Flying-foxes: questions and answers
Why do we need a balanced approach to flying-fox roost management?
The Queensland Government appreciates that flying-fox roosts can be a source of unpleasant noise and smells in some places and recognises the need for flying-fox management arrangements to achieve a balance between addressing the concerns of impacted residents with the need to protect and retain flying-fox populations in the wild which play an essential role as pollinators for many native plant species.
A balanced approach to flying-fox roost management empowers local governments to act more responsively in the interests of their communities when flying-fox roosts are causing problems.
How do local governments manage flying-fox roosts?
The current flying-fox management framework gives local governments the right to disperse, remove or otherwise manage flying-fox roosts in designated urban flying-fox management areas (UFFMA) using non-lethal measures only and subject to a code of practice, the permission of relevant landholders and other applicable laws.
Local governments wishing to either conduct non-code compliant activities within an UFFMA or manage a roost outside of an UFFMA are required to obtain a flying-fox roost management permit (FFRMP) from the department.
How can members of the public manage flying-fox roosts?
All members of the public may undertake low impact activities at roosts according to the ‘Code of practice—Low impact activities affecting flying-fox roosts’. Low impact activities are mulching, mowing or weeding under or near roost trees, and/or minor trimming of roost trees.
Members of the public and corporate bodies such as schools, body corporates and the like may apply for a FFRMP to manage flying-fox roosts on their own properties. The FFRMP holder has a number of actions at its disposal including destroying a roost, dispersing the roost, or modifying a part of the roost through tree trimming and/or removal of roost trees.
Are local governments permitted to use lethal measures to manage flying-fox roosts?
Since the commencement of the current framework, councils have generally approached flying-fox roost management in a well-considered and deliberate manner, finding the balance point where community well-being is protected and flying-fox sustainability and welfare is not threatened.
As the current framework appears to be effectively addressing flying-fox roost problems in designated urban areas through the use of non-lethal methods to date, the government will continue to prohibit lethal take being used as part of a roost management response.
How does the government ensure conservation of flying-foxes?
Flying-foxes are classified as protected wildlife in Queensland under the Nature Conservation Act 1992.
What about animal welfare considerations?
The main purpose of the flying-fox codes of practice is to ensure that the chance of management actions under the codes resulting in harm to flying-foxes is minimised and that appropriate welfare standards are upheld.