Flying-fox management in East Cessnock

Cessnock City Council has resolved to take a lead role in developing a Camp Management Plan to address the increased numbers of flying-foxes in the East Cessnock area.

Cessnock City Council has resolved to take a lead role in developing a Camp Management Plan to address the increased numbers of flying-foxes in the East Cessnock area.

Until recently Council’s role in the management of the camp had been limited due to the camp being located on a Crown Land Reserve which was not under the care or control of Council.  

An increase in the number of grey headed flying-foxes and a new incursion of a substantial number of little red flying-foxes has caused the expansion of the camp onto Council land west of Old Maitland Road between Alkira Avenue and Anzac Avenue.   

Flying-foxes are mostly a nomadic species that move across the landscape where there are sufficient food resources. This is why the reserve has hosted a fluctuating population since it was first occupied in the area in 2011.    

Grey headed flying-foxes are declared threatened species and require careful management as a result.  

Cessnock City Mayor Councillor Bob Pynsent said there are serious concerns being raised by residents following the growth in the flying fox population, primarily the impacts of odour, noise, droppings and the potential health risks associated with the species.  

“We have had many concerned residents contact us seeking action to address this issue, with the camp visibly growing in the East Cessnock area and measuring in excess of 30 thousand at present,” Cr Pynsent said.   

“Due to the camp’s expansion onto Council land, we are now in a position to take a leading role and collaborate with the relevant state agencies to develop a Camp Management Plan.”  

Council will write to the Department of Lands seeking financial assistance to complete the Plan, and to relevant state and federal ministers to express support for the suggested Senate Enquiry into flying-foxes.  

Affected members of the community will also be consulted in the development of the Plan.  

Council would like to remind residents that flying foxes play an important role in the ecology of the region and are legally protected by both state and federal legislation.  

In addition, the animals should not be approached or handled.  

Should you come across an injured animal please contact the Hunter Wildlife Rescue Service on 0418 628 483.  

To read the full Council report please view the agenda for 6 April 2016 on our website.

8 April 2016