Advocacy = the act of pleading for, supporting, or recommending.
A large part of our mission is advocacy for the animal welfare of bats and the role they play in the environment. The repeating issues we face include:
- Huge numbers of flying foxes arrive to camp in urban areas.
- People with backyard fruit trees using wildlife unfriendly netting to protect their fruit.
- Landowners with barbed wire fences that repeatedly entangle flying foxes.
- Microbats that roost on people’s verandahs leaving small poos.
- Electricity powerline hotspots that kill flying foxes.
- Harassment of flying-foxes based on the mistaken belief that human health is at risk.
Huge numbers of Little Red flying foxes regularly arrive in towns in this area. It can be very difficult to explain that the damage done to their roosting trees is very short-lived, and that their pollination role is critical. The real wonder is that there is enough nectar for this many bats.
Illegal destruction of camps is another issue. In contravention of the EPBC Act, wide roads were cut through this small fragment of forest to make it unattractive to Spectacled flying foxes.
Legislation at the federal and state levels is not strong enough, or poorly enforced. There is not a lot of public support for the welfare of flying foxes, particularly where human welfare is seen to be secondary. Medieval myths and media-evil myths aggravate the situation, particularly as it relates to diseases.