Sydney bats' eviction order put back
May 16, 2011
The 22,000-strong colony of bats at Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens have been given a reprieve.
A plan to chase them out of the park has been postponed for a year.
The Domain Trust was scheduled to drive the grey-headed flying foxes out of the gardens this month, using speakers mounted on buggies that were to blast out recorded sounds of engines starting and metal being banged.
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But the trust's acting executive director, Brett Summerell, said staff wanted to collect more information about the bats before they were pushed to resettle in other flying fox camps in Cabramatta, Ku-ring-gai and Parramatta.
"It's important we collect more information on fitting radio and satellite collars so we can reduce any potential impact on the flying foxes," he said in a statement released by the trust today.
Dr Summerell said the additional monitoring would help researchers get baseline data on the movements of the bats during May and July - the period when the relocation is due to be carried out.
May and July are when the colony at the gardens is believed to be at its lowest.
The monitoring would include calculating the monthly population of Sydney's bats and tracking their movements using radios and satellites.
The bats were blamed for killing 27 trees and jeopardising another 300 since moving in two decades ago.
Dr Summerell said gardens staff would "do everything we can to limit damage" to the affected trees, which include the red cedar and kauri, in the meantime.
"We're working for a balanced approach to address the welfare of the flying fox population and preserve our much-valued trees," he added.
The grey-headed flying foxes are listed as a threatened species under NSW and federal laws.
As such, the mating spell during March and April, the pregnancy term after July, and the birth and growth of the bat pups from mid-October to February are all no-go periods for the noise project.
Groups such as Bat Advocacy opposed the eviction, saying it would be unsuccessful.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/animals/sydney-bats--eviction-order-put-back-20110516-1epaf.html#ixzz1vQ8XDEg9