Sunshine Coast Council has installed a sprinkler system in the treetops at Porter Park, Golden Beach, to ease conditions for local residents living beside a flying-fox roost.
The sprinkler system is mounted in the treetops around the northern and western perimeter of the park to gently nudge the flying-foxes further into the park and create a larger buffer between these native animals and residential properties.
Sunshine Coast Council Division 2 Councillor Terry Landsberg said council was implementing innovative solutions and a balanced approach to living with native wildlife in urban areas.
“Flying-foxes play a critical role helping to keep our native forests healthy and the Regional Flying Fox Management Plan has a range of clear management options for council on how to best manage the species within the region,” Cr Landsberg said.
“However, council understands it can be difficult living near roosts at times – it can be noisy and smelly and over time this can have quite an impact on nearby residents.
“This sprinkler system will create a flying-fox exclusion buffer separating the residences from the flying-fox roost and reducing the impact of the noise and smell.
“The water spray from the sprinklers will create movement and noise in the trees, imitating a predator and act as a deterrent to gently nudge the flying-foxes further into the park.
“The system is programmed to trigger for short periods of time through the day and residents have direct involvement in the process. They will turn the system on whenever they feel impacted by the roost.
“This system has been highly successful in nudging flying-foxes in eight locations where it has been installed across the Sunshine Coast.
“So far feedback from residents is that they feel more involved in the management process and empowered to take action when they feel impacted.”
Sunshine Coast Council Environment Portfolio Councillor Peter Cox said flying-foxes were incredibly important to the 600 other species depending on them.
“Some trees, such as Australian eucalypts, only flower at night and depend on flying-foxes for survival to pollinate their flowers and spread their seeds,” Cr Cox said.
“Without flying-foxes, there would be no food and shelter for our koalas, no pristine habitat for our native birds, and no magnificent forests for all of us to enjoy.
“So now, more than ever, we need to find ways to co-exist with these incredibly important native species.”
Visit www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/flyingfoxes for more tips on living with flying-foxes and the Regional Flying Fox Management Plan.