Section of park closes for safety

Date published: 24 February 2017

Townsville City Council has closed a section of Dan Gleeson Gardens to ensure public safety following an influx of migratory flying foxes in the past week.

The closure comes after a large number of nomadic little red flying foxes dramatically increased in numbers over the past week, causing damage to the tree canopy and resulting in branches falling in the area.

Mayor Councillor Jenny Hill said the biggest safety concern was the stability of the tree canopy.

“Our Council staff monitor the bats daily and this morning witnessed limbs falling from trees due to the increased activity from the bats. We need to ensure people visiting the park are not at risk,” she said.

“Barricades and signage will be installed from today and I urge people to adhere to the directions for their own safety. If you find a bat that you are concerned about you can call NQ Wildlife Carers for assistance.

“Generally we see an increase in little reds later in the year so it’s possible they have been displaced temporarily from their usual roost or are looking for food closer to the coast.

“These little reds are known to be very nomadic however and are certainly widely across the whole of northern Australia.

“Our Environmental staff conduct weekly checks of flying fox and bat numbers at Dan Gleeson Gardens as well as the Palmetum and we will continue to monitor the area over the weekend and into the next week.

“We thank people for their patience during the closure. Once the flying foxes move on, council will undertake a thorough clean-up of the park including the ponds.”

Cr Hill said the management of bat colonies was governed by council’s State Government-endorsed Statement of Management Intent for Flying-fox Roost Management.

The NQ Wildlife Carers Group and Queensland EHP have been informed.

To report injured or juvenile bats phone NQ Wildlife Carers on 0414 717 374.