Rudder Park Flying-fox Camp Management Plan

Cover of Rudder Park Flying-fox Camp Management Plan

Kempsey Shire Council has endorsed a plan to manage flying-fox colonies at Rudder Park, East Kempsey in a bid to minimise the impacts of the species on nearby residents.

The Rudder Park flying-fox camp is located on three parcels of land that are either owned or managed by Council or Department of Crown Land.

Managing community impacts and concerns about the camp as well as facilitating the necessary legislative approvals for any actions and ensuring the welfare of the flying-foxes are core objectives of the Management Plan.

Flying-foxes play an important role in pollination and seed dispersal and are protected in NSW under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.

However, flying-fox camps are appearing more frequently in urban centres, creating conflict with residents who are concerned about possible health issues, noise and odour.

The Management Plan was been prepared in conjunction with specialist ecological consultant group Ecosure following a community engagement program that included a survey, face to face meetings and telephone calls with interested community members and extensive promotion. Council endorsed the Rudder Park Flying-fox Camp Management Plan at the October 2017 Council meeting.

The plan includes both long-term and short-term strategies.

The plan sets out a number of options categorised across three levels depending on their level of disturbance to the camp. Level one and two actions include:

  • Education and awareness programs.
  • Property modification.
  • Council to ensure that advice is available to the community on how to manage interactions with flying foxes.
  • Appropriate land use planning
  • Creating a buffer by removing bamboo from the edges of the camp area on Council property boundary.