#comment-126189">more #comment-126190">comments: Flying Foxes hounded from their habitat (July 2013(?), Environment East Gippsland), Council keen to remove bat-attracting trees (23/1/14, ABC), Chester backs push for Bairnsdale bats removal (21/5/14, ABC), Flying foxes torment Bairnsdale community like bats out of hell (14/6/14, Herald Sun).Added links to other stories, including more recent stories, about the Mitchell River Flying Foxes, in response to
Chester backs push for Bairnsdale bats removal (21/5/14, ABC), Flying foxes torment Bairnsdale community like bats out of hell (14/6/14, Herald Sun), Council keen to remove bat-attracting trees (23/1/14, ABC), Flying Foxes hounded from their habitat (July 2013(?), Environment East Gippsland).Other stories, including more recent stories, about the Mitchell River Flying Foxes:
There is a breeding colony of grey headed flying foxes at Bairnsdale in poplar trees along the bank of the Mitchell River in Bairnsdale. It is now threatened by the East Gippsland Shire. This article, by Bob McDonald, contains a fascinating history of flying fox colonies in early Victoria, as well as some keen scientific observations. (Photos also by Bob McDonald.)
This letter is first to request submission to the federal process. http://www.environment.gov.au/
( See end of article for what you can do to help.)
In 1999 the species was classified as "Vulnerable to extinction" in The Action Plan for Australian Bats,#0066cc"> and has since been protected across its range under Australian federal law. As of 2008 #0066cc"> on the #0066cc"> . from the wiki article #0066cc">#0066cc">
The grey-headed flying fox summer nursery colony has been on the Mitchell River Bank for 10 years. This species, despite what DSE and some zoologists say - has been present in Victoria continuously. The removal of colonies from Sale and elsewhere last century, accompanied by the removal of vegetation they require for a summer breeding colonies had seen these colonies lost to the south of the state. The creation of a rainforest in the Melbourne Botanical Gardens and later, around 2002-03 the growth of poplars with a dense weedy understory at Bairnsdale, has enabled them to establish two summer breeding colonies. The one from the Botanical Gardens was forcibly evicted and the grey headed flying foxes moved to red gums on the banks of the Yarra River where they suffer a significantly increased mortality rate.
The East Gippsland Shire, in response to resident’s complaints, established a process to fell the poplars in stages and replace them with native vegetation - continuing 'revegetation program'. Unfortunately designing these plantings no consideration has been given to the basic physical requirements of the grey - headed flying foxes nursery area. From past experience vegetation will have to be least 2-30 years of age or even much older before it can provide the physical structure - especially shelter from sun - required.
The properties affected - 2-5 - have a legitimate grievance - but no steps have been taken to mitigate the impact of grey-headed flying foxes on these properties. The noise volumes experienced by residents and frequency has not been measured and proximity of the flying foxes to the properties has not been mapped. The proposal of the Shire here; http://www.eastgippsland.vic.
IF ANY TREES ARE CUT DOWN PLEASE RING DREW McLean 0417 418 070 and 02 6274 2384 IMMEDIATELY. UNLESS FEDERAL APPROVAL IS GIVEN THE PENALTIES ARE FINES AND/OR JAIL SENTENCES.
I have attached an article that I wrote in last weeks (Bairnsdale) Advertiser and basic internet searches will reveal both that Grey-headed flying foxes are likely primates http://www.batcon.org/index.
I am doing what I can but I would really appreciate any help and assistance that any of you could generate. Submissions for the federal process (see below) close on the 15th of February. The council date for closure of submissions finishes on the same day - but Kate Nelson of the East Gippsland Shire indicated on local ABC Radio yesterday that the council will be clearing the poplars out over 18 months. This will lead to the death of grey-headed flying foxes, especially the young, and the loss of the breeding colony and apparently pre-empts the process established by the shire.
The alternative approach is outlined in the letter below and involves continuing the rainforest revegetation on all available public land, developing tourism potential and only removing the poplars in two or three decades time when the grey headed flying foxes move on.
Before the council takes any further action it must;
1. Abide by the Australian Federal Law
2. Actually evaluate the nuisance caused to a few residents by the fruit bats and undertake measures to reduce their impact
3. Pay for or jointly fund research to determine what the physical parameters are for this nursery colony,
a. the temperature range within the colony,
b. the current mortality rate of young and adult grey-headed flying foxes and the cause of that mortality
c. collate all the known counts of animals in this colony and undertake a monitoring the numbers of adults and young
4. Measure the noise nuisance caused to residents and undertake research to determine what mitigation measures are required and install those that do not impact grey-headed flying foxes such as sound barriers etc.
The point Bob is trying to get across is for people to send submissions to: Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities
GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601
Send copies to the East Gippsland Shire and The Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water etc.
East Gippsland Shire address:
Grey-headed Flying-fox Feedback
PO Box 1618
Bairnsdale Vic 3875
Email correspondence can be sent to [email protected]
All feedback must be received by 4.00pm on the 15th of February 2013.