Damage mitigation permits for crop protection
Each of Queensland’s flying-fox species is protected under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 (the Act) administered by the the department.
It is an offence to kill or otherwise harm a flying-fox in contravention of the Act and there are substantial penalties for those who do. However, Queensland’s nature conservation laws do recognise that there are circumstances where it is necessary to remove limited numbers of wildlife in order to protect human health and well-being or to protect property.
Each year, the department issues a limited number of damage mitigation permits (DMPs) under the Act allowing the ‘lethal take’ of flying-foxes by shooting in order to protect commercial fruit crops.
The department grants a lethal take DMP only after non-harmful control measures have been used and found to be ineffective. Each lethal take DMP application is considered on a case-by-case basis and the number of flying-foxes allowed to be taken is tightly constrained by quotas based on wild population numbers and the conservation status of each species.
A lethal take DMP cannot be issued for the spectacled flying-fox which is listed as ‘vulnerable’ under the Act.
Damage mitigation permits for crop protection review
The Queensland Government is reviewing its flying-fox management arrangements for crop protection and will introduce changes as necessary that will be effective, scientifically-sound and will not put flying-fox populations at risk. This is consistent with commitments made at the last election.
Obtaining a damage mitigation permit for crop protection
Shooting of flying-foxes
Lethal control of flying-foxes is intended to provide fruit growers with an additional form of crop protection only where non-harmful measures have been attempted. It is a requirement that fruit growers use lethal measures in conjunction with two other non-harmful practises, such as netting, as part of an effective integrated crop protection strategy.
For information about DMPs for the lethal control of flying-foxes for crop protection, refer to:
- Code of practice—Ecologically sustainable lethal take of flying-foxes for crop protection
- Application form—Damage mitigation permit (lethal take of flying-foxes)
- Operational policy—Damage mitigation permit for flying-foxes on crops
- Return of operations—Damage mitigation permit (lethal take of flying-foxes for crop protection)
Non-harmful control of flying-foxes
The department encourages the use of flying-fox deterrents that are non-harmful. These include:
- development of alternative roost sites.
For more details about non-lethal deterrents, refer to: Code of practice—Ecologically sustainable lethal take of flying-foxes for crop protection .
Anyone considering applying for a DMP to protect a crop can arrange a meeting with the department to discuss their issues before they apply. This meeting will outline the information requirements of the application.
Summary of DMPs issued for the lethal take of flying-foxes for crop protection for the 2020/21 growing season
|Applications received||Applications approved|
|Little red flying-fox||4000||3820|
Summary of DMPs issued for the lethal take of flying-foxes for crop protection from 2012/2013 to 2020/21 growing seasons
|Year||No. of DMPs approved||Quota||Quota unallocated||% of allocation shot|