Ipswich Nature Centre to remain temporarily closed

Ipswich Nature Centre will remain closed as a wild population of flying foxes are roosting on-site in their thousands.

Environment and Sustainability Chair Councillor Russell Milligan said several trees have fallen due to the weight of the flying foxes and are being removed.

“The centre closed on Friday, 19 February and council is monitoring the situation,” Cr Milligan said.

“The number of flying foxes on site have caused safety issues due to the low elevation of their roosting, which increases the risk of a flying fox coming into contact with a visitor.

“Council will update residents on when the Ipswich Nature Centre will reopen, once it is safe to do so.”

More than 5000 flying foxes make the surrounding trees their home during migration.

There are three species of flying fox roosting in the park – Black flying fox Pteropus Alecto, Grey-headed flying fox Pterpopus poliocephalus and Little red flying fox Pteropus scapulatus

Although only weighing 600g each, little reds roost in tight clumps which causes the branches to break.

The resident animals will remain, however they may be moved from their usual enclosures and monitored to keep them safe.

Like all native wildlife species, flying foxes are protected under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992. 

Flying foxes have been found in the area infected with Australian Bat Lyssavirus that is dangerous to people. 

It is important that members of the community do not touch flying foxes under any circumstances, even if they appear dead.

Only people who are trained and appropriately vaccinated should handle flying foxes.

If you find a sick or injured flying fox, do not touch it and contact the RSPCA on 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625).

Flying foxes are an important pollinator and disperse seeds of native trees across large distances. 

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