Charters Towers flying-fox roost at Young’s Block

In a joint project, the Charters Towers Regional Council, the Queensland Government Department of Environment and Science and the CSIRO are working on a trial to relocate the town’s flying-foxes from the existing roost site in Lissner Park to an artificial alternative roost site constructed at Young’s Block, on the outskirts of Charters Towers. This site has been designed specifically to recreate the type of environment that currently encourages flying-foxes to Lissner Park.

A successful relocation will ensure the continued sustainability of these important species while allowing the community to enjoy the beautiful open spaces of Lissner Park.

Carefully designed dispersal activities to encourage the flying foxes to move from Lissner Park to the new roost have been planned but were postponed twice: firstly due to flightless flying-fox pups being present in trees at the park, and again in early 2021 as there were very low numbers of flying-fox present in Lissner Park. The department is continuing to work with its dispersal contractor and Charters Towers Regional Council to monitor the roost population in the park, and to determine when conditions are suitable for dispersal activities to commence.

Charters Towers flying fox relocation map

What is different about these relocation activities to previous attempts?

  • Evidence-based science: Best practice flying-fox management strategies based on extensive scientific research into flying-fox ecology and behaviour have been used to create the best opportunity for the success of the alternate roost site.
  • A new artificial roost site: Young's Block has been purpose-built to accommodate the relocated flying-foxes.
  • Ecosure: Ecosure, an experienced environmental contractor, has been engaged to conduct the initial dispersal and relocation.

The methods used by Ecosure will include some of those that have been used in the past, however, this time the intention is to relocate the flying foxes to the new artificial roost and to undertake sustained efforts to retain them in their new location.

The process will be complex and may take several weeks or months.

Following the initial dispersal period, Charters Towers Regional Council will manage the ongoing relocation activities as part of its long-term flying fox management plan.

Information for residents

What to expect

When the dispersal activities commence (between 4am–7am) residents are likely to experience temporary disturbances in some places, including, but not limited to:

  • noise (e.g. whips, starter pistols, air horns)
  • bright lights
  • smoke.

Flying-foxes are wild animals and it is difficult to predict how they might respond or where they might go.

To assist with the success of the dispersal residents can:

  • Keep noise-sensitive pets indoors or locked up during dispersal activities.
  • Not disturb flying-foxes that may be temporarily roosting in trees on your property during the day so they don’t return to Lissner Park and can continue to be relocated to Young’s Block.
  • Report the following incidents to the Ecosure flying-fox hotline on 0400 714 379.
    • Flying-foxes that are present on your property.
    • Flying-foxes in unsuitable locations including backyards, schools, health or aged care facilities, the airport and paddocks.
    • A flying-fox that may be injured.
    • Any significant disturbances or issues caused by the dispersal activities.

It’s important to never touch or handle flying-foxes.

Further information