Orange City Council is developing a plan to guide its future management of Flying-foxes in the city.
As part of the plan, Council wants to hear from the community about the impact, if any, Flying-foxes have had on Orange residents.
Orange Mayor Reg Kidd said it was clear the Flying-foxes would continue to visit Orange on a regular basis and it was important Council developed a plan to manage the visitors.
“Flying-foxes are a threatened species, and we must respect that status,” Cr Kidd said.
“The practicalities of managing Flying-foxes and their camps are governed by state and federal government legislation and any management plans Council considers must be within the boundaries imposed by those authorities.
“For some neighbourhoods, Flying-foxes can be a nuisance and many people have very strong opinions on how they should be managed in our public parks and in private backyards.
“There are also potential economic impacts of these native animals to consider in horticultural enterprises as well as possible health and environmental concerns.
“The topic of Flying-foxes can be an emotional one and it’s crucial there’s more understanding from people from all sides of the debate, we’re hoping participation in this survey will deliver better understanding on all aspects of the issue.”
Flying-foxes often migrate to Orange, in the warmer months, and set up camps in locations such as Cook Park, Ploughmans Lane and around the outskirts of town.
Council received $10,000 in funding from the NSW Government for development of the plan.
An independent environment consultant (Ecosure) has been appointed to help develop the draft plan for Council.
One of the steps in this process includes finding out more about community attitudes by encouraging people to participate in an online survey.
Orange City council’s Environment and Sustainability Policy Committee Chair Stephen Nugent said Council wanted to gauge public perceptions of the species and wanted to seek feedback on ideas for managing the flying-foxes.
“By participating in the survey on Council’s YourSay Orange website, you will help guide management actions for the plan,” Cr Nugent said.
“We’d like to hear from all sections of the community, people who have been directly affected by the presence of Flying-foxes in their yards, near their homes and in public parks.
“We’d equally like to hear from people who have not been impacted directly by these by these native animals but would like to share their feedback on how Council can manage them while respecting their threatened species status.”
Head to Council’s YourSay Orange website to participate in the survey. While you are on the YourSay website, register your email address to receive emails from time to time, regarding a range of Council projects where community feedback is sought.