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Residents rapt after nuisance bats evicted

A GLIMMER of hope rose with Tepequar Dr residents on Saturday morning as they woke to see their resident flying fox colony turn and head west.

Down below the thousands of circling bats, a bizarre collection of people clashed cymbals, cracked stockwhips and shone powerful flashlights into the sky.

The non-lethal dispersal attempt conducted by Sunshine Coast Council was hailed as a complete success.

But only time will tell whether the bats will stay away from the place they have called home for several years.

Division 8 Councillor Jason O'Pray said the chance of the bats returning is 50-50.
"These are wild animals and as we've said from the start we have absolutely no certainty with dispersals and we have no way of predicting where they will end up," he said.

Cr O'Pray said there were several suitable roosting sites on the Coast including Goat Island in the middle of the Maroochy River.

Cr O'Pray said he felt for residents of Tepequar Dr, who had been driven indoors by the bats.

"It's been a massive problem over the last six to eight years, particularly over the last four years we've seen residents with health issues, mental health issues and property values falling," he said.

"At its peak we had 27,000 flying foxes. With 27,000 flying foxes comes an extraordinary amount of defecation and dead bodies. It wasn't a pretty sight."

Cr O'Pray said the bat colonies, which include the threatened grey-headed flying fox, had also caused environmental damage on the site.

"It looks like a nuclear waste site, the trees have been absolutely decimated by the bats," he said.

Tepequar Dr resident of 21 years, Clive Sharp said residents were celebrating this morning.

He said the plan to disperse the bats was approved in 2013 but took three years to come to fruition.

"There's a sense of relief now that they've taken this step, after three years," he said.

"We're very hopeful that it will be successful and the bats will find another place to roost that doesn't impact on people's lives."

Mr Sharp said he looked forward to enjoying his family home for the first time in years.

"I'd really love to hear the noise of a more diverse wildlife in that wetland, normal bird noises without the screech of the mating season," he said.

The dispersal attempt will continue this morning and tomorrow morning.



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BatsRule!: Residents rapt after nuisance bats evicted
Residents rapt after nuisance bats evicted
Residents rapt after nuisance bats evicted
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