Flying foxes

Stop killing flying foxes in Qld

The Queensland Government continues to allow the killing of thousands of flying foxes in Queensland every year. Please join us in urging the Minister for Environment to put a stop to lethal DMPs in Queensland.

Labor’s 2008 position banned the shooting of flying foxes in Queensland. The Campbell Newman government reinstated shooting of flying foxes through lethal DMPs in 2012. Labor have been back in power since 2015 and have so far failed to reinstate of the ban on shooting.

The Queensland Government says that it is “reviewing” the current system of DMP – Damage Mitigation Permits.  These permits license fruit growers to shoot flying foxes who come onto their orchards. In 2020 it will allow the shooting of over 8000 flying foxes. And this at a time when they and our forests are under siege from climate change. Flying foxes – all four species – Spectacled, Little Red, Grey headed and Black flying foxes – pollinate and seed disperse forests. Over 100 species of native trees rely on them in part, or entirely, to reproduce. NSW has announced a ban on shooting from July 2020. Shooting is illegal in Victorian and South Australia. It rarely occurs in NT and WA.

Key issues:

1. Shooting flying foxes is extremely cruel. They are shot coming onto orchards when it is dark or nearly dark so mum’s with a pup on board can be easily shot, as are endangered Spectacled flying foxes even though they are not part of the “lethal quota”. Many are wounded and take days to die of injuries including broken wings and shock.

2. All flying fox species are under pressure and in decline. Land-clearing has starved millions over the past century and relentless persecution has occurred – shooting, cutting down roost trees, and poisoning. In the past even explosives and flame throwers were used against flying foxes in their roost trees. 

3. They are keystone pollinators of forests and rainforest. 100 species of native trees (and all the wildlife who live in them) rely in part or wholly on flying foxes pollinating and seed dispersing work. They are critical for continuation of our rainforests. 

4. Flying foxes are already facing severe stresses and mass deaths through climate change, heatwaves, drought and land clearing.  A recent starvation event in QLD and NSW saw rescuers commonly encountering aborted pups and starving animals. A failure of native trees to flower and fruit on time and the absence of enough intact forest is largely to blame.

5. All flying fox species are in decline. The Grey Headed Flying Fox has declined by over 95% since 1900. We are killing the very animals who make the forests more resilient to climate change and heat stress by out-cross pollination. 


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