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28 July, 2021

Council backs bats

The Flying Fox Advisory Committee (FFAC) will be disbanded and Council will establish a new agreement with the Bats and Trees Society of Cairns Inc (BatSoc) to continue community engagement and support wildlife carers.

PHOTO: Peter McCullagh

Established in September 2015, the FFAC has been a key component in managing flying foxes within the Cairns Regional Council area, with a primary role of raising community awareness and education relating to flying foxes.

Over the past year, attendance and interest in the quarterly FFAC meetings has declined and at its 30 June meeting, it was recommended that Council disband the FFAC as much of the committee’s work could be carried out by BatSoc with ongoing Council support.

Council currently has a Resource and Performance Agreement in place to provide $15,000 of funding via BatSoc to assist with volunteer bat carers.

This funding assists wildlife bat carers to provide food for flying foxes in care, training for wildlife carers, medical and veterinary supplies and services, and assistance for pre-creche aviary maintenance and improvements.

Under the terms of a new agreement, this funding will be considered each year to continue support for Cairns based flying fox carers.

Other conditions include Council consider a community grant to support the annual Flying Fox Festival, BatSoc and Council officers hold workshops every 6-8 weeks to discuss community engagement and education, and that Council and BatSoc share statistical information in terms of animal counts, locations, movements and animals taken into care.


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