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Huge numbers of flying foxes in Batemans Bay to be dispersed after council decision


A far south coast council has decided to disperse a controversial flying fox colony in Batemans Bay.

Grey-headed flying fox numbers peaked at more than 100,000 in May, but the population has receded recently due to cold weather and reduced food sources.

Eurobodalla Shire Council Mayor Lindsay Brown said dispersal would go ahead once the Office of Environment and Heritage delivered its terms and conditions.

"It will be an ongoing process, even [if it] includes going on for three years depending on monitoring," he said.

"The major activity we have to deal with [before] August 1, because that's when both the state and federal government approvals allow us to go."

The council has previously said attempts would start this winter, and it would wait for the State Government to approve dispersal methods.

The approach often involves smoke, noise and lights, and the council's draft dispersal plan also outlined spraying trees with deterrents and using giant inflatable tube men to scare the animals away.

Cr Brown said dealing with the issue was hard for the community and the council.

Residents have reported an "intolerable stench and unbearable noise", and made it clear last month they wanted immediate action.

Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt last month granted the Eurobodalla council a national interest exemption to allow it to take action.

The New South Wales Government has also committed $2.5 million to solving the problem.

The council estimated the dispersal plan would cost $6.2m over three years.

The Eurobodalla council previously said dispersing flying fox populations was unpredictable and had been unsuccessful in other places in the past.

Grey-headed flying foxes are listed by the Commonwealth and NSW Governments as a "vulnerable to extinction species", with the CSIRO estimating there are about 680,000 in Australia.


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BATS. Megabats, Flying-foxes, Fruit bats and Microbats: Huge numbers of flying foxes in Batemans Bay to be dispersed after council decision
Huge numbers of flying foxes in Batemans Bay to be dispersed after council decision
Huge numbers of flying foxes in Batemans Bay to be dispersed after council decision
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