#Animal Rights
Rob Stokes: Environment and Heritage Minister

In Kareela thousands of flying foxes are in danger of being dispersed under the proposed argument that they are a danger to the community. Steve Simpson, Mayor of the Southerland Shire and associates are using the lyssavirus as a form of propaganda. They have highlighting the Sylvanvale disability service and Mikaree Child Care Centre as a focal point to influence the community and government to dislodge the flying fox colony from the area. Statistically flying foxes carry less than 1% of lyssavirus, there is more chance of being bitten by a dog.

It would cost the government $660k, only to see this problem arise again in another location while masses of Flying Foxes will die in the process. They have already lost main roosting sites in Sydney. Clearing of habitat is leaving them with little option than to roost in urban areas.

Evidence indicates decline in a space of 10 years. In1989 there were more than 560,000 grey-headed flying-foxes whereas in 2001 the numbers had dropped to approximately 400,000 and are still declining due to the loss of natural food sources by land clearing, disturbance of roosting sites, shooting and electrocution and climate change.

Flying-foxes have a very low breeding rate, with mothers giving birth to only one pup per year, usually in October. Lactation continues for around four months. This means flying-fox populations can only increase slowly. Pregnancy and lactation coincide with fruit harvesting, so disturbance at this time can have a significant impact on the population.

Flying foxes are essential to our environment and play a vital role in keeping our ecosystems in good health. They pollinate flowers and disperse seeds as they forage ensuring the survival of our threatened rainforests.

Furthermore, please read the full story below:

We the undersigned call on the government of Australia to prohibit the dispersal of the Kareela Flying Fox colony due to their vulnerability and decline as a species.

The grey-headed flying-fox is listed as vulnerable to extinction under NSW and Australian legislation because of declining numbers and key threats such as habitat loss and urban conflict. The listing of grey-headed flying-foxes as being vulnerable gives the species more protection and attention.

Wouldn’t this money be better spent on educating the public on the FACTS about our native wildlife and re-establish wildlife corridors within our communities.

Please reconsider the request for funding the dispersal of the Flying Fox colony at Kareela. A sustainable management plan where our vulnerable Flying Foxes are not dispersed but protected would be the wiser alternative as this situation will inevitably occur in another location.

The Kareela Flying Foxes Colony in danger of being relocated petition to Rob Stokes: Environment and Heritage Minister was written by Kathy Paquet and is in the category Animal Rights at GoPetition.