flying-fox harrassment; we need help
[Fwd: Fw: flying-fox harrassment; we need help]
Sun, 05 Mar 2006 10:27:47 -0800
Lisa C <wildview@...>
Wildlife Protection Association of Australia Inc wrote:
URGENT ACTION ALERT; to all WPAA email lists. A colony of flying
foxes is under attack by nearby residents at Redlands
Bay in Queensland. Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service appear to
be taking no action against those offending. Local wildlife
groups are asking that as many people as possible email or write to
the Minister and ask her to take action.A letter that has been
sent is pasted below, with more details. The Minister's contact
details are below that again. If you have the time please send an
email to the Minister, flying foxes need all the help they can get!
Cheers, Pat OBrien ******************** Dear Minister It has
come to our attention that a colony of Flying Foxes residing in the
Redland Bay/Pitt St area are suffering illegal harassment. Little
to no action has been taken by Queensland Parks and Wildlife
officers to prevent this continuous cruelty and harassment, As this
problem has been widely reported in the.media, we believe that
department officers have no excuse for not knowing or not doing
their job under the Act by protecting this colony. We would like
to point out to you that it is a violation of the Nature
Conservation Regulation 234(1) as these animals are at present
giving birth and in the late stages of incubation of their progeny.
Section 234.(1) Interference with nests etc.
A person must not damage, destroy, mark, move, dig up or
otherwise interfere with a nest, bower, burrow, cave,
hollow or other structure used by a protected animal to incubate or
rear the animal's progeny
To allow this harassment to continue is animal cruelty, it is
illegal and it is the departments responsible, under your leadership,
to enforce the laws. It has also been reported that the
perpetrators harassing this colony have been threatening bystanders
wanting to watch the animals flying out to forage at night. This
must be against the law and people who have been intimidated are
being urged to report to the police.
These fly outs are significant and a world class wildlife spectacles
and people wishing to view it should be encouraged, not abused
. The species of animals under threat in this colony are mainly
Little Red Flying Foxes with a small number of Grey Headed and
Black Flying Foxes intermingled through the colony. Grey Headed
Flying Foxes are protected under the Federal Government
legislation as a species vulnerable to extinction.
The Department should have intervened when these animals were
being harassed during the day which violates the conditions
of treatment for nocturnal animals. Local children are being
encouraged to throw stones at the flying-fox, encouraged by the adult
disregard for animal welfare. People who are concerned about the
welfare of these Flying fox have been intimidated and verbally
abusive by a few aggressive residents who continue their harassment
of the colony unheeded and unchecked by the department.
We believe It is your responsibility to ensure that the department
up hold the Code of Conduct and intervene when violations of
section 88 (1) of the Nature Conservation Act 1992 take place.
Restriction on taking of protected animals
88.(1) Subject to section 93, a person must not take, use or
keep a protected animal, other than under
a.a conservation plan applicable to the animal; or
b.a license, permit or other authority issued or given under a
c.an exemption under a regulation.
d.Maximum penalty3 000 penalty units or imprisonment for 2 years.
e.(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to the taking of protected
animals in a protected area.
f.(3) It is a defence to a charge of taking a protected animal
in contravention of subsection (1) to prove
g.the taking happened in the course of a lawful activity that
was not directed towards the taking; and
h.the taking could not have been reasonably avoided.
(4) Subsection (3) does not allow a person to use or keep
(see definition of Take - in the Conservation Act 1992)
Hitting these animals with a stone can result in the animal
sustaining horrific injuries that prevent from flying, if it can not
can not forage for food which results in the mother dying in agony
and her baby starving to death. In the past it has been the
policy of Queensland Parks and Wildlife to implement education
programs for the community and enforce adherence to the Act
and regulations of the department.
There has been no evidence of Qld. Parks and Wildlife endeavoring
to engage or educate the community since you have held this
portfolio and it would seem that the department is taking a blasé
attitude toward the protection of all species of flying foxes within
the state of Queensland. Harassment and cruelty to these protected
animals has been sanctioned in places such as Charters
Towers, Mareeba, Boyne Island, Esk, Mt Isa, Marlborough, Moranbah,
Emerald, Black Water and many other places.
The Queensland Government is making no effort to protect areas where
flying-foxes have historically existed, while other states,
obviously more aware, are endeavoring to regenerate areas known to
have be frequented by flying-fox in an effort to prevent the
demise of this critically important, keystone species. We ask that
you as Minister for the Environment and as a matter of urgency,
look into the situation and ensure that the animals in the Redland
Bay area are protected from harassment and cruelty as
specified under the Act. **
To the Hon Desley Boyle,
PO Box 15031
City East QLD 4002 Ph 3227 8819 Fax 3221 9964