BATTY: Work continues to remove the flying foxes from Caves Rd.
BATTY: Work continues to remove the flying foxes from Caves Rd. Contributed

Southern Downs Regional Council's plan to solve bat problem

A SECOND attempt to shift flying foxes from a Stanthorpe roost has left a long-term advocate for their removal feeling optimistic.

The council this week conducted a dispersal operation at the Caves Road roost, to try and move the colony to another location.

Spencer Rowling, who has been lobbying for the colony's removal, said the morning's work seemed to be successful.

"At this stage we're cautiously optimistic that we've achieved our goal ... but we don't want to count chickens before they hatch,” he said.

"We're going out to see where they've stabilised.

"If we can get them to a place where it's not disturbing an individual so much - like State Forest or bush land, which we think we've achieved - then it will be a success for many, many residences.”

The flying fox colony had travelled to the Caves Road area from Sugarloaf Road of its own accord last month after a number of juvenile flying foxes matured.  

A spokesperson for the Southern Downs Regional Council said dispersal work was carried out at the Caves Road roost from February 26 to 28.

While that was successful, some residents remained affected and a second dispersal attempt was planned to begin yesterday.

The spokesperson noted flying fox roosts were common throughout the eastern states of Australia, and played a vital ecological role, and as such were protected by State and Federal laws.

"SDRC assesses flying fox roosts on a case-by-case basis,” the spokesperson said.

"For each case, council considers the roosts' current level of impact on the community against the risks that taking action will cause the roost to move to a location that has a higher impact on the community. 

"... In the likelihood that flying foxes return to Stanthorpe in future seasons, council is committed to working with local residents to find a suitable location for the flying foxes to roost that will cause the least impact to the community.”

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