Re­sort takes aim at bats

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Tom Volling

THE op­er­a­tors of a lux­u­ri­ous Port Dou­glas re­sort are hop­ing to use bright lights to shift a fly­ing fox colony away from res­i­dents who have com­plained about ex­ces­sive noise and fae­ces.

Ni­ra­maya Vil­las and Spa, Bale St, re­ceived per­mis­sion from Dou­glas Shire Coun­cil to ap­ply for a fly­ing fox roost man­age­ment per­mit from the Depart­ment En­vi­ron­ment Her­itage and Pro­tec­tion.

Re­sort gen­eral man­ager Car­rie Chi­as­son said the smell, noise and fae­ces had been a prob­lem for years.

“We get a lot of noise com­plaints and we have to clean up drop­pings on a daily ba­sis,” he said.

“As they be­come more com­fort­able they move into back­yards of the vil­las. It is mainly noise com­plaints.”

A re­port tabled at this week’s or­di­nary coun­cil meet­ing said liv­ing next door to fly­ing foxes can be “very dif­fi­cult when they are ac­tive and noisy at night, prone to smell, eat the fruit from your trees and dam­age your in­fra­struc­ture from defe­ca­tion”.

The Dou­glas Shire area con­tains sev­eral long term roost sites lo­cated through­out ur­ban ar­eas such as Port Dou­glas and Wonga Beach.

Mayor Ju­lia Leu said the pro­posal to push the an­i­mals away us­ing lights ap­peared to have the least im­pact on the colony.

“As many coun­cils can at­test, at­tempts to re­lo­cate roost­ing bats caus­ing sig­nif­i­cant dis­tur­bance in a par­tic­u­lar area can be dif­fi­cult and in­volve many fac­tors in­clud­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal,” she said.

“Coun­cil of­fi­cers do not be­lieve this pro­posal poses any se­ri­ous risk to the bats or the lo­cal en­vi­ron­ment.”

Dou­glas Shire coun­cil­lor Michael Kerr, who lives in Port Dou­glas, said the noise and fae­ces caused by the roost was “just phe­nom­e­nal”.

“These peo­ple have bought mil­lion-dol­lar vil­las and you can’t even sit in­side them for the noise that’s oc­cur­ring,” he said.

“None of us want to see them (bats) put in any stress­ful way but they are do­ing it in the cor­rect man­ner.”

Fly­ing foxes are prov­ing to be as di­vi­sive is­sue when they start roost­ing in ur­ban ar­eas.

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