Bats to find new CBD home in Cairns after trees cleared

Flying foxes in the skies above Lake St in Cairns PICTURE: ANNA ROGERS

THOUSANDS of flying foxes roosting on the site of a major hotel development are expected to find new homes within the heart of Cairns.

A flying fox roost management plan has been released for the GA Group’s $100 million twin tower project at 163 Abbott St, detailing how the proponent will mitigate against harming the thousands of spectacled flying foxes that roost in trees at the site.

The development is to include 220 hotel rooms and 110 residential apartments, a restaurant, recreation space, function rooms and 178 carparking spaces. It was approved by Cairns Regional Council in December.
The bat plan, prepared by environmental consultancy R2G Pty Ltd, says that earthworks will be carried out over one to two nights after an ecologist has confirmed the animals have left the trees.

An excavator will be used to bring down five trees on the site within a few hours.

“The expectation of the clearing activities removing trees from the site is that the resident spectacled flying foxes will relocate to other areas potentially in the CBD or elsewhere in the region,” the report says.

“The observation that flying foxes are periodically absent from the CBD indicates that roosts for flying foxes is generally not a limiting factor and is seasonally driving most likely as a result of variable flowering and fruiting times of forests in the region.”

The development requires environmental approval from the state and federal governments before it can progress any further.

The Australasian Bat Society’s Maree Treadwell-Kerr said, if the project went ahead, it would increase bat-human conflict in the city centre.

“Flying foxes will be roosting in Shields St and the Esplanade and probably Munro Martin (Parklands) when trees are removed and during construction,” she said.

“It is possible that during construction, the works will disturb the flying foxes in the library grounds sufficiently to making them all move to these other areas.”

GA Group referred the Post to contractor Prime Construction for comment. Prime did not return calls yesterday.
COMMENTS - You might like to educate ém

Nicholas - Perhaps we could get the local restaurants to put them on the menu?? A few years ago in Vanuatu we had some and very tasty they were....

Sure the tourists would love that. Perhaps like the fish in the Asian restaurants, where you point out the one you like, and they then cook it for you, we could give diners a pole with a net , and they could catch their own bat for cooking.

What a great idea!

William - There are millions of trees in their natural habitat, the rainforest. Their role in nature is to pollinate the rainforest not poop on the streets of the CBD. Get them to live where they work!

Fred - There were no flying foxes roosting in the CBD until the last few decades. They roosted in the Cairns central swamp where the TAFE now is and elsewhere outside the CBD.

Now all the greenie ferals and other blow-ins who have been here for the last 5 minutes would have us believe that the flying foxes have always been, and will always be, in the CBD.


Steve - get rid of the smelly noisey bastards

Sue - "Flying foxes roosting on the site of a major hotel development"? Let's be a bit more accurate and say "council decides to destroy flying fox roost trees and build yet another high-rise".

Cairns used to be a pretty and unique town. Now all it has going for it is that it has an airport and is close to other places that still have trees and wildlife that tourists want to visit.

chris - @Sue really?? A few mangoes and other introduced trees is being removed so tourist won't come here anymore? The cry of this city is that unemployment and crime is higher than normal and developments like this feed new life into this great city. Keep the trees and the greenies will be happy but most of them don't work anyway


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BATS. Megabats, Flying-foxes, Fruit bats and Microbats: Bats to find new CBD home in Cairns after trees cleared
Bats to find new CBD home in Cairns after trees cleared
Bats to find new CBD home in Cairns after trees cleared
BATS. Megabats, Flying-foxes, Fruit bats and Microbats
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