Iluka bats ?have rights



ILUKA residents intent on removing the flying-fox colony from Cave Street will need to show exceptional circumstances as to why the bats should go, according to the National Parks and Wildlife

Service (NPWS).

NPWS spokesman Lawrence Orel said because the bats were a threatened species, a disturbance licence would not be granted lightly.

"Loss of habitat is one reason they are threatened ... and that is why licences are only issued in exceptional circumstances, and people need to point those out," he said.

As part of preparing a licence application, Clarence MP Steve Cansdell is in the process of distributing survey guides to Iluka residents.

Mr Cansdell said the aim was to compile a management plan to submit to NPWS for a disturbance licence.

"We need to get community feeling on it, then reasons why we need exceptional circumstances," he said.

"Then we have to get together a management plan to put to the department so they will approve a S1 licence."

Mr Cansdell said the next step would be to engage experts to ensure the plan was organised correctly.

"To get the management plan together with the help of consultants and people like Dr Tideman, it will cost around $10,000," he said.

Mr Cansdell said the logistics of putting together such a plan meant it would be some time before anything was finalised.



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