Flying fox dispersal at Maroochydore
  • Thursday 21 April 2016

In an effort to provide relief to residents impacted by smell or noise from the flying fox roost at Tepequar Drive, Maroochydore, council will attempt a non-lethal dispersal later this month.

Division 8 Councillor Jason OPray said the non-lethal methods of noise, smoke and lighting would take place before sunrise each morning from April 30 to May 2 to hopefully make returning to the roost after an evening’s foraging unappealing to the flying foxes. An evening dispersal will be trialled on April 29 just before the animals fly-out in an attempt to reduce the number dispersed in the morning.

“Council acknowledges the psychological, social and economic implications of living in close proximity to a flying fox roost,” Cr OPray said.

“As part of council’s Regional Flying Fox Management Plan, we continue to take action consistent with state and commonwealth legislation in our work to mitigate amenity and lifestyle impacts for residents nearby problematic urban flying fox roosts.

“The Tepequar roost is listed as a nationally significant site for the federally listed vulnerable species, the Grey-headed flying fox.

“We want to ensure local residents are aware of the planned dispersal activities and a community information night will be held at Stella Maris Primary School Hall from 5.30pm Tuesday 26 April for those interested in finding out more.”

Cr OPray said flying foxes were wild animals and essential pollinators of our eucalypts – it was not yet possible to control or predict where the flying foxes will roost.

“Dispersed flying foxes may roost in small numbers during the day in suitable backyard trees in the Maroochydore area, however this will be temporary until a larger suitable camp is found,” he said.

“Please do not disturb the flying foxes during the day as they require rest periods from the dispersal activities – council officers can be contacted on 5475 7272 to monitor these occurrences.

“A second dispersal is scheduled for June/July school holidays should the animals return to Tepequar Drive.

“Dispersal activities can only occur between May and July when the grey-headed flying-fox have independent young and are not heavily pregnant.”

Council has a developed dispersal plan and experienced staff to monitor the dispersal action although injuries to flying-foxes are unlikely, if residents find an injured flying fox please do not touch the animal. Contact RSPCA on 1300 ANIMAL and they will arrange a vaccinated person to assist. Where an injury to a flying fox may occur council will cease dispersal activities in line with the approved management plan.

Only a small percentage of flying-foxes carry diseases such as Australian Bat Lyssavirus. This virus can only be transmitted by a scratch or bite, therefore do not touch a sick or injured flying-fox. If you or some you know is scratched or bitten contact your doctor for immediate medical attention. For further information please contact Queensland Health on 13HEALTH.