The Spectacled Flying Fox is listed as vulnerable. A significant camp exists in the center of Cairns.
The Cairns City Camp of flying foxes, with hundreds of nursing babies, IS AT RISK from a new hotel and apartment block in the middle of the camp.
The Spectacled Flying Fox is a keystone species responsible for seed dispersal. Its population decline, or even extinction, will have serious detrimental flow-on impacts on the Wet Tropics in Far North Queensland, which currently has World Heritage Area status.
Our governments are responsible for preventing extinction.
The Spectacled Flying Fox population is in serious rapid decline, and protection of their camps is paramount. The Spectacled Flying Fox has declined from a few hundred thousand to 150,000 in 2005, and to just 65,000 in Dec 2014. Dr David Westcott calculates the population is declining at a rate of 6% per year. (Westcott, David; McKeown, Adam Advice that this proposed development by GA Group will likely destroy the Spectacled Flying Fox camp comes from two of Australia’s leading authorities on Spectacled Flying Foxes, Dr David Westcott and Dr Martin Cohen.
Ref: ‘Spectacled flying-fox monitoring in the Wet Tropics Region’ National Environmental Research Program, Tropical Research Hub, CSIRO 2014 http://www.nerptropical.edu.au/sites/default/files/publications/files/NERP-TE-PROJECT-3.4-FINAL-REPORT-FLYING-FOX-COMPLETE.pdf Figure 2. p5 and p11).
The Federal and Queensland State Governments must prevent the development of the proposed hotel apartment complex on the land at 163 Abbott St, Cairns. The development will destroy this entire nationally registered Spectacled Flying Fox Camp.
Both the Federal Government, under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC), and the Qld State Government, under the Qld Nature Conservation Act, are responsible for protecting species from extinction.
The Federal and Queensland State Government should acquire this land and set up a sanctuary for Spectacled Flying Foxes with Interpretive Centre, Viewing Platform, Flying Fox Hospital, Aviary, and kiosk-café.