Using New South Wales planning instruments to improve conservation and management of Grey-headed Flying-fox camps
Peggy Eby, 2002. "Using New South Wales planning instruments to improve conservation and management of Grey-headed Flying-fox camps", Managing the Grey-headed Flying-fox: As a Threatened Species in NSW, Peggy Eby, Daniel Lunney
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The listing of Grey-headed Flying-foxes Pteropus poliocephalus as Vulnerable on the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act (TSC Act) initiated a shift in management focus from control to conservation. The process has highlighted the need to preserve roosting habitat for the species and develop strategies to limit conflict with neighbours. This paper documents the conservation status of Grey-headed Flying-fox camps located east of the escarpment in NSW and explores the potential to use existing planning instruments to 1) protect roost vegetation from clearing and 2) limit conflict with humans by restricting development around camp perimeters (buffers). In coastal NSW, only 27% of camps and 16% of buffers are in conservation reserves. A high percentage of sites are on privately owned land where land use is regulated through the zoning and land use controls prescribed by local government. Protection of vegetation within a camp should greatly improve under the requirements of the TSC Act. However, there are no provisions in the Act to restrict development around camps. The effective use of buffers to limit conflict with humans could be achieved using the Environmental Planning Instruments under the NSW Environmental Protection and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act). For example, the perimeters of camps could be zoned for environmental protection in Local Environment Plans with land use controls that restrict development. This planning-based strategy requires a substantial investment in time and effort to implement. However, it has the potential to secure conservation and management outcomes that will benefit Grey-headed Flying-foxes and local communities into the future.