The Australasian Bat Society (ABS) acknowledges the difficult situation faced by the residents of Batemans Bay, and encourages all parties to seek a resolution that successfully minimises impacts on people while managing the welfare of our highly mobile threatened flying-foxes.
The ABS considers dispersal of flying foxes from the Water Garden in Batemans Bay to be ill-advised. With the exceptional flowering of spotted gum currently attracting vulnerable grey-headed flying-foxes to the region from across Australia’s southeast, any local attempt at dispersal risks multiplying the problem by forcing flying-foxes into other people’s backyards.
Thus, the dispersal is likely to make an already difficult situation worse, while most flying-foxes will depart the region when the spotted gums stop flowering.
ABS president Dr Justin Welbergen says that “there is now ample evidence to show that dispersals are extremely costly and by and large unsuccessful (e.g., see here), with most resulting in the flying-foxes re-occupying their original roost soon after the dispersal activities have ceased. In those cases where flying-foxes do not return to the original roost site, they usually establish new roosts a few hundred metres away. We cannot predict where the animals may go; therefore, dispersals generally exacerbate the human-wildlife conflicts that they aim to resolve, and have negative consequences for both human and animal welfare”.
- environment.nsw.gov.au / flyingfoxsub-jenny-beatson-part1.pdf
- environment.nsw.gov.au / flyingfoxsub-jenny-beatson-part2.pdf
- environment.nsw.gov.au / flyingfoxsub-jenny-beatson-part3.pdf