Community education the focus of Council’s flying-fox management approach

Council will focus on community education and identifying areas for flying-fox roosts that don’t conflict with residential areas, following the adoption of a voluntary flying-fox statement of management intent today.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the statement of management intent took steps to separate urban communities from flying-fox roosts in the long-term, while recognising the important environmental role flying-foxes played.

“Flying-foxes can be a complex issue to manage. While they play an important role in the ecological health of local forests, roosts situated near local communities can also present some temporary unrest for residents during certain seasons,” she said.

“Council’s statement of intent shows our commitment to lessening the impact of flying-foxes on residents by undertaking pest and fire management on roosts, while committing to not dispersing flying-foxes or destroying their roosts.

“Council will also undertake work to identify locations for future flying-fox roosts away from residential areas, as well as revegetating previously used roosts that don’t conflict with the community.

“This proactive approach will help flying-foxes continue to play a crucial role in the local ecosystem, while having minimal impact on residents.

“Through our statement of intent, Council will also continue to advocate on behalf of the community to the State Government to assist with flying-fox management.”

Council’s environmental spokesperson Cr Lance Hewlett said while traditionally flying-foxes were managed by the State Government, changes in 2013 provided the opportunity for Councils to make their own decisions about how to manage individual roosts in urban areas.

“Historically flying-foxes have been managed by the State Government, but this new process provides the opportunity for Councils to develop a clear position with regard to flying-fox management on Council owned land,” he said.

“Given this, Council felt it was important to voluntarily develop a statement of intent so the community had a consistent message about flying-foxes, allowing clarity when it came to planning and ongoing management practices.

“Council’s statement of intent also states that we will continue to monitor and map roost sites in partnership with the State Government and liaise closely with other Councils and researches to about best practices.”