Media Release – LARDER STREET FLYING-FOX NUMBERS SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCED

A Flying-fox roost in Larder St, Bargara has been reduced from a colony of 15,000 to about 2,000 since May when Bundaberg Regional Council staff began dispersal and trimming works.

Council’s Environment and Natural Resources portfolio spokesperson Cr Danny Rowleson said from the beginning Council had been mindful that there was no sure way to predict the behaviour of the animals.

“While we have been undertaking these dispersal works with advice and a risk assessment by a professional wildlife management company, there is no guarantee the flying-foxes will relocate,” Cr Rowleson said.

Despite Council’s best efforts to permanently relocate the colony during dispersal works in June, Cr Rowleson said another population of flying-foxes returned just two days later putting the process back to square one.

“Council staff have re-evaluated and will continue to undertake dispersal works with a more specific target on the removal and modification of trees currently serving as roosting sites as we believe this will achieve better long-term results.”

Cr Rowleson said time was of the essence as the colony’s breeding season would begin towards the end of August at which point further dispersal works would not legally be permitted to take place.

Bargara’s divisional representative Cr Greg Barnes said whilst he was pleased staff had successfully reduced numbers at the roost site he was concerned that the most recent historical information from across the country indicates that attempts to relocate entire colonies have often failed.

“Staff have been vigilant in their efforts to disperse the flying-fox colony while maintaining communication with key stakeholders, including those residents who have been directly affected,” Cr Barnes said.

“Whilst these works are continuing, Council is currently considering the most effective way forward.”

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