Help stop the slaughter of Grey-headed flying foxes (bats) in the Royal Botanical Gardens, Melbourne, Australia.



Please help save a whole colony of Australian grey-headed flying foxes (bats) by writing to Australian authorities and newspapers (below ) in protest at the continuing slaughter.

This file was created in May 2000

The grey-headed flying fox is an Australian native bat.

Between 4000 and 8000 (the numbers reported by authorities seem to fluctuate) grey headed flying foxes have made their homes in acres of trees in the Royal Botanical Gardens in Melbourne (the capital city of the state of Victoria, Australia).

Flying foxes migrate up and down the East coast of Australia but some seem to have made a permanent home in the Royal Botanical Gardens and the authorities view them as a pest.

The flying foxes have been accused of damaging trees in the Royal Botanical Gardens in Melbourne and there may be some irrational fear that they may carry a disease which could affect humans (eg the Australian Bat Lyssa Virus, which causes a disease similar to rabies in humans.) However, there has been no proof and no public assertion by the Victorian authorities in the press that the bats in the Royal Melbourne Botanical Gardens are suspected of carrying the Australian Bat Lyssa virus.

The Australian Bat Lyssa virus caused illnesses in bat rehabilitaters in Queensland, Australia after the incidence of bites. Rabies vaccine is available to prevent the Australian Bat Lyssa virus infection.

Humans have colonised a large part of the Eastern Coast of Australia and have removed/ and are still removing a lot of habitat of many native animals including the bats.

For example in Queensland, a football field of rainforest/bushland is bulldozed (native animals and all) every minute of every day and turned into pasture for cattle.

Last flights in the Gardens of Death from http://www.austrop.org.au/ghff/home.htm

To help the flying foxes of Melbourne (capital city of the state of Victoria in Australia), please write to the authorities and the two major newspapers in Melbourne and complain about the slaughter.

The email addresses for letters to the editor are:

the Age newspaper
letters@theage.fairfax.com.au

Herald-Sun
hseditor@ozemail.com.au

Letters to the authorities:

Dr Philip Moors,
Director,
The Royal Botanical Gardens (Melbourne, Australia)
rbg@rbgmelb.org.au and the

Minister for the Environment (Victoria, Australia)
Ms Sherryl Garbutt
sherryl.garbutt@parliament.vic.gov.au

Dr Robert Begg
Manager of flora and fauna
Department of Natural Resources and Environment
Robert.Begg@nre.vic.gov.au

Points to mention could include

1. Grey-headed Flying foxes are Australian native animals
2.Habitat loss elsewhere on Australia's East Coast is placing pressure on many native animals
3.The Victorian "Scientific Advisory Group" is listing the grey-headed flying fox as vulnerable.
4.Mr Bracks (the Premier of Victoria) has publically stated that :"he is against the shooting"
5.The colony in the Royal Botanic Gardens is one of only two regular colonies where the threatened species hangs on in Victoria. In fact, the Botanic Gardens is the only permanent colony in Victoria with the other at Mallacoota Inlet only being used intermittently.(see HSI statement below)
6.Late last year HSI nominated the Grey Headed Flying Fox to be listed as a threatened species on both the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee (FFG) Act and the Federal Endangered Species Protection Act. A nomination is also pending with the NSW Threatened Species Scientific Committee.

To read an account of the Australian bat slaughter in the Age Newspaper visit
Foxes to fly no more in park purge

To read the authorities account of why they feel they have to kill and remove ALL the flying foxes from the Royal Botanical Gardens
Royal Botanical Gardens Melbourne

To learn more about bats visit
The Buzbee Bat House

To read Animal Liberation Victoria Bat Update
Animal Liberation Victoria Bat Update

To read flying fox conservation information From the HSI Australia website
Humane Society International Press Releases
Botanic Gardens To Destroy Flying Foxes (HSI (Australia) Press Release 9/3/2000)

Exerpt from HSI(Australia) web site...

"...The colony in the Royal Botanic Gardens is one of only two regular colonies where the threatened species hangs on in Victoria. In fact, the Botanic Gardens is the only permanent colony in Victoria with the other at Mallacoota Inlet only being used intermittently.

"To exterminate Victoria's most significant colony of Grey-Headed Flying Foxes is indefensible. It's a threatened species and this colony is essential to its recovery" said Nicola Beynon, HSI's Biodiversity Campaigner.

Late last year HSI nominated the Grey Headed Flying Fox to be listed as a threatened species on both the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee (FFG) Act and the Federal Endangered Species Protection Act. A nomination is also pending with the NSW Threatened Species Scientific Committee.

"HSI is deeply concerned that the Botanic Gardens is pushing ahead with their extermination program before the FFG Scientific Committee has a chance to assess our nomination and protect the Grey-headed Flying Fox under Victorian legislation" said Ms Beynon.

HSI calls on the Royal Botanic Gardens to halt their extermination program and to put more effort in to relocating the colony. Flying Fox experts have advised HSI that there ares alternative corridors of suitable Eucalypt habitat along the Yarra River. Attempts should be made to physically capture and relocate the animals.

While has not been done before there is no reason not to try given that this a threatened species. A successful relocation program would set an important precedent for the humane management of Flying Foxes in other situations where they are unwelcome.

"It will be a tragedy if Grey Headed Flying foxes suffer further population losses before they receive the legal protection due to them.

HSI hopes that the listings under state and Federal threatened species laws would lead to emergency recovery action for the species.

Also, from July 16th, with the enactment of the Federal Government's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, the Federal Government will be taking responsibility for nationally listed threatened species even when they occur on state lands. HSI hopes that under the EPBC the Commonwealth Government would then be able to prevent such assaults on threatened species by state agencies.

"Sadly, it looks like the listing might come too late for Grey Headed Flying Foxes in Victoria," concluded Ms Beynon.

For more information contact: Nicola Beynon, HSI's Biodiversity Campaigner ph: 02 9973 1728 or email nicola@hsi.org.au

Please help the poor grey headed flying foxes in Melbourne.

Your letters of support may help make a difference as to whether these animals live or die


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