Lea Taylor (left) with Kabra residents Sue Palmer-Gard, Fred Naylor and Chris Gard express concerns about a large colony of flying foxes that has taken up residence near their homes.
Lea Taylor (left) with Kabra residents Sue Palmer-Gard, Fred Naylor and Chris Gard express concerns about a large colony of flying foxes that has taken up residence near their homes. Chris Ison

Growing bat numbers worry residents

AS A bat colony in Kabra grows, so does the concern of residents Chris Gard and Sue Palmer-Gard.

The couple has lived in Kabra for 20 years and in that time they have seen flying fox numbers multiply.

"Our main concern is the water; after getting all of this great rain we haven't been able to get any of it in the tank because we've covered it to stop the bat droppings, which go straight into the water," Sue said yesterday.

Rockhampton Regional Council said there were about 15,000 flying foxes currently making their home in Kabra's bloodwood trees - of those 500 were permanent residents.

Mayoral candidate Lea Taylor said there were many fears for the health of residents, their livestock and pets.

"When does the right for humanity to exist and live in safety cease over the rights of animal infestation?" Mr Taylor asked yesterday.

"I find it hard to accept that the Queensland Government, along with Rockhampton Regional Council, would tell these people that they should wait until the flying foxes move on ... telling people to boil their water or purchase and drink bottled water is, to put it mildly, outrageous."

However, the council said the large number of flying foxes was temporary.

"RRC and the Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) have been assessing and monitoring the situation and no action will be taken in the short term," a council spokeswoman said.

"Between 95% and 99% of the colony has been identified as transient little red flying foxes that converge on sites with an abundance of food for short periods before they move on."



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