It only takes one little disturbance in Gayndah before the bats begin screeching and flying out across the Burnett River risking contamination to the town water intake.
It only takes one little disturbance in Gayndah before the bats begin screeching and flying out across the Burnett River risking contamination to the town water intake. Rose Reed

Bat problem far from over

ALTHOUGH the many thousands of little red bats have departed the banks of the Burnett River in Gayndah, a 1000-strong colony of flying foxes due to have their young have flown in to take their place.

North Burnett Mayor Joy Jensen said the black flying foxes that arrived last Thursday were part of the colony that had "come out of the blue" last year.

"We would be very, very concerned if they continue to return - they're due to have their young in October," she said

Cr Jensen said the number of remaining little red bats had "greatly reduced" and there were only a couple of trees still occupied by them.

"We're seeking permission to go in now and trim those trees that have been vacated by the (little red) bats," she said.

North Burnett Regional Council is eagerly waiting for permission to trim the vacated trees, which have been almost completely stripped since the bats took over.

"We're really keen to trim the trees now so it reduces the opportunity for any further bats to come and take up there," Cr Jensen said.

"Should any of these black flying foxes return, if there are no trees to settle into, they won't settle."

Cr Jensen said she was relieved the little red bats had left of their own accord, not long after the council's damage mitigation permit was issued.

"I was very, very concerned about forcing the bats to move," she said.

"The bats have young maturing and they've been able to head off."

The Department of Environment and Resource Management is expected to conduct its monthly bat count of known colonies across the region today.


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