Bat action just ‘waste of time'

ANY attempt to move Yeppoon's infamous colony of flying foxes would be costly, lengthy and carry no guarantee of success, councillors have been told.

Joe Adair, a team leader with Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, said there was no evidence the colony - which many see as a foul-smelling health hazard - was growing.

He addressed members of Rockhampton Regional Council's environment committee and was asked if it was practical to move the bats from their Ross Ck roost.

"In my opinion it wouldn't be practical. They would scatter and could establish lots of smaller colonies in the town," he said.

"It would take a long time and cost a lot of money," he said, adding that as wild animals "they wouldn't necessarily go where you want them to go".

Dispersal activity was not something to be entered into lightly.

"In some cases it will not work and could result in a less desirable outcome," Mr Adair warned.

He said that while the Hendra virus was carried by all bats, it was only at very low levels and the risk posed by the colony to human health was low.

In addition to Ross Ck there were known roosts at Marlborough, Kelly's Landing, Great Keppel Island, Yaamba, Keppel Sands, Raglan Ck and Rockhampton's dump.

Councils can now apply for a management permit lasting up to three years to disturb known roosts.

Mr Adair said despite the high profile of the Yeppoon colony there were not many complaints and those that were received were usually about smell.

"By and large most residents and visitors understand and enjoy seeing them fluttering about in the evenings," he said.

The council has no plans to seek a permit to disturb the colony.


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