Relocating the roost

Flying foxes in Charters Towers will be relocated in 2020


Flying foxes driving Charters Towers residents batty will be relocated from the centre of town.

Flying foxes hanging around Lissner Park in Charters Towers last week. Photo: Jessica Johnston.

Flying foxes hanging around Lissner Park in Charters Towers last week. Photo: Jessica Johnston.

FLYING foxes roosting in the centre of Charters Towers will be relocated to an alternative block in a bid to rid the town of the problem which has plagued locals for years.

The flying foxes will be removed from Lissner Park and relocated to Young's Block, which is four kilometres away from the town centre.

The decision comes after an extensive planning process and assessment for an alternate roost sites.

Action has been taken after Charters Towers residents suffered their worst bat plague in living memory when up to 200,000 flying foxes invaded the town in late 2017.

Two parks and the swimming pool were closed, and residents demanded action, marching in the streets.

Charters Towers Regional Council has since worked with the the Department of Environment and Science and the CSIRO to determine the best action plan.

Mayor Liz Schmidt said five sites had been assessed before Young's Block was selected as the best place to relocate the roost.

She said the assessment considered distance from Lissner Park, the vegetation and if the area had been used before as a roost.

"We needed a site that the flying fox have used before and one that won't take years to develop," Cr Schmidt said.

"Young's Block is ideal as it's within four kilometres of Lissner Park and has previously been used as a roost."

Cr Schmidt said council would undertake some enhancement of the area, including adding water and green grass, in an attempt to ensure the flying foxes will remain in their new home.

She said the relocation would take place mid-next year, when numbers were at their lowest and while there wasn't any young in the trees.

"This will maximise our chances of success and hopefully discourage them from returning to Lissner Park."

The works and relocation will be funded by $900,000 the state government allocated to Charters Towers in 2018.

"As a council we understand the frustrations of the community, especially those residents living around Lissner Park," Cr Schmidt said.

"We appreciate their patience, however the relocation of the flying fox is going to be a long-term project and not a knee-jerk reaction.

"We need a long-term, sustainable solution and council will work closely with the successful tenderers, DES and CSIRO to develop a long-term management strategy for Charters Towers."


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