Relocation activities will occur at sunrise each morning using non-lethal deterrence measures, which will discourage the flying foxes from returning to the Cairns City Library site, or settling in other areas within the CBD.
Council acknowledges that spectacled flying foxes are an important part of the natural environment and is concerned that leaving them at the roost in the CBD will result in further negative impacts upon them.
Heat stress events, urban development and increased construction in close proximity to the Cairns City Library colony will only continue to stress and adversely affect the flying fox population.
Also, the health of roost trees at the library site, and therefore the viability of the site as a spectacled flying fox roost, is diminishing.
The Spectacled Flying Fox Management Plan, approved by the Federal Government, details steps to relocate the spectacled flying foxes, currently at the Cairns City Library, to the Cairns Central Swamp.
The relocation plan involves the use of a variety of noise and light deterrents under the direction of a professional contractor and in line with the recommendations of environmental officers.
Similar deterrents to discourage spectacled flying foxes from roosting along the Esplanade have been used by Council for several years with no injury or stress caused to the animals in that time.
Relocation efforts will happen on the morning fly-in period from 4am.
A range of relocation tools have been approved under the flying-fox implementation plan, including metal clangers, pool noodles, lights, long-range acoustic device (LRAD), non-lethal firearms, operated by qualified technicians, that create noise.
The proposed action will only occur between May and September – outside of the spectacled flying fox pup-rearing season to avoid a disruption to the species’ breeding cycle.
During the relocation, residents may see flying foxes overhead – this is expected.
While it is difficult to predict flying fox behaviour, Council remains hopeful this activity will move the flying foxes to their new home as quickly as possible.
Residents are reminded not to harass bats with noise or threatening behaviour as they fly-over as this could be harmful to both you or the bats, and it is illegal.
If you feel bats are causing problems in your area call Council on 1300 692 247.
If you see a fallen or injured fly foxes, do not touch them. Call Wildlife Carers FNQ on