Bat relocation could begin within weeks

17 April 2014

AlburyCity has submitted plans to the Office of Environment and Heritage to relocate the bat colony roosting in the Albury Botanic Gardens. Depending on State Government approval, relocation could begin within weeks.

The 1,000 Grey Headed Flying Foxes and Little Red Flying Foxes are listed as threatened under State Government legislation which requires a detailed management plan before relocation can begin.

Council has submitted those plans for approval with the Office of Environment and Heritage and approval is expected within weeks. Relocation work will begin immediately afterwards.

Relocating the bats is a priority. Council is aware of the impact they have had on the gardens, which is one of the city’s great assets.

Council will keep the community informed as the plans are finalised and approved. The initial planning is well underway and we’re eager to see the Botanic Gardens fruit bat free as soon as possible.

A colony of Flying Foxes (Grey Headed Flying Foxes and Little Red Flying Foxes) established a camp in the Albury Botanic Gardens in September 2013. Initially the numbers were low and roosting in trees and not causing any significant issues. As the camp grew they extended their roosting range into the Children’s Garden which forced the closure of the area and into the Kauri Tree which is the tallest and most significant tree in the Botanic Gardens.

The Grey Headed Flying Fox is listed as a Threatened Species under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 and also listed as threatened under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999.

The Little Red Flying Fox is protected under the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974. The status of the Flying Foxes requires a licence from the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage to relocate.

This initiated the formulation of the Proposal to Relocate Grey Headed Flying Foxes and Little red Flying Foxes from the Albury Botanic Gardens.

Council has been working with Flying Fox experts from the Australian Research Centre for Urban Ecology; Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, representatives of NSW Office and Environment and WIRES to develop a proposal that meets the process outlined in the NSW Government Flying Fox Camp Management Policy.