Council monitoring flying foxes in Home Hill

Burdekin Shire Council is currently monitoring a number of known flying fox roosting sites in Home Hill.

Governance and Local Laws Manager Dan Mulcahy said council employees were aware of black flying foxes roosting in Lloyd Mann Park and the drainage reserve on the intersection of Twelfth Avenue and Fourth Street.

“At the moment there are about 100 at the park and a smaller group at the other site,” he said.

“We will continue to monitor the roosts and assess what actions need to be taken.”

Mr Mulcahy said flying foxes provided essential services to plants and forest ecosystems, by pollinating flowers and dispersing seeds.

“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,” he said.

“The risk of catching a disease, such as Hendra virus or Australian Bat Lyssavirus, is extremely low.

“Living near bats is perfectly safe, especially if you do not try to handle the animals.

“Unfortunately, flying foxes don’t perceive a difference between urban areas and the many other habitats they migrate between in search of food as their natural habitat has been reduced through land clearing.

“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 forcing flying foxes out of the established roosts did not guarantee the animals would move to a more appropriate location.

“We have tried a variety of tactics on a number of occasions over past years to move flying foxes from these locations,” he said.

“At this stage we will continue to monitor the roosts and inform residents of any action we decide to take.”

For more information about flying foxes visit Council’s website.


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