The Gap Locals Petition To Move Bat Colony; Conservationists Advise Against It

Bat Colony
Photo credit: Bat Conservation & Rescue QLD/Facebook

Hundreds of residents in The Gap have signed a now-closed petition calling for the relocation of a large bat colony that recently took up residence in the area. The sudden influx of bats has raised concerns among locals about potential impacts on health and safety.

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The petition gained significant support, with many residents believing the bats should be moved to a location where they won’t affect humans. 

Whilst the Bat Conservation and Rescue Queensland (BCRQ) understands the concerns, they said the bats will likely move on naturally soon as breeding season ends.

Bat Colony
Photo credit: Miriam Fischer/Pexels

“Eucalypts and melaleucas are in blossom all over the place right now. Due to these particularly good food sources this winter, the size of the local colony is much larger than it has been in recent years. The eco forum was perfect timing for our volunteers to explain to local residents that the majority of these bats will likely move on when the flowering finishes,” BCRQ stated.

Photo credit: Bat Conservation & Rescue QLD/Facebook

The volunteer organisation, which strives to help people understand the importance of all bat species, expressed disappointment that some want to forcibly relocate the bats. 

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“Moving bats on is cruel, inhumane, expensive and most importantly, doesn’t work,” the organisation stated on Facebook.

According to BCRQ, the bats arrived this year from NSW during winter, attracted by good flowering of melaleuca and eucalyptus trees in the Brisbane area. The bat colony is composed mostly of grey-headed flying foxes, a species listed as vulnerable and protected by federal law.

BCRQ offered advice for any residents who spot a lone bat needing help. “Don’t touch the bat and give us a call immediately on ‭0488 228 134‬ for Brisbane and surrounds or your local wildlife rescue in other regions.‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬,” they said.

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The organisation expects the bats to move on naturally by September, as they did in 2021 after overwintering in the area. BCRQ said relocation attempts often fail and stressed bats should be allowed to leave when ready to continue their seasonal migration.

Published 31-July-2023