Friday 13 May 2016
Two independent scientific reports both recommend against flying fox dispersal in Batemans Bay.
Eurobodalla Council commissioned the assessment reports in conjunction with the draft dispersal plan to make sure the community and Council have as much evidence as possible when considering whether or not to proceed with an active dispersal of the flying foxes.
The first report from Ecosure strongly recommends against dispersal and describes the Batemans Bay scenario as the highest risk dispersal they have assessed.
“Ecosure is arguably the most experienced flying-fox management consultancy in Australia and has been involved in numerous dispersal programs. In our opinion, this is the highest risk dispersal scenario we have assessed,” the report states.
They say a one-off dispersal is considered highly unlikely to achieve any medium or long-term outcome, noting that this year’s large influx of flying foxes appears tied to the exceptional spotted gum flowering season and that evidence suggests such large influxes will not occur again for some years.
They recommend instead that for the remainder of this season and in preparation for future temporary influxes, that Council continue its subsidy and incentive programs, that the buffer between residences at the Water Gardens be extended, and that canopy-mounted sprinklers be installed at the Water Gardens and at Catalina should the flying foxes return there next season. Selective tree trimming and removal in Catalina is also recommended as an option, as well as looking at locations that may be planted or restored to provide alternative roost habitat away from residential areas. Ecosure also recommend that Council continue working with power and mobile phone carriers as required to minimise flying-fox electrocutions and associated power outages.
The second report is by EcoLogical, who prepared the Water Gardens flying fox camp management plan for Council in December as well as the draft dispersal plan. It states that any type of dispersal or disturbance is high risk and unlikely to succeed because of the likelihood of the flying-foxes relocating to other unsuitable or inappropriate sites.
The EcoLogical report considers a wide range of actions that have been implemented or considered at other flying-fox camps, or that have been suggested by the community. Each action, many of which overlap with recommendations made by Ecosure, is costed and has recommendations.
Council is urging the community to review the draft dispersal plan and to consider the advice in the independent reports before commenting about if and when a dispersal is the best approach. The community consultation period is open until 5pm on Friday 27 May and comments will be accepted in writing, by email and using Council’s online feedback form.
Meanwhile, Council has commenced a preliminary expression of interest process to attract the people required should a flying fox dispersal operation take place.
A community information session will be held on Monday 16 May at the Batemans Bay Soldiers Club from 5pm to 7pm.
- Comprehensive information about the flying fox scenario in Batemans Bay is available on our website.
- You can also read a short summary and key points of the draft dispersal plan.
- Recommendations agreed to at the 10 May 2016 Council Meeting (182KB)
- Batemans Bay flying fox camp draft dispersal plan (5.2MB)
- Batemans Bay flying fox camp assessment - Ecosure (4.1MB)
- Batemans Bay flying fox management options - EcoLogical (2.2MB)