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

Gayndah rejoices as bats decamp

BATS are starting to leave the stricken town of Gayndah, after plaguing residents and business-owners for months.

Experts from the Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) and Queensland Parks and Wildlife staff visited the North Burnett town on Friday to carry out a head count.

They discovered there has been a flying fox exodus, with the number dropping from about 300,000 animals to a colony of 10,000 in just one month.

The North Burnett Regional Council was given a permit to relocate the bats last month, but it could not be acted upon until all the young red flying foxes had reached maturity.

After the arrival of about 1000 pregnant black bats last week, mayor Joy Jensen became concerned there could be a delay of several months before the roosts could be cleared, because the new arrivals were not due to give birth until October.

But the red flying foxes have moved on earlier than expected, without any human intervention necessary.

This means there could be an opportunity of several weeks in which Queensland Parks and Wildlife staff can trim the trees, before the black bats give birth.

Cr Jensen said she was hopeful work could start to remove the roosts as early as this week.

"We have to be very careful because the permit has rigid conditions attached to it," she said.

Trees along the banks of the Burnett River will be pruned, mainly at night.


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