$5 million in Environmental Trust grants for flying-fox habitat restoration

The NSW Government is committing $5 million dollars in grant funding over 10 years for long-term solutions that improve and restore flying-fox habitat that reduce impacts on communities, the Office of Environment and Heritage announced today.

Grey-headed Flying-fox (Pteropus poliocephalus) in full flight

Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) Director Grants, Peter Dixon said the new Environmental Trust grant program will see Local Government NSW (LGNSW) work with councils and landholders to implement long-term management actions to reduce conflict between communities and flying-fox colonies.

"Flying-foxes are increasingly in conflict with people with as they are settling in urban areas, close to homes and communities," Mr Dixon said.

"This new Flying-fox Habitat Restoration Program will see $5 million invested in trialling new methods for habitat restoration underpinned by scientific research to reduce this conflict and develop new ways to manage the colonies. Councils will work closely with affected communities throughout the planning and implementation of the program.

"We're taking a long-term view to find solutions to improve and restore flying-fox roost habitat and to make sure there are sufficient flowering trees to provide their food," he said.

As part of this new program, rigorous research will be undertaken to find out how to best encourage new roost sites and foraging habitat away from impacted communities.

This program complements the existing OEH-funded $1 million Flying-foxes Grants Program administered by LGNSW that assists councils to manage flying-fox camps in their area, as it will provide additional funding for long-term options for councils with Flying-fox Camp Management Plans.

An additional $200,000 is also being committed to an innovative project that will map potential flying-fox roost sites close to communities across NSW that occur within 300 metres of human settlements.

LGNSW will be responsible for administering the grant program and more information will become available soon.