A battle to remove Iluka bats
By Adrian Miller
One of Australia's leading experts on flying-fox behaviour will attend the 'People Before Bats' public meeting in Iluka today.
Dr Chris Tiddeman, a senior lecturer at the Australian National University's Cooperative Research Centre for Pest Animals, has been flown to the Clarence Valley by local MP Steve Cansdell in order to address residents.
Dr Tiddeman, who was instrumental in relocating the bat colony from Maclean a few years ago, said the colony at Iluka was a complex issue with many conflicting views.
Designed to move the bats from Iluka, the meeting has been organised by the Iluka Ratepayers Association and will be attended by Mr Cansdell and representatives from the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
Dr Tiddeman said he understood residents' wishes to have the bats moved, but it was easier said than done.
"It is possible to move flyingfoxes but it is a big undertaking and they've got to have somewhere to go (to)," he said.
"If they are to be moved from where they are and for it to be done legally, permission would have to be given from the authorities.
"It's a very different matter than feral animals for instance, especially with the greys because they are threatened."
Mr Cansdell said he hoped Dr Tiddeman would provide thoughtful and useful advice to residents.
"Hopefully Dr Tiddeman will be able to help us find a way forward after the bureaucrats just put the problem in the too hard basket," he said.