The dingo enclosure at the Ipswich Nature Centre. The centre has been closed after a colony of flying foxes moved in.
The dingo enclosure at the Ipswich Nature Centre. The centre has been closed after a colony of flying foxes moved in.

Mass migration causes health fears for tourist attraction

ONE of Ipswich's most popular family attractions has been shut amid safety fears after a large colony of flying foxes started roosting there.

Ipswich City Council advised Friday morning the Ipswich Nature Centre was closed while further investigations into the risk associated with the flying foxes are carried out.

It follows the recent discoveries of two bats that died from the potentially deadly Lyssavirus at the nearby Nerima Gardens.

The Ipswich Nature Centre was also forced to close for more than a month in February 2019 because of flying foxes.

 

Flying Foxes have started roosting at the Ipswich Nature Centre, causing health concerns. PICTURE: FILE
Flying Foxes have started roosting at the Ipswich Nature Centre, causing health concerns. PICTURE: FILE

 

The council officers will monitor the flying foxes and will determine the suitability for reopening early next week.

More than 5,000 flying foxes make the surrounding trees their home during migration, with the black flying-fox Pteropus Alecto, grey-headed flying-fox Pterpopus poliocephalus and little red flying-fox Pteropus scapulatus frequenting the area.

Of particular concern are the little red flying foxes, which roost low in tight clumps which causes branches to break off.

Staff and animals at the nature centre will remain, however the council says some animals may be relocated from their normal enclosures to distance them from the bats.

Flying foxes are protected under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992.

To manage the safety of visitors to the Ipswich Nature Centre, staff have implemented extra cleaning and maintenance of the trees.