Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has announced a $40,000 funding package from the NSW Government to help Cowra Shire Council manage a flying-fox population at Cowra Golf Course.

Flying-foxes are protected as native species in NSW, with the grey-headed flying-fox also protected as a threatened species.

“Flying-foxes roost in areas known as ‘camps’, with some camps numbering in the thousands, and they hang from tree branches with little protection from the elements and predators,” Ms Cooke said.

“This funding will support Cowra Shire Council finalise the draft camp management plan for the Cowra Golf Course and implement community consultation.

“It will also help Council undertake replanting works to better manage flying-foxes and their impact on the community.

“Cowra Shire Council was one of 15 local government areas to receive funding in this round of the NSW State Government’s Flying-fox Grant Program that supports communities living with flying foxes.”

Ms Cooke pointed out that, although flying-foxes are protected by law, there can be difficulties when a colony establishes a camp near a residential area.

“There are three species of flying-fox native to NSW: the grey-headed, black and little red flying-foxes. The largest and most vulnerable of the three is the Grey-headed Flying-fox, which weighs up to a kilogram and has a one-metre wing span,” Ms Cooke said.

“When flying-fox colonies decide to set up camp close to houses, they can cause issues for residents worried about noise and odour.

“Flying-foxes are native to NSW and protected by law. We are working to protect these nomadic creatures but also look after the health of our community.

“This program has been running since 2016 and already supported 25 councils to manage flying-fox camps and help their communities.

“The grants are administered by Local Government NSW and will be extended to the end of 2019.”

Under the Flying-fox Habitat Restoration Program, the NSW Environmental Trust has committed $5 million to trial flying-fox habitat restoration away from human settlements, finding long-term solutions to conflict.

For more information, visit https://www.lgnsw.org.au/member-services/flying-fox-grants-program.