Letter to the Editor - Tuesday, April 8: Flying fox facts?

It is good to see a fellow Coutts Crossing resident expressing his opinion on local issues. It is a pity however that Chris Gosling (letters April 4) chose to ignore the facts of the matter that I had provided in recent articles and letters.

He supports moving the bats on, when, as I have explained ad nauseum, it isn't possible. Attempts in the past have only worked for short periods as the Maclean area is a maternity camp and the bats have nowhere else that is suitable habitat to go to. Unlike humans who manipulate their environment to suit themselves, flying foxes cannot do that. They have to rely on the pitiful remaining habitat that we, the humans, have left them.

It is not true that I don't sympathise with the residents affected by their proximity to the camp. I would like to see a long-term solution that protects the bats, which are threatened at both the state and federal level and alleviates the stress placed on the residents. Remember the bats were moved closer to the residents during attempts to move them on. With respect to Chris's claim that there is "an exploding population of bats" the exact reverse is true. In particular the grey-headed flying fox has declined considerably in recent decades, hence the threatened listing.

Chris, instead of being part of the problem, why don't you put aside your prejudices and become part of the solution.

Dr Greg P Clancy
Ecologist and wildlife guide



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