FAMILY AFFAIR: A mother flying fox and baby from the Bellingen Island camp.
FAMILY AFFAIR: A mother flying fox and baby from the Bellingen Island camp. Contributed

Bat plan being drafted for Bellingen's 'Bat Island'

SUBMISSIONS on how to manage the flying fox camp on Bellingen Island will be accepted until August 2.

An emotive issue with opinions on both sides, Bellingen Shire Council is using funding from the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and Local Government NSW to develop a new management plan.

Flying foxes are protected under legislation and some species are listed as threatened.

While having a bad reputation with some sections of the community, the animals play a crucial role in pollinating native forests and spreading seeds to ensure longevity of native bushland.

Like all urban wildlife, they bring benefits and challenges to living in harmony with humans.

Council is in the process of developing a plan consistent with the NSW Flying Fox Camp Management Policy 2015 and the goal is to find the balance between protecting flying foxes while supporting the community to live with urban wildlife.

Planning began on May 31 with letters sent to 90 land owners near the Bellingen Island camp.

Now other residents with an active interest are being urged to have their say.

Following the close of submissions the draft plan will have a public exhibition period of 42 days.

For details call Bellingen Shire Council on 6655 7300 or email council@bellingen.nsw.gov.au



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