Burdekin Shire Council flying fox dispersal activities in Home Hill’s Lloyd Mann Park have finished.
Council’s Governance and Local Laws manager Dan Mulcahy said there had been some bats within the colony that were observed to be carrying young.
“This number was difficult to quantify and Council monitored the bats during the dispersal,” he said.
“Fortunately, there was no separation of mothers and their young. However, there is a possibility the females that have been disturbed will stop lactating and therefore be unable to feed their young.
“If any person comes across any distressed or injured bats they should not touch them, but contact the Council or the North Queensland Wildlife Care on 0414 717 374 as soon as possible.”
Mr Mulcahy said flying foxes were unique creatures.
“They provide essential services to plants and forest ecosystems, by pollinating flowers and dispersing seeds,” he said.
“This is why the Queensland Government has banned the shooting of flying foxes – an activity Council does not condone.
“Flying foxes are clean animals that groom themselves regularly. Although some bats do naturally carry diseases, the vast majority are not likely to harbour a disease.”
Mr Mulcahy said living near bats was perfectly safe, especially if residents took a few simple precautions, such as not handling them.
“Unfortunately, flying foxes don’t perceive a difference between urban areas and the many other habitats they migrate between in search of food,” he said.
“Council then is placed in a position of weighing up the public interest of moving the bats from an urban area versus letting them stay and potentially grow the size of the colony.”
Mr Mulcahy said the animals appeared to have an alternative roost site as they had not been present in the park since June.
“This site is only a recent roost with the animals starting to use it back in early 2013 when about 1000 flying foxes were in the park,” he said.
“Council tried a number of ways to get the roost to move and starter pistols proved most effective.
“It is hoped that the dispersal may encourage the bats to return to their previous roost or to river habitats that exist nearby and Council now will look at actions to prevent them returning.”
Council has uploaded educational documents on flying foxes on to its website or for more information on flying foxes go to www.ausbats.org.au.