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Fear over bat move but council says it's just natural


A NEARBY resident has written to Noosa councillors warning of the takeover of flying-foxes in Pinaroo Park.

Robyn Richards, who loves the park after 13 years of living beside it, has told the councillors that the "bat infestation" has escalated from 20 as reported last July by council environment officer Peter Milne, to more than 200 "so far in a very short time".

"What is scary, you the council let the other colony in Wallace Park go freely and there are 30,000-plus now and they have stripped the park, most of the other animals are gone and the people's lives have been completely destroyed, along with their property values," she wrote.

"You can imagine the noise, the droppings and the stench."

She fears that any natural moving on from the Noosaville area will be to the Junction parkland.

"Council's excuses are the bats are protected, they will leave in three years and it is too expensive to remove them, " Ms Richards said.
"The bats will destroy Pinaroo Park and we will lose all the wildlife that is there, especially the major ducks' breeding ground.

"The koalas no longer call out at night, the black cockatoos are in danger and the children's playground, the barbecue area, the walking paths, both for dog owners and parents with babies, not to mention the hundreds of other people that use this park and the wetlands, will all be doused in droppings, stench and noise."

Ms Richards said moving out was not an option for her, but she feared any further escalation as the noise only 200 bats make is "quite deafening".

"I can still hear them with my windows and doors closed," she said.

"They start at sunrise and fly around all day. I watch them from my window, where also a family of tawny faced owls roost in the trees right at my window when it is raining heavily. When there is a southerly blowing I have to close my windows."

Ms Richards said previous bats at the hospital had been dispersed.

"I have seen them in Hastings St, especially sitting above the diners at the outside eateries," she said.

They also created problems at Tewantin and Boreen Point, she said. She hopes that the bat issue will be an election issue.

"I certainly will not vote for any councillors who again puts the life of bats and money before the lives of human beings," she said.

Council's principal environment officer said Peter Milne has revealed Noosa is investigating the use of a sprinkler system to create a further separation between residents and flying foxes at the Wallace Park camp. "At the Wallace Park flying fox camp, council is planning to undertake boundary vegetation works in April to help provide some relief to neighbours," Mr Milne said. As for concerns about the flying foxes moving into Pinaroo Park, he said "flying foxes have been around for thousands of years and it is not unusual to have them feeding and roosting in the Noosa area". "There is usually four to six flying fox camps in the Noosa Shire," Mr Milne said. "Flying fox camps regularly fluctuate in size, and individual flying foxes often change between camps. "Sometimes flying fox camps build up in large numbers and, at other times, they can become completely vacant." He said their behaviour is related to local food availability and in January, large numbers of little red flying foxes travelled from western Queensland to the Sunshine Coast. He said this stopover is consistent with the previous past two years," Mr Milne said. "Little red flying foxes, which are highly nomadic, follow the flowering of native trees." He said the large numbers usually moved on after several weeks when flowering had ceased. Mr Milne said they were protected animals.

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Megabats and Microbats: Fear over bat move but council says it's just natural
Fear over bat move but council says it's just natural
Fear over bat move but council says it's just natural
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