THE humble mango tree could soon be the target of an anti-flying fox strategy proposed by Southport’s councillor.
Homeowners have been urged to chop down mango trees and cocos palms by area councillor Dawn Crichlow as part of a grassroots solution to the city’s growing population of bats.
Cr Crichlow was unable to secure the State Government’s “bat squad” but instead proposed homeowners take the fight into their own hands.
“We are stuck in a stalemate with the State Government on this so instead I think we need to look at removing the food source of these creatures,” she said.
“Cocospalms and mango trees are the issue here and by educating people to get rid of them from yards, we can make strides towards improving the situation for people who are affected by bats. The move has shocked conservationists, who slammed Cr Crichlow’s stance as being completely “ill-informed”.
“In the meantime, I will make a request to the council for funds to bring the bat-squad to the Gold Coast.”
Gecko president Lois Levy said the proposal was both illogical and unlikely to make any difference. Bats, which play an important role in plant pollination, are a protected species under state law, with council figures suggesting more than 300,000 live in the region across 51 colonies.
Other councils have already thrown their weight behind the idea, with Cairns Regional Council unanimously voting to apply for a permit to remove the creatures. from its tourist strip
The city spent more than $500,000 on a bat management program last year.
Southport residents affected by the bats last year sent local councillors and MPs a 20-page action plan. to solve the issue.
The oldest bat colonies date back to 2003. Among the most populated colonies are near Southport’s Loders Creek, Gardiners Creek and the Broadbeach Cascade Gardens which is home to more than 7500 flying foxes, down from 36,000 just a few years ago.
Originally published as Councillor wants mango trees cut