Yeppoon bat relocation a dire sign of things to come
FLYING fox carer and conservationist, Joy Davidson-Lee is urging the public to take the latest relocation of a flying fox colony in Yeppoon "very seriously".
"There's been a lot of construction around the Ross Creek area and they're being constantly harassed there because of the noise and construction so they've moved," Ms Davidson-Lee said.
"I haven't actually seen where they are now but people say they're on the other side of Ross Creek."
It has been reported by Yeppoon locals that the bats have moved to a new location and are now inhabiting the mangroves near Cedar Park and Cooee Bay.
A spokesperson from the Livingstone Shire Council said the flying fox colony around Fig Tree and Ross Creeks started to relocate in December 2017.
"There are likely to be a number of reasons for the move," the spokesperson said.
"The roost trees in the Fig Tree Creek area have defoliated and lack of shading together with a general increase in temperatures in mid-December may have something to do with it.
"Construction works in the vicinity may have caused some disruption to them; the new location is well away from potential disturbance.
"The flying foxes may stay in their new roosts for an extended time or they may move back to Fig Tree Creek in the near future. There will be ongoing monitoring of their location, health and well-being."
Ms Davidson-Lee said the bats were crucial to the region's eco-system.
"We're in a really bad situation," she said.
"They're dying of starvation because they're losing their food and once the temperature hits 40 degrees they start dying.
"We're in the sixth extinction phase and the ones that haven't died have lost up to 80 per cent of their habitat.
"I've talked to someone on Keppel Island and they've not there any more either."
Ms Davidson-Lee warned people not to brush off her comments, as she said flying foxes were solely responsible for pollinating our native trees.
"If those trees go down, every animal that tree supports will too and our bees are in terrible trouble... it's a ripple effect," she said.
"They're still a protected animal and we need them in our community whether you believe it or not.
"In Ross Creek, which runs through where the colony is, students from CQU have done tests to check the pollution in the water and there's none. It's the most purist of waters."