In February 2019, the Australian government upgraded the conservation status of the spectacled flying fox from vulnerable to endangered, after almost a third (an estimated 20,000+) of the bat population died in a severe heatwave in Queensland in late 2018. But after recent catastrophic declines in spectacled flying-fox numbers, moving them from their home further threatens the species survival. Weighing up to two pounds and with wingspans approaching five feet, spectacled flying foxes are among the largest bats in the world. The tragic end to the story is that a dangerous precedent is being set for flying-fox management in Australia. Up to 20,000 animals died late last year; decision is one of several made by Melissa Price after criticism over inaction, Last modified on Fri 22 Feb 2019 00.21 EST. In February 2019, when the spectacled flying-fox was finally declared 'endangered', they already qualified as 'critically endangered', according to official guidelines. In the meantime, the national conservation status of the spectacled flying-fox moved too slowly from "vulnerable" to "endangered" in the listing process. Science X Daily and the Weekly Email Newsletters are free features that allow you to receive your favourite sci-tech news updates. We use cookies to improve your experience on our site. We, the signatories of this petition, request Cairns Regional Council to cancel all plans to ‘disperse’ (forcibly evict) critically endangered Spectacled Flying Foxes from the nationally significant Cairns City Library camp as it will place great stress on this species leading to higher mortality rates. We do not guarantee individual replies due to extremely high volume of correspondence. Spectacled flying foxes (SFF) were originally listed as vulnerable in 2002 and up-listed to endangered in 2019 with population data supplied by CSIRO. 1849:109-112. Captive breeding. Spectacled flying-foxes are important pollinators and seed dispersers in Australia’s Wet Tropics. conspicillatus) and the Christmas Island Flying-fox (Pteropus melanotus natalis) are listed under national environmental law (Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, the EPBC Act). The EPBC Act failed to protect the species at every turn. by Justin A. Welbergen, Noel D Preece, Penny Van Oosterzee The spectacled flying fox Bronto is in recovery at Tolga Bat Hospital after crashing into a tree and being impaled on branches in the Cairns CBD on Saturday. Since 1990 many thousands have been rescued and released, over 4000 of … But these animal welfare concerns arose from the accumulated impacts of the council's poor management actions, or actions the council supported. But habitat destruction and harassment largely caused the species' population to drop from 250,000 in 2004 to 75,000 in 2017. Council believes relocation will mitigate human/flying fox conflict, enable the trees at the library to recover, and will likely reduce the high rates of pup mortality that have been recorded at the library colony. A council spokesperson says: "Heat stress events, urban development and increased construction in close proximity to the Cairns City Library roost will continue to stress and adversely affect the spectacled flying fox population. Most come in as as result of tick paralysis, some from entanglement on barbed wire fences, and a few from entanglement in netting over backyard fruit trees. The relocation activity will be undertaken by appropriately qualified and experienced individuals and non-lethal methods will be used. What's more, the state government's recovery plan for the spectacled flying-fox—in place since 2010—has never been implemented. Humane Society International (HSI) said decisions on three woodlands, recommended for either listings as either critically endangered or endangered ecological communities by the scientific committee, had again been delayed by the minister, this time until June. The Conversation. We will introduce the concept of “wildlife friendly fencing” to the public, and trial fencing methods that minimise the likelihood of … It marks the second largest flying-fox die-off in recorded history. Your opinions are important to us. This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Spectacled flying fox Conservation (more information at Conservation of Australian Flying Foxes) Bat conservation is a key aspect of our work at Tolga Bat Hospital. Credit: Australasian Bat Society. IT WAS NOVEMBER Of 1990 when Bruce and Ann Johnson decided to check whether a recent cyclone had caused any damage to a local colony of spectacled flying foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) near their home in Millaa Millaa, North Queensland in Australia. , The council is permitted to disperse the flying-foxes with deterrent measures, including pyrotechnics, intense lighting, acoustic devices and other non-lethal means. The Conversation sought a response to this article from Cairns Regional Council. species for the project are Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus), Grey-headed flying fox (Pteropus poliocephalus) and Mahogany Glider (Petaurus gracilis). “I have strengthened the committee’s ability to provide advice that draws on Indigenous knowledge and helps land managers to care for their country by appointing Ms Cissy Gore-Birch, a Jaru/Kija woman from Western Australia, and Dr Richard Harper from the School of Veterinary and Life Sciences at Murdoch University,” Price said. They are currently under threat from loss of habitat, climate change and urban development. Instead, the flying-foxes formed a permanent camp at Yarra Bend, one kilometer short of the intended destination, where they're now subjected to renewed calls for culling or dispersal. Credit: Justin A. Welbergen, Noel D Preece and Penny van Oosterzee. Phys.org is a part of Science X network. That's because under the EPBC Act, no building near or around the flying-foxes is permitted. spectacled flying-fox Type reference Gould, J. Some bat carers have sadly reached the conclusion the dispersal is now the least-bad option for the bats after their stronghold suffered a death by a thousand cuts, leaving their home unviable. Cairns Regional Council argues their decision to attempt to move the bats to the Cairns Central Swamp is in the long-term interest of their survival. Removals (X) of roost trees from the Cairns flying-fox camp between 2013 and 2020. Endangered Species Photos, Eye Photos, Far North Queensland Photos, Flying Photos, Fur Photos, Head Photos, Horizontal Photos, Mammal Photos, Nature Photos, No People Photos, Outdoors Photos, Photography Photos, Port Douglas Photos, Queensland Photos, Spectacled Flying Fox Photos, Tree Photos, Tropical Climate Photos, Vertebrate Photos, See all The Grey-headed Flying-fox (Pteropus poliocephalus), Spectacled Flying-fox (Pteropus conspicillatus subsp. Note: In 2019 they were listed as Endangered, however, the recent mass death in November 2018 were not considered in this listing. Decline of the rainforest specialist. Dispersals risk stressing the already disturbed animals, and causing injuries and even abortions and other fatalities. Since 2015, the government has … Please, allow us to send you push notifications with new Alerts. The review of the EPBC Act must see strengthened legislation to prevent such tragic outcomes for our threatened species. Guardian Australia published concerns from environment groups. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers remain stable. Soc. The camp may now be non-viable for the flying-foxes. Science X Daily and the Weekly Email Newsletter are free features that allow you to receive your favorite sci-tech news updates in your email inbox, © Phys.org 2003 - 2021 powered by Science X Network. The numbers of all three EPBC listed flying-foxes have declined over recent times, Now imagine what it … The new white rectangular buildings visible in 2020 are high-rise hotel (centre) and Cairns aquarium (top) developments Provided by authors. “After 18 months of pointless delays by her predecessor Josh Frydenberg, Minister Price has finally given spectacled flying-foxes the endangered listing they have been in desperate need of,” said HSI’s head of programs, Evan Quartermain. Population number. With global reach of over 5 million monthly readers and featuring dedicated websites for hard sciences, technology, smedical research and health news, Meaning it is only one step away from being Extinct in the Wild. Two species, the gray-headed flying fox and the spectacled flying fox, live in large numbers in the eastern bushfire zone and have suffered the most in recent months. And in 2015, Cairns Aquarium developers had to destroy trees home to hundreds of spectacled flying-foxes before they could start construction. The Cairns camp was then subjected to a series of EPBC-approved roost tree removals in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. “Critically endangered forests vital to the survival of orange-bellied parrots and endangered habitat for koalas will now continue to be destroyed while landholder opportunities for recovery funding go begging,” he said. Collectively these destroyed more than two-thirds of the available roosting habitat at the site. the Science X network is one of the largest online communities for science-minded people. Your feedback will go directly to Science X editors. The announcements come after Guardian Australia published concerns from environment groups who described the minister as “invisible” during a summer of natural disasters and accused her delaying decisions in her portfolio and not meeting with key groups. A combination of census and mark–recapture data over 2 … This planned dispersal – which the council says is in the interests of the species—is set to conclude a long series of controversial management actions at the site. The program is tailored to minimize any stress on the animals and causes no injury of any type. A Rodrigues flying fox flying at the Zürich Zoologischer Garten. Subsequent monitoring has, so far, shown no sign of recovery. 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