Lissner Park: Flying Fox dispersal trial
Charters Towers Regional Council recently conducted a small trial of chilli wax to discourage flying fox roosting in Lissner Park.
Chilli wax was sprayed onto two trees, at the northern end of the park, after flying fox had left for the night. Council staff conducted the trial in accordance with a Flying-fox Roost Management Permit, issued by the Department of Environment and Science, to ensure no harm would come to the animals.
Chilli wax is used by the agricultural industry to repel insects with some farmers using the product to deter flying fox from feeding on crops.
The Flying Fox Advisory Committee (FFAC) had given the recommendation to Council to use the product to try a new method to discourage flying fox from roosting in the trees.
“We have had a lot of discussions and we wanted to trial the chilli wax and see what would happen. Unfortunately, the flying fox were not deterred,” said Mayor Liz Schmidt.
“I know the community wants the flying fox removed, but it will take time. It’s a complex issue and there isn’t an easy fix, but we are working on solutions.
“Charters Towers is not the only community to have to manage large influxes of flying fox. At our December FFAC meeting, we had representatives from Cairns, Hinchinbrook and Townsville Councils join our discussions to collaborate on flying fox management.
"Moving forward, we will be using the current research that is being untaken by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the Department of Environment and Science (DES) to help us in our endeavour develop flying-fox management strategies.”
Funding for the trial was provided by the State Government’s $900K flying fox fund.
Council has set up a web page to provide information on flying fox and provide updates on the Advisory Committee.