Fox plan formulated

July 18, 2017

The amount of Grey-headed Flying Foxes in Cussen Park has significantly reduced.

The number of grey-headed flying foxes in Tatura’s Cussen Park has dropped by an estimated 9600 with about 400 still living near Margaret St.

Greater Shepparton City Council environment manager Greg McKenzie said, although they did not know where the flying foxes had gone, there was significantly a lot less.

‘‘We’re in the process of developing a management response plan,’’ he said.

Mr McKenzie told The Guardian when the flying-foxes inundated the park around May this year, a specialist from Melbourne had been contracted to develop a report.

‘‘We had Rodney van de Ree from Ecology and Infrastructure conduct a report and his report contained a number of recommendations,’’ Mr McKenzie said.

The report revealed there was the potential to prune some of the trees located in the park.

‘‘The other possibility is mounting a concerted program to shift the flying foxes to another part of the park so they don’t affect nearby residents,’’ Mr McKenzie said.

‘‘That’s where we’re at now.’’

The council has been working with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and Mr McKenzie said they had been keeping them updated.

‘‘To be sure we do comply with legislation surrounding flying foxes as they are a protected species statewide as well as federally,’’ he said.

In May this year, DELWP environment and natural resources regional manager Sue Berwick explained that the flying foxes were an important native species and most camps were seasonal, known to migrate north during the cooler months.

Ms Berwick said the grey-headed and the little red species were protected.

‘‘The grey-headed flying fox is listed as threatened under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988,’’ she said.

Mr McKenzie said they were pleased the numbers had dropped.

‘‘We’re pretty excited to get a management plan sorted out and we’ve been working with the Cussen Park Advisory Group as well,’’ he said.

He said the public would be notified once the plan had been developed on how it will be implemented.

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