The Burdekin Shire Council will next week begin using more intrusive methods in an effort to disperse flying foxes from Home Hill’s Lloyd Mann Park.
Environment and Health Manager Tracy Jensen said the trimming of trees and use of bright lights had reduced the number of flying foxes from about 1000 down to about 200.
“However our concern is if we don’t disperse the remaining population from Lloyd Mann Park that numbers will increase again over time,” Miss Jensen said.
“Our next step is to use loud starter’s pistols which will be used intermittently at strategic points around the roost to discourage roosting.
“Unfortunately this will have to occur when the animals are returning to the area which is 5am-6.30am, but it will increase our chance of success in dispersing them from the park.
“Council employees will start this next Tuesday (June 18) and will assess the effectiveness of the starter’s pistols during the program.”
Miss Jensen said Home Hill residents would receive a letter explaining the process.
“If residents have animals that are easily spooked by loud noise, it would be advisable to ensure they are adequately secured to reduce the risk of them escaping,” she said.
“There is also a risk the dispersal of the colony could push the flying foxes into people’s backyards.
“Council is committed to moving the flying fox roosts out of the town, so if residents see any new colonies or flying foxes in areas where they haven’t been before, please contact Council straight away.
“Council has been working with the North Burdekin Water Board to clean up an area in the bottom of Plantation Park where a large colony used to reside many years ago.
“These works included the removal of undergrowth and weeds and it is hoped that this will make the area more attractive to flying foxes and encourage them to take up this alternate roost.”
The Burdekin Shire Council was granted a Damage Mitigation Permit from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection in April this year.