Muswellbrook Shire Council has been successful in a grant to subsidise the removal of some problem trees in the Shire.
The grant is from Local Government NSW to remove problematic flying-fox feed trees that includes Cocos palms and broad-lead privet trees.
Flying foxes feed on the fruit of the palms but due to the size of the Cocos palm seeds they can lodge in the jaws of flying-foxes causing considerable distress and even death.
Broad-leaf privet is an environmental weed and the Grey Headed Flying Fox inadvertently causes the spread through the consumption of their fruit and therefore seeds.
The foxes are also very messy so in addition to the noise flying-fox make when feeding in these trees their faeces/poo is also very messy and can stain driveways and clothes.
The grant will enable Council to cover the costs of removal of problem trees to prevent the spread of weeds and minimise impact on the community from flying-foxes. Urban residents of the Shire who have Cocos palms or broad-leaf privet trees on their properties are encouraged to remove these trees with Council covering the cost for a limited number of tree removals. Native replacement trees will be provided to eligible applicants.
“Residents are encouraged to contact Council for an application form and to discuss the trees they would like to remove. Council will assess all applications and award them based on a set criterion. There are a limited number of rebates available, so the sooner residents contact Council, the better.” said Tracy Ward, Council's Sustainability Officer said.
“Residents can also contact Council for car and washing line covers if they are affected by flying fox poo and a pressure washer can be borrowed from council for free” she added.
Muswellbrook Council said that the flying foxes play a very important ecological role by spreading genetic diversity throughout native forests by transporting pollen over the large distances they often cover while feeding. Residents are also reminded that flying foxes are a threatened species in New South Wales, and it is unlawful to disturb them in any way.
Image credit: https://weeds.dpi.nsw.gov.au/WeedImages/Details/517?NoWeeds=7; Photographer John Hosking