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12th December - HSI calls for calm on Charters Towers flying-foxes      



December 12, 2017

Humane Society International is calling for calm in Charters Towers, where the arrival of up to 200,000 little red flying-foxes has seen residents take to the streets demanding wildlife culls and dispersals. Several flowering bloodwood and eucalypt species have attracted the flying-foxes to the region.

“While we understand that flying-foxes in such numbers can be highly disruptive, this is a natural event that will likely be over within a matter of weeks. The little reds are following a significant flowering of their food source and when they’ve had their fill will be on their way again,” said Evan Quartermain, Humane Society International’s Head of Programs.

“Charters Towers Regional Council has learned from a long-experience of failed dispersals that this course of action is not only incredibly expensive, but completely ineffective. Other than creating the illusion that something is being done, attempted dispersals do nothing but exacerbate impacts with disturbed bats moving to backyard trees,” Mr Quartermain continued.

Queensland’s alarming rate of land clearing is seeing flying-fox habitat continually destroyed, and Humane Society International is urging the state’s new Minister for the Environment, Leeanne Enoch, to fulfill Labor’s election commitment of reigning in land clearing laws as a matter of utmost priority.

“Until rampant land clearing is stopped and flying-fox habitat is restored and created away from urban areas, these wildlife conflicts are only going to increase. We need sensible long-term solutions to a problem humans have created, not reactionary calls for cruel culls when native species are in search of something to eat,” concluded Mr Quartermain.


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