Flying-foxes are nomadic mammals that travel up and down the east coast of Australia feeding on native blossoms and fruits, spreading seeds and pollinating native plants. The Flying-foxes are seasonal visitors to Bathurst arriving in Summer and moving on to warmer locations when the temperature drops too low.
The Grey Headed Flying-fox is listed as a threatened species under state and federal environmental legislation because of declining numbers. The main threat to this species is the loss of their natural habitat which is forcing these animals closer to towns and people as they search for food and shelter.
Flying-foxes in Machattie Park
Council, at its meeting held 18 July 2018, resolved to place the draft Flying-fox Camp Management Plan for Machattie Park and Kings Parade on public exhibition.
The Flying-fox camp that established a temporary camp within Machattie Park in 2017 consisted of Grey-headed flying-fox (Pteropus poleocephalus) and Little red flying-fox (Pteropus scapulatus). Grey-headed Flying-foxes are listed as a vulnerable species under the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and the Federal Environment Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
Council therefore commissioned specialist consultants to develop a management plan for the potential return of the Flying-fox camp to Machattie Park. The ecologists conducted an onsite assessment of the camp, alternative habitat within Bathurst, and carried out a “drop in” engagement session within the park. Community consultation was also completed to gain an understanding of the history of the camp, flying-fox activity in the region and to understand community values and concerns.
This information was used to develop a framework for the management of the Flying-fox camp and their habitat. The plan has been developed using the NSW Office of the Environment and Heritage template and under guidance of the NSW Flying-Fox Camp Management policy.
The draft plan will be on exhibition for four weeks until 20 August 2018. An electronic version of the draft Management Plan can be found on the Your Say Bathurst website. Hardcopies of the report will be available at the Council Civic Centre at 158 Russell Street, and the Bathurst Library.
Submissions and comments on the draft plan can be made during the public exhibition period via the Your Say Bathurst website.
More information on flying foxes can be found from the links listed below: