuul Macquarie River Bathurst Flying-fox Camp Habitat Restoration Project is part of the Flying-fox Habitat Restoration Program assisted by the New South Wales Government through its Environmental Trust in association with Local Government NSW and Bathurst Regional Council.
Images (anti-clockwise from top left): 1. Guest speakers from NSW DPE, ecologists Matthew Mo and Libby Timmiss 2. WIRES Central West Pamela Drury, BRC Mayor Robert Taylor and BRC''s Environmental Programs Coordinator Kristie Kearney. 3. Matthew Mo speaking with attendee's about flying-foxes. 4. Attendees watching the flying-foxes flying-out on dusk from Machattie Park Bathurst.
The Wambuul Macquarie River Bathurst Flying-fox Camp Habitat Restoration Project is part of the Flying-fox Habitat Restoration Program assisted by the New South Wales Government through its Environmental Trust in association with Local Government NSW, and Bathurst Regional Council.