Tamworth flying fox numbers dwindle as the heat soars


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TAMWORTH Regional Council has planted trees on the outskirts of the CBD to help manage future influxes of flying foxes. The number of flying foxes around the Tamworth CBD has decreased significantly in recent weeks due to soaring heat, a lack of food and the need for more favourable breeding grounds. Tamworth Regional Council environmental health officer, Alex Habilay, said the population had shrunk to less than 500. READ MORE: It peaked at 89,450 in early September. “Throughout November and December, Tamworth’s flying-fox population significantly reduced – most likely due to the increased heat conditions and the reduction of food sources in the region related to the ongoing drought and seasonal changes with vegetation growth,” Mr Habilay said. The most recent count in mid-November 2019 undertaken by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage revealed Tamworth had a population of 445 flying-foxes. The council has been managing the vegetation along the river so future flying foxes influxes aren’t as prominent in the CBD. Planting has occurred on the western bank of the Peel River at the junction of Goonoo Goonoo Creek which is an area away from residential properties and recreational areas. Mr Habilay said this location was “less likely to bring the animals and people into conflict”. The council has also removed trees from Bicentennial Park as part of its Fling fox camp management plan. It removed 15 deteriorated trees and pruned the deadwood limbs from about 40 trees in Bicentennial Park. These trees were damaged after several years of flying fox activity. The remaining flying foxes were in the creche phase, where young are left roosting while mothers forage, and there were no pups or pregnant mothers found when the council and WIRES inspected the camp last month. Support the local news that keeps you informed – subscribe today Have your say. Click this link to send a letter to the editor

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