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Bats flee Yamanto after council project to rid them

TAKING FLIGHT: Bats have left their roosts in Yamanto after $65000 spent on project.
TAKING FLIGHT: Bats have left their roosts in Yamanto after $65000 spent on project. File

RELEASE the bats.

So sang Nick Cave in his gloomy 'The Birthday Party' days.

But it is the residents of Yamanto who will be throwing a party now that the pall of gloom - a large bat colony - has lifted off and flown away to haunt somewhere else.

We may soon find out where, but for now Ipswich City Council has dealt with an issue that was impacting the lives of residents in 16 properties in Beechwood Dr and Box St.

A $65,000 project was undertaken to create a buffer zone around the properties to reduce the noise, smell and disruption caused by the bats

Mayor Paul Pisasale said he was relieved the bats had left the area after a successful project that respected flying-fox ecology and breeding cycles.

"I am happy about the bats leaving, but I just hope they don't come back," he said.

"The main thing is that it will bring back quality of life for the residents.

"I am more happy that the State Government and Ipswich MP Jen Howard have worked in partnership with us on this issue and provided funding and support."

Cr Pisasale said the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection had also provided valuable resources.

He said reducing the impact of bats on residents was an ongoing project with residents urged to maintain their properties.

Council has offered support in the form of suitable native plants for planting along Deebing Creek and a herbicide subsidy through the environmental weed control rebate.

Cr David Morrison, the city's environment boss, said everything had been done to solve the bat problem.

"The last tests we did in late August showed there were no bats there at all," Cr Morrison said.

"What we have done is reduce the canopy.

"We haven't taken the whole canopy away but we have made it less attractive if they do decide to return.

"We selectively cleared large Chinese elms, which are weeds anyway, and the bats would usually roost in those trees.

"The native trees have been kept but when the bats are looking for a dense place to roost in they will find the canopy a lot less dense.

"But hopefully they won't return to that location near the residential houses."

Cr Morrison said the site would continue to be monitored to evaluate the success of the project.

"While several native roost trees remain, without a suitable mid-canopy it is unlikely that flying-foxes will find the site desirable in the long term," he said.

The QT will speak to residents in the coming days to find out how their lives have changed since the project was undertaken.

Topics:  bats, ipswich, mayor paul pisasale, yamanto



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