Little red flying foxes are expected to move from their current roosting spot at Queens Park in 6-8 weeks and perhaps sooner, making way for the Nature Centre to re-open.
Flying fox experts are continually checking the progress of more than 5000 little reds which have made Queens Park home since last month.
They’re also checking on the welfare of grey headed and black flying foxes which roost in the Queens Park trees year-round.
“We’ve been advised that any dispersal methods – such as branch-lopping, noise or lights – would have an impact on the babies of the greys and blacks which are too young to fly,” Works, Parks and Recreation chief operating officer Bryce Hines said.
“That means the Nature Centre has to remain closed until the little reds travel north in March or April to give birth to their young.”
The high number of little red flying foxes is causing a number of public safety issues in the park.
Branches are falling because of the weight of flying foxes. Although only weighing 600g each, little reds roost in tight clumps which causes the branches to break.
They also tend to roost lower in trees than other species, increasing the risk of contact with anybody who is walking by, particularly along the elevated boardwalks of the Nature Centre.
Queensland Health maintains there is no evidence to suggest there is any risk of Hendra or Lyssavirus from walking over flying fox faeces.
“The main concern is that it’s messy and unsightly,” Mr Hines said.
“All in all, we want to ensure that public safety is our top priority which is why we’ve chosen to keep the centre closed.”
“Staff are continuing to monitor the numbers and movements of animals every day. And while we’re staying closed to the public, rest assured that the permanent residents of the nature centre are being taken care of.”
Little reds are a nomadic species and travel long distances to find food.