Residents overrun by bat population

Flying foxes have some residents trapped in their homes.
Flying foxes have some residents trapped in their homes.

An increase in the bat population near Lions Park, Canungra is distressing residents as they become trapped in their homes due to the number of flying-foxes living on their properties.

Natalie Robinson bought her home on Beaudesert-Nerang Road in 2016 and said there were approximately 10-15 flying-foxes living there at the time.

“We now have hundreds.  We are overrun by them, the noise is terrible at all hours.  It is difficult to go outside and we have to cover everything,” she said.

Canungra Law

She has seen the species of bat change in the time they have lived there.

“It used to only be grey-headed bats but we now have black bats as well, we never had them before.”

Natalie and has sought advice and help from Council, but a solution seems a long way off.

Council would not confirm whether the roost population had increased, with Council spokesperson saying numbers in the roost fluctuate due to a variety of factors including seasonal variations, the birthing and rearing of young and the availability of food.

“Council is investigating a range of options in the development of a new flying-fox management strategy,” the spokesperson said.

In addition to this review, Council is developing site-specific roost management plans for the Canungra and Beaudesert roosts.” 

In 2016 Council attempted to move the bats from the Canungra roost, using of lighting, smoke and other disturbances.

At the time the population was estimated at 300.  This effort moved the flying-foxes for approximately five to six weeks.

The Council spokesperson said in most instances, dispersals have proven unsuccessful with flying-foxes returning or moving to more problematic locations. 

According to Queensland Health, flying-foxes pose minimal health risk unless people are bitten or scratched. 

Contracting diseases directly from flying-foxes is extremely unlikely. However, they are known to carry two potentially life-threatening viruses—Australian Bat Lyssavirus and Hendra virus.  

Many other wildlife and domesticated animals, including household pets, are considered a greater potential source of infection to humans.

State Member for Scenic Rim, Jon Krause said the large population has had a devastating impact on Natalie and her family.

“I visited Natalie last week and have seen and heard the flying foxes and how they have surrounded this house,” he said.

“Clearly the wellbeing of people and the ability to sleep properly and enjoy their property needs to be prioritised by government when it comes to regulation concerning flying foxes.”

About Keer Moriarty 289 Articles
Editor, journo, social media manager and tea lady with Canungra Times.