The flying foxes in the rainforest outside Maclean High school. Photo: Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner.
The flying foxes in the rainforest outside Maclean High school. Photo: Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner. Adam Hourigan

LETTER: The menace of Maclean's flying foxes

WHILE I appreciate the ecological influence and necessity of the flying fox, I cannot totally agree with Will Elrick's philosophy ('The Land Doctor', April 7).

The flying fox's high mobility also renders it an extremely effective transferrer of zoonotic diseases and viruses.

They are also highly successful at destroying their own roosting sites. They have well and truly made their bed and are now lying in it, so to speak. The trees in Maclean Rainforest Reserve are in bad shape and it is a regular event in high season to watch the weight of hundreds of flying foxes break the branch then recommence their roost, just above the ground.

So basically we could all agree that they are the disease carrying, camp destroying, long range pollinating neighbours from hell. I also think we could agree that the flying foxes are probably not as happy here as they could be "out of town".

Who wants to hang near all those teenagers anyway? Just joking kids... I have four of you and I love it!!

I appreciate Will's concern over the importance of the flying fox to keep the structure of our forests going and yes we have encroached on land for farming and infrastructure. But - there is a big but here - the farms are needed to produce the food for the people reading this paper, for the people sitting in their offices in the city telling us how we should learn to live with the flying foxes, the people who write the laws but don't have the time to visit our community to see for themselves, despite numerous kind invitations.

The offset for the flying foxes has already been purchased, also a further seven million hectares of NSW is national park.

I believe the Maclean Rainforest Reserve is about two hectares. It makes no sense to me why we would want them in our backyard (front ones too actually).

- Edwina Cameron



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