The Manly Daily
Council seeks bat review
3 AUG 11 @ 04:30PM BY ANDREW PRIESTLEY
PITTWATER Council has called for the vulnerability of grey-headed flying foxes to be reassessed due to tensions between the animals and residents.
Councillors passed a motion at Monday night’s meeting, requesting a rethink of the bats’ vulnerable status and for any rethink to be used in determining methods for dealing with the animals.
The council also requested the state government develop new management processes for the bats. State member for Pittwater Rob Stokes was also asked to assist with the issue.
The matter will be brought up at the NSW Local Government Association annual conference in October.
The council made the call as part of a resolution to adopt a new management plan for Cannes Reserve and Gunyah Place Reserve, where residents have said their health and well-being has been affected by noise, smell and droppings from the animals. According to council documents, an average of 360 bats inhabit the reserve’s colony.
The grey-headed flying fox has a NSW and national conservation status of “vulnerable”, restricting how council can manage the bat population.
According to the NSW environment office, the grey-headed flying fox was determined as vulnerable in 2001, due to the species population declining 30 per cent from more than 560,000 in 1989 to about 400,000 at the time of listing.
Habitat loss through land clearing was pointed as the main reason for the decline.
The grey-headed flying fox is also classed as a native animal, which restricts their management on top of the “vulnerable” status.
Should the vulnerability of bats be reassessed?