Bat combat plan to take flight
COUNCIL GOES IN NEW DIRECTION AFTER COLONY SETTLES IN
From page 1 THOUSANDS of greyheaded flying foxes in Balgowlah could soon be served an eviction notice, with Manly Council launching a new policy in a bid to remove the colony.
The policy is a stark contrast to the plan that was proposed earlier this year which involved nurturing, protecting and managing the colony including spraying them with water to keep them cool on hot days.
More than 9000 of the species were recorded in bushland at Burnt Bridge Creek in Balgowlah in March and residents are constantly complaining of the noise and smell from the flying foxes. There are three stages under the council’s new plan.
The first is cleaning up the area, including revegetation, weed control and rubbish removal.
The second is the gradual removal of canopy vines and coral trees – which flying foxes like to roost in and eat – to create a buffer between the camp and residential properties. The third stage is dispersal.
Manly Council deputy general manager Stephen Clements said the council needed to jump through several hoops first. “You need to apply for dispersal and you can only apply once you’ve proved to the department that you’ve been unsuccessful with everything else,” he said.
Pittwater Council attempted the dispersal method this year to remove a colony of flying foxes.
Pittwater general manager Mark Ferguson said the initial dispersal was successful but the council had since initiated a second round after some returned.
Cr Hugh Burns said dispersal was not the answer.
It would cost council approximately $200,000 to attempt dispersal.