(Adopted May 2013)
The Queensland Greens believe that:
1. Flying-foxes act as the only long-range seed disperser and pollinator for a large number of native trees, and are of central importance to the long term health of Australian forests.
2. One consequence of long-term land clearing and human activity is that flying-fox roosting and feeding behaviour near populated areas has become an issue for the farming and general community.
3. Seven species of flying-fox are found in Australia. Of these, the Grey-headed Flying-fox and Spectacled Flying-fox are listed as vulnerable species under national environmental law (IUCN 3.1)1 and have recently suffered population declines of 30% and 50% respectively. There is little population data available for the Black and Little Red Flying-fox species.
4. Current culling and relocation have had limited success in resolving conflicts between humans and flying-foxes2.
5. The behaviour of flying foxes near human settlements and the transmission paths for Australian Bat Lyssavirus and Hendra Virus are not fully understood.
6. Flying-fox habitat protection is a priority. Education and community engagement is critical to peaceful coexistence.
The Queensland Greens will:
1. Through the Queensland state departments responsible for environment and agriculture, dedicate funds to bring together science, government and impacted community and agriculture groups to regularly review and document proven solutions to the peaceful coexistence of community and flying-fox camp and feeding locations.
2. Through the Queensland state departments responsible for environment and agriculture, provide resources to environmental management officers to help implement strategies for flying-fox and community coexistence including the provision of community information3.
3. Since safe agricultural netting (that does not trap birds or flying foxes) has been shown to protect crops, institute an interest free and delayed repayment finance scheme to facilitate appropriate netting of crops4.
4. Since flying foxes are a protected native species, and shooting is ineffective at protecting crops, shooting flying-foxes will be banned.
5. By wide consultation, identify flying-fox camp and feeding habitat areas in order to protect and restore them. Establish new habitats that balance flying-fox ecology and community acceptance.
1 Lunney, D., Richards, G. & Dickman, C. (2008). "Pteropus poliocephalus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature.
2 Roberts, BJ., Catterall, CP., Eby, P., Kanowski, J. (2012). “Long-Distance and Frequent Movements of the Flying-Fox Pteropus poliocephalus: Implications for Management”, PLOS ONE, vol. 7, issue 8, pp. 1-12.
3 SEQ Catchments, Caring for Our Country (2012). “Management and Restoration of Flying-fox Camps – Guidelines and Recommendations”.
4 Brisbane City Council (September 2012). Flying foxes, conservation action statement.