PLAN OF ATTACK: Lockyer Valley Regional Council will begin work on developing a flying fox management plan early in the new financial year.
PLAN OF ATTACK: Lockyer Valley Regional Council will begin work on developing a flying fox management plan early in the new financial year. Trevor Veale

Council reveals plans to manage flying fox issue

LOCKYER Valley council has vowed to tackle the issue of flying foxes leading up to roosting season.

While the control of flying foxes is strictly governed by the state and federal governments, the council is working on a flying fox management plan for the whole local government area to identify areas where roosts may be problematic and where flying foxes should be prevented from roosting.

A council representative said the plan could identify alternative sites where new roosts may be encouraged or left to grow with minimal intervention.

Under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992, local governments have an 'as-of-right' authority to manage flying fox roosts in defined urban areas and undertake management actions, provided conditions are adhered to.

But the conditions strictly limit what actions council staff can take.

"For example, no roost tree may be trimmed when flying foxes are in or near the tree and likely to be harmed as a result of the trimming,” the council representative said.

"And as council has no control on where they roost or the ability to move them on so works can be carried out, councils often have no other choice but to sit and wait until they leave naturally before remedial works can even be considered.”

The representative said three flying fox species resided in the Lockyer Valley, all with differently timed reproductive cycles, including mating, pregnancy, birthing and creching, which made roost mediation works extremely hard, expensive and in some cases impossible.

"The three species respond differently to available food resources, mostly the flowering of eucalypt,” they said.

"Numbers and species therefore fluctuate dramatically over the course of the year, although numbers do increase from October onwards and remain high over summer before they gradually reduce again.

"Council is also hoping to get a motion up at the Australian Local Government Association National General Assembly in June that they lobby the Commonwealth Government to develop and implement a National Flying-Fox Management Framework to coordinate and harmonise flying-fox management across jurisdictions.”


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