Sydney bats flap into town

THOUSANDS of flying foxes have been flushed out of Sydney's Royal Botanic Garden - and about 6% of tagged animals have found refuge in south-east Queensland.

Sydney Royal Botanic Garden wildlife management officer John Martin said the relocation of about 5000 grey-headed flying foxes had so far proved successful.

"There are no bats in the gardens at the moment, but we'll still be deterring them for an ongoing period ..." Mr Martin said.

The magic fix to the garden's long-term bat problem seems unlikely: industrial noise, played for up to 45 minutes before dawn and for 30 minutes at sunset.

Mr Martin said satellite devices allowed staff to track the movements of 100 bats.

"There's a few in Queensland, I can see one is about 20km from Ipswich in Middle Park," he said.

"About another six have gone through south-east Queensland."

Mr Martin said the relocation began on June 4, after the New South Wales and Federal Government gave approval.

Lockyer Valley mayor Steve Jones said his team was monitoring the success of other councils' attempts to remove bats, while their own bid to relocate the Gatton colony remained on hold.

"At the moment we're still waiting on Federal Government approval for our vegetation control proposal," Cr Jones said.

"We haven't looked into that (noise) method yet, but we definitely will; basically we're looking at any mechanisms that would move the colony on.

"Obviously it depends on what's most effective and what causes less damage."

Horticulture body Growcom has expressed its concern about the use of flying fox relocation strategies, and has called on state and federal governments to fund research into other flying fox management tactics.

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