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Solution to Charters Towers bat problem takes flight

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Charters Towers residents has been battling an intolerable flying fox problem for decades, with tens of thousands of bats roosting there every year.

But an artificial park is being built at Young's Block in efforts to lure the bats out of Lissner Park and away from Charters Towers city.

In December 2019, a plague of bats forced the temporary closure of Lissner and Centenary parks because of public safety risks.

After years of planning, Charters Towers council, the Queensland Department of Environment and Science and CSIRO will start work to disperse and relocate the bats from next week.

The fake roost is designed to mimic a parkland setting.

A DES spokesperson says residents will experience temporary disturbances between 4am-7am from next week.

"A range of dispersal techniques will be used to drive the animals away from the park and to prevent them returning – including noise, smoke, and bright lights," the spokesperson says.

A similar dispersal technique was planned for July last year, but it had to be postponed due to flying fox pups at the site.

NOT A QUICK FIX 

Charters Towers council staff are being trained in roost-dispersal techniques to continue such work in the future.

Director of Northern Wildlife Operations Lindsay Delzoppo says the community should aware the program will be ongoing in order to to reduce the nuisance impacts of the bats.

“Dispersals take time.

"This dispersal won’t succeed overnight and could take several weeks or even longer,” Mr Delzoppo says.

Pet owners are being asked to keep their pets indoors during the dispersal program.

Residents are also urged to contact the Lissner Park Dispersal Flying Fox Hotline on 0400 714 379 if flying foxes are on their property, are found in unsuitable locations, are injured, or for any significant disturbances or issues caused by the dispersal activities.