Flying fox count due to begin tomorrow

CLARENCE Valley groups will be involved in a national flying fox census due to begin tomorrow.

Local spokesman for the Department of Environment and Heritage Lawrence Orel said the department will need to coordinate the groups counting the creatures to ensure the tally is as accurate as possible.

"We have to ensure groups are counting at the same time to ensure there is no double counting," he said.

NSW Environment Minister Robyn Parker has welcomed NSW's participation, described as one of the most comprehensive surveys of flying foxes ever undertaken.

The latest survey includes the grey-headed species' entire national range.

"I've advocated a national grey-headed flying fox census since my first days as NSW Environment Minister and I am pleased to say the first count will be carried out this week between February 14 and 16," Ms Parker said.

"The grey-headed flying fox needs our protection but we also need to ensure that camps located near schools, homes and parks are managed to avoid creating unreasonable difficulties for local communities.

"This breakthrough census will deliver a reliable benchmark on the current size of the grey-headed flying fox population in 2013 and hopes to give an indication of population trends at the end of four years.

"It is a critical step in gathering important information to assist many communities manage the impacts of, and live with, flying fox camps and to contribute to the conservation of the species."


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