Travelers who have used one of Cairns airport shuttles before may have noticed the flying fox colony around the city. Some of them are lurking in high-rise buildings in the city centre while others can be seen loitering around the bustling traffic. While it is a sight to behold, their time in the area might be numbered because authorities are already planning to relocate them.
This is after the species had a devastating summer in northern Queensland due to heat wave that broke record. Before 2018 came to a close, the city have witnessed how over 23,000 of the spectacled flying foxes have died due to the heat. This means that almost one-third of their overall population in Australia have been wiped out.
According to the local officials in charge of the Cairns Regional Council, they have identified an area located outside the suburbs of Cairn city where they plan to relocate the adult bats. They will use the orphaned baby bats as their bait by placing them inside a cage. The adult bats are expected to come to their rescue because they are known for their maternal instincts.
Councilor John Schilling said that they adapted the technique from flying fox facilities since they have already observed how they react. Adult bats are known to group near baby bats. This is why they are hoping that the plan will be effective to help not just the city but to preserve the bat colony as well.
In order for the council to carry out the plan, they need permits coming from Federal Government and the local government of Queensland. The councilor is positive that they will get be given the green light.
Councilor Schilling added that they are looking out for the city’s interest and the future of the bats to save them from extinction. Members of the council are all in favor of the proposal believing that it will minimize future losses. It is possible that in the coming months, Cairns airport shuttles transporting travelers will no longer witness the flying foxes colony as they pass by the city centre.