FLYING foxes in a popular nature reserve are on the nose and the time has come for the animals to find a new home, nearby residents believe.
The grey-headed flying fox, black flying fox and little red flying fox use Kooloonbung Creek area as a day camp or roost.
Nearby residents have repeatedly raised concerns about the noise, smell and health risk.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council will continue to look at the option of relocating the flying foxes after last week’s adoption of the Kooloonbung Creek Nature Park management plan.
But the council advises flying fox relocation has proven to be a costly or unsuccessful exercise in other areas.
Lake Road resident Gai Wood is fed up with the flying foxes.
“I live about 100m away from them, which I would say is a relatively safe distance, but you cannot get away from the smell and you cannot get away from the noise,” she said.
The retiree said the stench was chronic, and for a tourist town, it was not on.
“The bats can be moved and should be moved to give us a cleaner and healthier environment to live,” Ms Wood said.
The creation of buffer zones between houses and Kooloonbung Creek Nature Park is one of the measures in the management plan.
There will also be a feasibility study to investigate the option of creating a secondary alternative flying fox roosting site away from built up areas.
Hollingworth Street resident Iris Cherryholme said she had been tormented by flying foxes for the past six years.
“It goes on day and night,” she said. “The stench is almost suffocating.”
Mrs Cherryholme has contacted the council and politicians in search of a solution.
Council’s development and environmental services director Matt Rogers said residents right on Kooloonbung Creek had made repeated requests to remove the flying foxes from the site
Mr Rogers said the council acknowledged the issues of noise, smell and the perceived health risk they present.
“The reality is that attempts in Australia to disperse flying fox colonies have either been very costly or failed,” he said.
The plan of management also considers signs throughout the park, a proposed cycleway link and bushfire management measures.
Administrator Neil Porter said the plan did enable the council to revisit the issue of relocating the flying foxes.
A report on the issue will be brought back to the council by June next year.