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Petition delivered to State Government

Petition delivered to State Government


What and how we won!

Outcome - a weak letter received from the Minister for the Environment regarding flying fox treatment. Nothing will change.

Why this is important

Threatened Species Day 2012 was marked by a decision by the Queensland Government to sanction the killing of flying-foxes - including two threatened species - Spectacled and Grey-headed flying-foxes. This reversed the 2008 decision of the previous government to ban shooting because it was inhumane. The Newman Government enacted a Flying-fox Control Amendment Bill (2012) to allow for the relocation using lethal control of flying-fox colonies that are ‘impacting’ upon urban areas and fruit farmers. While this Bill was finally squashed by parliament, the new Queensland Government has decided to allowed for the culling of 'pest' wildlife, that is flying-foxes, to be 'managed' under the current Nature Conservation Act 1992 - indiscriminate of maternal colonies. Councils and farmers are now encouraged to apply for Damage Mitigation Permits (DMP) for the shooting and removal of flying-foxes.

Flying-foxes are crucial to keeping native forests healthy. They play an important role in seed dispersal and pollination. Because flying-foxes are highly mobile, seeds can be moved locally and over great distances.

However, there are currently three very concerning known colony relocations occurring throughout Queensland.

(1) Cairns Regional Council and the Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort are planning to relocate a colony of spectacled flying-foxes (a threatened species) from the Cairns CBD. This colony is a key roost and breeding site for the spectacled flying-fox species in far north Queensland, and is a popular attraction for tourists. According to the 2012 Council report, the colony has existed at this location for an estimated 35 years (Cairns and Far North Environment Centre).

(2) Charters Towers have been given a DMP to use cruel and inhumane force against the maternity colony of flying-foxes in Listner Park. There has been cruel atrocities there in the past with the use of paint ball guns and water cannons in winter in this park and other morbid methods to get rid of the bats. This DMP will allow the use of helicopters, water cannons, smoke and sirens. If this DMP is enacted over the next few months there will be an extreme animal welfare tragedy (Bat Conservation and Rescue Queensland).

(3) The recent roost modification at Toowong in Brisbane took out around 30 roost trees. This has pushed the bats closer together and closer to residents and the council depot. The bats are now in large figs along the boundary fence. They have been forced closer together causing fights and squabbles. The mothers are stressed and losing their milk. All babies found over the last 4 weeks are emaciated and have nothing in their intestinal tract at all. We have a low estimate of over 100 young dead as a result and we are still finding dead and dying babies. We cannot recover them, the mothers are holding them until they cannot hold them any longer and they are too far gone by the time they drop. What is inconceivable is that there was no accountability required under the conditions of the DMP. No spotter catcher when the trees came down (at night), no EHP or council staff were present only tree lopping contractors and a few of our members. We would not have known about it if a resident had not called us. We are monitoring the welfare but the bats are terribly stressed, constantly yelling and flying around. Council gave figures of 300 – 500 bats and one roost tree numbers for June. The reality was 2,000 bats with 70% greys and 30 roost trees. (Bat Rescue and Conservation Queensland).

The Queensland Government have made it clear that they will be issuing DMP’s for colonies regardless of maternal status and dependency of young as recently witnessed at Perrin Park Toowong. This is a very public park so who knows or can even help the bats in other less public places across Qld. It is unknown when or where DMP’s are being issued. What is even more concerning is that the State Government are actively asking for people to apply. This is with the knowledge that dispersals DO NOT work.

Studies of bat relocation in Australia have shown that:

• In all cases, dispersed animals did not abandon the local area.
• In 16 of 17 cases, dispersals did not reduce the number of es in a local area.
• Dispersed animals did not move far (in 69% of cases the animals only moved less than 600m from the original site).
• In 92% of cases, new camps were established nearby.
• In all cases, it was not possible to predict where replacement camps would form.
• Repeat dispersal actions were generally required (in all cases except where complete vegetation removal took place).
• The financial costs of all dispersal attempts were high, ranging from tens of thousands of dollars for vegetation removal to hundreds of thousands for active dispersals (e.g. using noise, smoke, etc.).
See for further information.

Please sign this petition that will be sent to the Queensland State and Federal Government. This outrageous behaviour cannot continue.

Posted November 21, 2013
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