Winged menace finally outfoxed

A permit has been issued for the removal of a colony of more than 100,000 little red and black flying foxes from Duaringa’s Mackenzie Park.
A permit has been issued for the removal of a colony of more than 100,000 little red and black flying foxes from Duaringa’s Mackenzie Park.

HOLY deliverance from the bats man!

After more than two months of the daily stink and noise squall from a flying fox invasion, Duaringa's days of dung and din are numbered.

The State Government yesterday granted a damage mitigation permit to the Central Highlands Regional Council for the relocation of the winged menace that bat conservationists had wanted to stay put at Mackenzie Park as a 'tourist' attraction.

One local said the good news would quickly filter through the town, although she questioned why it had taken more than two months to move on the problem.

"We're pleased the council now has the permit and the power to humanely move the bats out of our residential areas," she said.

"You should see the mess in my backyard… there has been so much damage done to the community since the bats' arrival.

"It is definitely impacting on the tourist season because they're hearing about it before they get here.

"The real question is why has it taken so long for something to happen?"

Central Highlands Mayor Peter Maguire said council officers would now formulate a relocation action plan to sites under consideration near the town.

The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection issued the permit.

"Under the permit conditions, council officers can not commence dispersal activities until wildlife officers confirm there are no visibly pregnant females or dependent young in the roost," wildlife management director Dr Ashley Bunce said.

"Council will be allowed to use humane methods of managing the roost including the use of noise, lights or smoke in the early hours of the morning to discourage the animals from returning to the roost.

"The council is also required to secure the services of an on-call veterinarian or wildlife carer inoculated for Lyssavirus."

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