Ipswich Nature Centre will remain closed this week

Ipswich Nature Centre will remain closed this week after the number of flying foxes in trees in the centre increased.

The centre closed last Friday, with council officers reassessing the situation on Monday morning.

Council officers will again review the situation on Monday, 1 March.

The number of flying foxes on site increased over the weekend and due to the low elevation of their roosting, which increases the risk of a flying fox coming into contact with a visitor, it was advised by council officers that in the interests of community safety, the centre should remain closed.

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.

To manage the safety of visitors to the Ipswich Nature Centre, staff have implemented extra cleaning and maintenance of the trees.

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

The Ipswich Nature Centre was also forced to close for more than a month in February 2019 because of the migrating visitors.

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