Resort takes aim at bats
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.