Fruit Bat Relocation Program to start

Published on 16 April 2019

Entry to Botanic Garden.jpg

Fruit Bat Relocation Program to start

Colac Otway Shire will soon start providing a regular online update on the progress of its Fruit Bat Relocation Program as it works with relevant authorities and interest groups to develop and implement a management plan.

Shire Services and Operations Manager Frank Castles said Council had started work on a project to relocate grey-headed flying foxes from the Colac Botanic Gardens, with an aim to find them a new home by October.

“Council is currently making contact with all the relevant government departments and we have been meeting with DELWP as the responsible authority for native wildlife,” Mr Castles said.

“Colac Otway is speaking with other Councils which have undertaken similar management plans to address issues with fruit bats, and keep in contact with Friends of the Botanic Gardens, residents living near the gardens and wildlife groups such as Friends of Bats and Bushcare and the East Gippsland Wildlife Rehabilitators,” Mr Castles said.

“The project involves reviewing the state and federal legislative requirements this month, as well as gathering and collating information and photographs detailing the locations and types of trees in the gardens affected by the bats, the extent of the damage and the number of bats.

“There are other issues to consider including the impact on trees in private gardens and the impact of the bats on local businesses as well.

“Next month we will prepare the management plan and look at all the applications and approvals which might apply to the relocation project.

“Subject to approvals, we hope to start relocating the bats over August and September, but those details will be clarified as the management plan is developed.

“Keeping the community informed will be among the priorities of this project and residents will be able to keep up to date with the project through Colac Otway Shire’s website,” he said.

“We plan to have a page on the website by the end of the month, dedicated to the relocation project and we will let the community know as soon as they can start accessing updates.”