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Byron Shire
February 9, 2023

Vandals 

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Regarding the Byron Shire Council flying fox camp management plan. I am sure your [Byron Council] committee is fully aware of the enormous problems that plagued Sydney’s Botanical Gardens where the flying fox ‘vandals’ were intent in demolishing the coveted area. The government, according to ‘Google’ spent $1M to move the ‘camp’ on, and are making sure it doesn’t return by spending $50,000 annually.

I am sure you will be aware of the following comments, but I would still like you and your committee to read them: 

Flying foxes destroy their ‘camp’ sites and the surrounding area, including people’s homes, recreation areas, shopping centres, motor vehicles, schools etc (just to mention a few areas: Bellingen, Maclean, Glenreagh Park, Singleton).

Byron Shire ‘boasts’ a total of nearly 17,000 bats in only three camps at this stage. 

The question has been asked and not answered, ‘what percentage of pollination do the flying foxes carry out? They are not the only bird or animal helping to propagate nature but I venture to say they are the only ones who destroy the environment.

It appears to me that these ‘mollycoddled’ animals are destroying many areas, and in return are being pampered and allowed to carry on unimpeded. 

If the Botanical Gardens in Sydney are protected, why can’t Bellingen, Maclean, Glenreagh Park and hudrends of similar communities receive help to ‘resettle’ flying foxes away from regional areas. 

The suggestions of installing double-glazed windows, insulation, air conditioning, covers over vehicles, parking areas, school playgrounds and outside areas of homes is ‘pie in the sky’. The cost would be huge and no doubt will be picked up by Council. What a joke. My suggestion is to duplicate the Botanical Gardens Sydney and move these vandals on. 

Malcolm Murray, Mullumbimby


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7 COMMENTS

  1. We gubbas are the ‘vandals’ who have systematically destroyed almost all of bats’ natural rainforest habitat. Now some still want to finish off the job. Comparisons with treatment of other native inhabitants are hard to avoid.

  2. The main problem with ‘fruit bats” is that they are fully protected animals.
    The fact that their numbers proliferate to pest levels is beside this legal point.
    Community plans to encourage them to roost somewhere else + further from homes/ infrastructure etc., are usually far too late to be effective. Once a ‘camp’ has been established it will normally continue ‘ad infinitum’.
    One look at the scarred Bi-Centennial Reserve at Maclean or Booyong NR will quickly show the fact that considerable environmental damage occurs by over-use. This destruction is also to the detriment of the bats, as fatalities from over-heating due to their canopy and branch damage will occur.
    Recently the local sub-tropical fruit industry has become fully pest-netted (at considerable cost and continuing inconvenience), so it’s possible that bat numbers may slowly decline or else move South for easier access to food-crops to try and maintain their breeding numbers.
    This could hopefully slowly & naturally lead to fewer peripheral camps being established away from traditional roosts, with the bonus of fewer unwanted interactions with our local suffering communities in future.
    The Sydney Botanical Gardens case seems to support that less food on the FNC is leading to changes with bat colonies moving Southward, due to less access to local agricultural fruit supplies.

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