Group wants bats protected

Bat advocates will meet at the Colac Botanic Gardens on Monday after coming closer to securing a win for their winged friends.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning will consider implementing a 25-metre no-mow buffer around specific trees in the botanic gardens where grey-headed flying foxes roost with their young.

DELWP will also explore other options with Colac Otway Shire Council following video footage taken last week which bat advocates say shows highly distressed bats in day-flight and a lawnmower nearby at the Colac Botanic Gardens.

The Friends of Bats and Bushcare praised the idea to prevent mowing under the bats, and president Lawrence Pope said a small group would picnic at the botanic gardens on Monday.

Mr Pope invited DELWP and the Friends of the Botanic Gardens to join the bat enthusiasts.

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14 Responses to “Group wants bats protected”

  1. Dave

    The bats in Cairns are quite spectacular at sunset.

    Trust ours are being monitored for Lyssavirus.

  2. james roberts

    The Flying Foxes in the Colac Gardens should be considered by the community as an asset.Agreed there is damage to a few trees but not mortal damage.Everyone must realise that all those trees can be added to by additional plantings which will assist the existing trees. Should the Flying Fox colony be disbanded through ill advised actions it could well be another nail in the coffin of an important protected species.The gardens are large enough for the flying Foxes to be allowed their continued presence.

  3. Charlie

    How fortunate are the people of Colac to have a colony of flying foxes in a roost in their town. What a pleasure and opportunity for children and adults to learn more about these absolutely amazing flying mammals. There is no doubt that you are the envy of communities all over the world who would love to have such a benefit. Overseas and interstate visitors will visit Colac once they know the flying foxes are in residence. We have seen evidence of this in other communities fortunate enough to be in the same situation. To be the home of one of the most valued Australian native plant pollinators and seed dispersal agents makes Colac so much more important to our country and therefore our population. Thank you for treasuring them, your support in keeping them safe and content. They do only good.

  4. Monique Ferrier

    Bats are needing to settle in our Gardens because of diminishing habitat due to increasing human development and an increasingly challenging climate. Bats are the most amazing mammals which are critical to the health and diversity of our environment. Their colonies need to be supported and protected, and this means that we do need to think differently about our human behavior around these colonies, as well as to plant more trees and vegetation within our broader communities.

  5. Diana

    Dear residents of Colac, please show some compassion to the grey headed flying foxes currently residing in our gardens. The bats are having a tough time at the moment with the ever increasing temperatures and reducing food sources. I can understand that some might find their smell and looks unpleasant (no different to some of our neighbours perhaps?); but no doubt the bats find our urbanisation, barbed wire and fruit tree nets unpleasant, too. Flying foxes are one of the few native mammals that persist in our towns and cities. I feel lucky that to be able to show them to my young niece and nephew, as well as visitors from overseas (who are totally amazed at the contrast compared to their lifeless, concrete cities). Might we share our precious natural spaces, and all try to get along?

  6. Adele

    How lucky Colac residents are to have these beautiful, incredible, native animals come to rest in the botanic gardens. To watch them fly overhead a night is one of my favourite things, and a special sight to be seen. They are endangered, threatened, precious wildlife, needing our protection & appreciation, and it’s wonderful to see some positive support & press for these incredible animals.

  7. Patricia

    I’m a Colac resident too Rob and visit the Colac Botanical Gardens regularity never noticed the smell or noise from these bats but have often seen many families and picnickers sitting right under some of the trees quite oblivious that bats are above.
    Is it just the bats that you think should not be there what about the dogs (and their wee & poo left there) and the noisy birds and there poo too, you don’t say let’s get them out of the Gardens. The flying foxes 🦇 are so important for our environment we have to all accept these and all our wildlife more now than ever due to climate change and their habitat destruction.

  8. Jan

    Rob are you really talking about the Colac Gardens I am a local too & visit the Colac Botanical Gardens 2-3 times a week I hear lots of birds and did you notice how the galahs have chewed the branches from trees far eastern end. They were noisy. The bats noise and smell had never been noticeable to me and many others I’ve chatted with when I’ve been there. (but of course were noisy when the 2lawn mowers are there for at least 2+ hours)
    A conservationist you say, if serious you would know just how important these bats 🦇are for our environment.

  9. Kate

    These flying foxes are so critical to the genetic diversity of gum trees as they are our only long range pollinator. They will fly upwards of 50km per night, pollinating as they go. Birds and bees by comparison only travel 2-7km per day, on average.
    Unfortunately with the increase in habitat destruction, these animals are needing to find refuge in other areas, namely residential areas and towns. We not only need to protect this species, but improve the habitat conditions that may attract them away from danger in urban areas. Add to that, the increase in temperature over summer, which they suffer in, as we all do. Without shelter and cooler areas of undergrowth they have few options to move out of the heat. Again, linked with habitat destruction.
    Whilst I appreciate that they haven’t always been in Colac, we have always been in their habitat, they have just had better alternatives than to have to share with humans. Perhaps we can be more accomodating to fellow animals and give them some love and care. After all, I would hope that if I moved somewhere because my home was destroyed and needed help, someone would greet me with empathy and compassion.

  10. Lou

    This is great! Flying Foxes are fascinating animals, and critical in maintaining the health of our forests and ecosystem. I’ve seen them in the gardens a few times and love visiting them in there.

  11. Lawrence

    I find your reference to our beautiful indigenous flying foxes as “ugly smelly and noisy” highly offensive. Perhaps it is not the bats that are “ugly or smelly” but certain long outmoded attitudes. Noisy? Try your car and township. And, there is no “Colac” for the grey-headed flying foxes, and me, there is just this big wide land. They bats have regenerated forests from Brisbane to Adelaide for two million years – and still do. What do we do? They invaded “your” territory? Oh, that’s really rich. They are Australia’s ancient “heritage” so please show some respect. The grey-headed flying fox pollinates over 100 species of native trees and has declined by over 95% since 1900. Extinction of this critical and intelligent pollinator is a real possibility so if you actually care about Australia how about taking care of its pollinators? They deserve a far better deal this century than they got in the last from people who espoused similar emotions to you “Rob”. Moreover, trees rarely die from the wear and tear of roosting flying foxes and camps can be hundreds of years old. What is the conservation or ecological function of single so-called “heritage” trees anyway? The bats are engines of biodiversity – a lot of other species, “heritage” species, live under their work. How about some thoughtful input on how your can help these wonderful ancient Australians on Australia day instead of parochial insults? Poor show. Has David Attenborough wasted his time?

  12. Phil Alexander

    Gee Colac Rob,
    if we all had your attitude there would not be too many native animals left. I presume you are aware of the word ecosystem. That’s were every living thing is dependent on another living thing one way or the other. I love the gardens but much of the trees are introduced species. The bats ancestors where here long before those trees were planted.

  13. Rob

    I have been a resident of Colac for 66 years and visit the gardens nearly every day to enjoy the beautiful trees and plants in the gardens which have been invaded by these ugly smelly and noisy creatures an to have some one who does not even live in Colac to tell me not to disturb them I find offensive . I have not invaded their territory they have invaded mine while I am not against conservation I think you will find A lot of people will agree with me these animals need to be moved to an area away from the gardens to protect the trees in the gardens which the bats are destroying these trees are heritage listed and if the bats are allowed to stay will destroy them never to be seem again and I think this is a poor attitude I have planted over 4000 trees on my property for conservation but I think the bats should be moved on

  14. Rob

    This is great. Bats are so important to the viability of our trees and environment. They’ll also very intelligent creatures.
    Rob (wildlife carer Hampton)