Queensland’s threatened species crisis: landmark report prompts calls for change
13 October 2021
Today sees the release of a landmark report into the impacts of the Queensland Roost Management Laws of Flying Foxes. Half of Queensland’s Flying Fox species are threatened, and current management allows for potentially harmful dispersal and disruption to roosts with no environmental assessments.
As this landmark report was prepared for release, the Federal government has proposed to axe 184 recovery plans from the federal legislature which would mean there is no requirement to recover the populations of threatened species, effectively walking away from their legal responsibilities to prevent extinction and biodiversity loss. Included in this, is the Spectacled Flying Fox Recovery Plan, an endangered keystone species integral to the ecology of the World Heritage listed rainforests of the Wet Tropics.
“We are calling on the Australian Government to abandon its plan to scrap recovery plans for threatened species and invest what is needed to avert extinctions.” said QCC’s Andrew Picone.
First Nations People, Conservation Groups, Animal Rights Groups and land managers have gathered across Queensland to call for change.
The report by the Environmental Defenders Office and Cairns and Far North Environment Centre provides key recommendations to the State Government to establish a modern framework. With case studies from First Nations, scientists, conservationists and animal carers, the report demonstrates the impact of the laws on the now thought to be Critically Endangered Spectacled Flying Fox. The species is on an extinction pathway and the current roost management laws are detrimental to the species recovery.
Flying Foxes play an essential ecological role in our forests by pollinating plants and dispersing their seeds. Places like the Wet Tropics and Gondwana Rainforests world heritage areas rely on Flying Foxes for these services. Groups across the State are working for the recovery of flying foxes and are calling for the state and federal governments to ensure that they are also acting for the recovery and conservation of these essential species.
“We’re calling on the Queensland Government to implement a new framework for roost management and have it operational by December 2022.” said Picone.
“It’s important the state government takes a much-needed step forward in reforming laws affecting flying -foxes and provide adequate support for councils in managing flying-fox communities.”
“We urge the state government to take necessary action in managing threatened flying-fox populations and to pay close attention to Brisbane’s Statement of Management Intent which provides a benchmark for best practice and rules out dispersal.”
“The Brisbane City Council has successfully laid out a management plan to ensure the persistence of valuable flying-fox communities without resorting to dispersal.”
“QCC supports Brisbane’s management plan which holds a central focus on buffer and camp modifications as backed by previous experience and practice.”
For further information and comment contact:
Andrew Picone, Protected Area Program Manager, Queensland Conservation Council
0457 798 359