Featured Post


Barbed wire | Rescue | THIS IS WHAT I DO checking barbed wire in my own time. volunteer.

Megabats at Casino Flying-foxes Fruit bats

Northern Star reporter Hamish Broome talks to Casino's Paul Mackay about the flying fox colony in his backyard. 2014

BATS GALORE: An estimated 100,000 little red flying foxes have found a comfortable home on the banks of the Richmond River at Casino.
BORN and raised Casino local Paul Mackay isn't too worried by the massive colony of flying foxes camping next door to his home.

Standing on Mr Mackay's veranda and looking over the Richmond River, thousands upon thousands of bats cluster together in knots.

The sweet, dank smell of bat droppings lingers in the air, and Mr Mackay's driveway is dotted with dried poo.

"I used to hate them; but it's like living next to a highway, you get used to 'em; then you don't really notice them," Mr Mackay said.

"And I understand how important they are to the environment with their pollination abilities.

"The only think I don't like is I can't go down the river and have a swim."

But many people in Casino are sick of the bats.

They arrived in mid-January, and still show no signs of leaving.

Bundled up like ropes in the tree tops, they cover literally every inch of many branches, and are living in the treetops near the playground of the local school.

It's no surprise their combined weight will occasionally bring a branch crashing down.

Spurred on by a stream of complaints from residents, Richmond Valley Council general manager John Walker has called this week for less red tape on the "removal and culling" of bats.

Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis has also called for action, likening the riverbank to "a scene from a Harry Potter movie, except that the feces and pungent odour are real".

But even though he's literally living with them, Mr Mackay is more mellow.

"The bottom line is even if we get permission to something about it, there's nothing you can do... they'll just go when they're ready," he said. "You've just got to put up with them."

"And it's quite a sight... when they're all taking off."

"You don't see things like this too often... we should just leave 'em be and wait until they go on their own."

BARE BRANCHES: Casino marriage celebrant Shirley Wheatley has no shade over her outdoor area by the riverbank after flying foxes stripped the leaves off her trees.

AN 80,000-strong bat colony that nested in Casino for eight long weeks has finally flown back to Queensland, leaving riverbank residents facing a grim toll on their once-lush backyards.

Long-time resident Shirley Wheatley's trees were wrecked in the space of a few weeks thanks to the little red flying foxes overcrowding the branches, including a mature norfolk pine, poinciana and a tuckeroo.

"They didn't set out to destroy the trees, it was their sheer weight of numbers," she said. "They just broke everything they landed in.

"At the present time it just looks awful. All the leaves are gone, so it's not green anymore. It's just a whole lot of tree skeletons."

Ms Wheatley lives on the bend of the river at what was once known as the "big hole" because of its popularity as a natural swimming pool.

"I can't blame them for wanting to be here - it's the best part of Casino," she said.

Flying foxes at Casino: Northern Star reporter Hamish Broome talks to Casino's Paul Mackay about the flying fox colony in his backyard.
One pretty location Ms Wheatley, a celebrant, used for intimate wedding ceremonies doesn't look quite so pretty now. Yet despite all the wrecked foliage, she doesn't harbour a grudge.

"Most of these trees will shoot again, because they're pretty resilient," she said.

"Really, apart from the broken trees, they didn't worry me."

In fact, she's quite the expert on flying foxes. A smaller permanent population of black flying foxes remains in Casino, although in much more sustainable numbers.

"I have great respect for the female flying foxes that have to carry their babies out at night clinging to the fur on her breast to get a feed," she said.

The tsunami of little reds had come to feast on a "bumper crop" of backbutt eucalypt flowers about 30km from their camp.

And the night-time fly out was spectacular, Ms Wheatley said. "The sky was just black with them."

Residents can expect fewer bats on their doorstep next year, with Richmond Valley Council planning to trim trees along the bank to "future-proof" the area..

"Council is also proposing to improve and replace habitat along the riverbank closer to the water, away from homes," a spokeswoman said.

"Undergrowth from a number of established trees near the footbridge, opposite the worst affected areas, will be cleared and more natives planted to encourage the bats to set up a colony there."



Articles,51,Audio,23,Backyard,24,Barbed Wire,35,Bat Art,56,Bat Books,94,Bat Box,27,Bat Clothing,16,Bat Issues,642,Bat Stamps,1,Bats,4,Bats for Children,39,Bats for the Home,70,Electrocution,9,Events,39,info on bats,643,Jackie Sparrow,26,Microbats,469,Misc,121,Netting,40,Newsletter,5,Promoting,152,Rehab,92,Rehab 2011,7,Rehab 2012,25,Rehab 2013,15,Rehab 2014,6,Rehab 2015,108,Rehab 2016,136,Rehab 2017,73,Rehab 2018,29,Rehab 2019,2,Release Cage,2,RESCUE,74,Rescue 2011,1,Rescue 2012,7,RESCUE 2013,18,RESCUE 2014,8,RESCUE 2015,25,Rescue 2016,20,RESCUE 2017,16,Rescue 2018,10,Rescue 2019,6,Rob Mies,11,Shooting,2,Vegetation,27,Video,399,Virus,128,WebSites-Bat,45,
BatsRule!: Megabats at Casino Flying-foxes Fruit bats
Megabats at Casino Flying-foxes Fruit bats
Megabats at Casino Flying-foxes Fruit bats
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Readmore Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS PREMIUM CONTENT IS LOCKED STEP 1: Share to a social network STEP 2: Click the link on your social network Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy