NOT A BAT FAN: Athol Tce resident Greg Clark is happy the flying fox ‘nightmare’ will end.
NOT A BAT FAN: Athol Tce resident Greg Clark is happy the flying fox ‘nightmare’ will end. Joel Peters

Flying fox roosts face the chop at Bicentennial Park

SCENIC Rim Council has annouced plans to remove flying fox roost trees to reduce the size of a 3000-strong colony at Boonah's Bicentennial Park.

It is a move welcomed by resident Greg Clark, who has lived on Athol Tce for 25 years.

"It's the best news I've heard in years," he said.

"It's been a living nightmare so it will definitely bring us some peace."

Mr Clarke said he battled the smell, noise and droppings caused by the colony daily.

"It won't help with the stench - it's worse than an abattoir and I've worked in them all my life - but it is certainly a decision for common sense," he said.

The council voted unanimously for the move on Tuesday, recommending measures to lop at least 14 trees and surrounding vegetation bordering homes on Athol Tce.

Mayor John Brent said expert advice was sought for the most appropriate method to solve the problem.

"Our planned response reflects prevailing community sentiment that a large flying fox colony in such close proximity to a built-up residential area is incompatible," he said.

Cr Brent said the recommendation would be formalised by a council resolution next week.

"It is our intention to proceed with a process of habitat alteration through vegetation removal to increase the separation distance between roosting flying foxes and neighbouring residents. We anticipate this measure will help to reduce the size of the flying fox colony," he said.

But a representative for Bat Conservation and Rescue Queensland (BCRQ) said the council should invest in solutions to help bats and humans live in harmony by marketing the colony as a tourist attraction.

The BCRQ representative said ratepayers' money would be more wisely spent educating residents to the ecological and economic value of flying foxes than felling trees.

"Past relocations have shown that dispersed animals did not abandon the local area and may move to a more contentious location," the spokesperson said.

Cr Brent said council would monitor the success of the vegetation removal in influencing the activity and behaviour of the colony and review the effectiveness of these measures later on.

"It is not an arbitrary, overnight solution, but one which will take time to yield results," he said.



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