New water reticulation system to maximise grass cover at Lissner Park alternative roost site

Zoe Thomas
By Zoe Thomas
Updated February 15 2022 - 11:21pm, first published February 14 2022 - 2:00am
Charters Towers Regional Council Mayor, Frank Beveridge, at the alternative Young's Block roost site. Photo credit: Charters Towers Regional Council.

Charters Towers Regional Council has secured additional funding from the Queensland government to help manage the town's flying fox population.

The local council has secured $3162 for a water reticulation system to maximise grass cover at the Lissner Park alternative roost site.

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Plaguing public usage, the alternative Young's Block site has been designed for bat habitation away from human interaction.

Charters Towers Regional Council Mayor, Frank Beveridge, said the water system would manage the population through dry spells.

"When we get extended dry periods and there is no water around, the bats congregate in the park because it's a safe place," he said.

"The funding will be put toward essentially a new irrigation system at the alternate bat habitat."

The Young's Block site utilises street lights, a small dam and an undercover area to encourage the dispersal of flying foxes from Lissner Park into the new habitat.

The funding will go toward a water reticulation system to maximise grass cover at the Lissner Park alternative roost site. Photo credit: Charters Towers Regional Council.

A state-wide initiative, a total of seven Queensland councils received more than $300,000 from the Palaszczuk government to manage flying fox populations.

Environment Minister, Meaghan Scanlon, said the funding was part of the Queensland government's $2 million Flying-Fox Roost Management within the Queensland grants program.

"This funding comes from round two of the grants program and is part of the continued rollout of the Queensland Government's COVID-19 economic recovery plan, as well as our record $1.4 billion budget to protect our environment," Minister Scanlon said.

"The seven successful councils and their communities will be provided with this funding for flying fox management activities.

"Flying foxes are protected, and our roost management grants program helps councils to manage the impacts of flying fox roosts on their residents, while allowing the animals to continue delivering their critical pollination and seed dispersal roles.

"Flying-foxes are nocturnal and, depending on the species, feed on the flowers, fruit, nectar and pollen of plants, and because they are highly mobile, they can disperse seeds and pollen over vast distances."

Minister Scanlon said when the mammals congregated in large numbers at roosts, they could cause conflict with nearby communities due to the noise, smell and mess they generate.

Charters Towers Regional Council was a successful applicant in round two of grant funding.

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Zoe Thomas

Zoe Thomas

Journalist - North Queensland Register/Queensland Country Life

Northern based journalist at North Queensland Register and Queensland Country Life.

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