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pilchybabe
21-02-13, 08:43 PM
"Access to Warwick State High School’s Hamilton Oval has been restricted, following health concerns related to two nearby flying fox colonies. Representatives from Queensland Health and the Department of Environment and Heritage carried out a risk assessment at the school this morning."

According to some, a child actually got sick from being in the area.

The bats are in the same spot every single year. The spot just happens to be near the agricultural plot at the high school and also near the school sporting oval. The bats are there for a good few months- stripping trees, causing noise etc etc.

In the evening the sky is black. It is the creepiest and most disgusting thing to see hundreds of thousands of bats fly out of these trees and into the surrounds of the town.

They fly out to where we live and go down to the trees in my horses paddock (touch wood they haven't been sick but I'm careful with washing hands and bodily fluids etc).

So when do bats become a pest? Do they ever become a pest? What are everyone's thoughts, not just from the horse minded person's perspective, but as a member of the community?
Would you feel safe if your child was attending a school where bats are? Would you feel comfortable drinking tank water while they are in town?

LisaL
21-02-13, 08:54 PM
They are native animals and are an integral part of the Australian ecology. We have a choice, we can choose to live in concrete jungles with no plant or animal life or we can learn to accommodate the beautiful and unique flora and fauna.

In the grand scheme of things, more children are killed in car accidents each year than have ever been killed by bat borne diseases.

Wouldnt it be nice if mothers taught their children to love, engage and learn about Aussie flora and fauna rather than choosing to teach their children fear.

G Dog
21-02-13, 08:55 PM
Disgusting??
Funny,when I see hundreds of thousands of bats fly out of the trees I see one of natures great spectacles.
Perhaps you should vaccinate your horses if you are concerned.

Jcr
21-02-13, 09:00 PM
I think the sick child was bitten or scratched by a bat - leads to the question "What was he doing with a bat to get injured?" Bats just don't go around biting and scratching needlessly!

I'm with G Dog and LisaL bats are incredible creatures it is not their fault we are destroying their habitat and cramming them into smaller and smaller areas.

It will soon be compulsory to vaccinate horses against Hendra virus to help prevent the spread of the disease.

LirioJaguar
21-02-13, 09:03 PM
I, too, think Bats79 is a bit of a problem. Good call, lets eradicate... :p

pilchybabe
21-02-13, 09:08 PM
Disgusting??
Funny,when I see hundreds of thousands of bats fly out of the trees I see one of natures great spectacles.
Perhaps you should vaccinate your horses if you are concerned.

Unfortunately I am not in a financial position to vaccinate my horses against it. I am a Uni student who is currently unemployed. There is absolutely no chance for me to vaccinate and still be afford to pay rent.

And there are many mixed views on the topic, it's just interesting to see what people's views are on here.

teetee
21-02-13, 09:09 PM
The last thing I heard on the news was the parent suspected Lyssa virus after the child was scratched or bitten by a microbat. Since microbats are a completely different species to fruit bats and as far as I knew its only the fruit bats that are hosts to Lyssa and Hendra viruses I'm really confused about the whole thing.
ETA looks like microbats are a totally different suborder to fruit bats so not even the same family of animals.

Either way to answer the question bats are a part of the natural environment, its pure arrogance to behave as though they have no right to share the same space as we do.

munchkins
21-02-13, 09:26 PM
Strongly agree with all the pro bat sentiments, and would add that even hard nosed economic rationalists recognise their huge economic importance for pollinating income producing timber species etc - they're a bit like bees, we'd be in a bit of strife without them.

awetsawdustdemon
21-02-13, 09:34 PM
Teetee, microbats are confirmed carriers of lyssavirus. As far as I am aware Hendra has not been detected in microbats to date (happy to be corrected) but I would be treating them as though they did carry it.

Refreshing to see some more bat friendly attitudes on the forum :)

LirioJaguar
21-02-13, 09:34 PM
Bad jokes aside.
Remembering that we are now without the Thylacine because the government offered a bounty to protect pecuniary interests (it was not about ovine welfare, as the bounty for 'offending' Aboriginal people in Gippsland was not about bovine welfare) of farmers.
I'd be finding a way to vaccinate if I were concerned, for my own (impoverished!) part.
My kids aren't afraid of snakes and welcome a sighting of them, unlike the kids of other neighbours who have completely adopted their parents' attitudes. It's sad to hear kids venerating the killing of snakes, given how much they save their parent's in feed losses to mice every year.

awetsawdustdemon
21-02-13, 09:37 PM
My kids aren't afraid of snakes and welcome a sighting of them, unlike the kids of other neighbours who have completely adopted their parents' attitudes. It's sad to hear kids venerating the killing of snakes, given how much they save their parent's in feed losses to mice every year.

This too :)

opensky
21-02-13, 09:48 PM
Agree, education is the key, and parental attitudes to animals have a huge impact on a kid's attitude. That said, no-one should ever touch a bat without gloves or some protection, that message certainly needs to get through. Bats have their place in the ecosystem, like snakes, frogs, spiders, etc.....(we often just use our sterotypical perception of 'beautiful/ugly' as one part of a poor frame of reference to judge creatures, and kids take this on board too).

JCA
21-02-13, 09:59 PM
There's a lot of joy often expressed on the killing of snakes. I'm another who finds it fairly repugnant- the repeated smashing over the head with the shovel, the glorification in the difficulty of cutting it in half... It's unusual that it's most often by animal lovers in the name of protecting their horses/dogs/family. But to venerate the death is just hypocrisy. Anyone who calls themselves an animal lover and delights in the killing of snakes is clearly not.

(How I love that Simpsons episode on Whacking day!).

teetee
21-02-13, 11:19 PM
Teetee, microbats are confirmed carriers of lyssavirus. As far as I am aware Hendra has not been detected in microbats to date (happy to be corrected) but I would be treating them as though they did carry it.

Refreshing to see some more bat friendly attitudes on the forum :)

Wow that's surprising given the huge taxonomical differences, very interesting!

wtk
22-02-13, 08:27 AM
Disgusting? what is disgusting is that we have done more damage in 200 years or so to this environment that bats, snakes or whatever so called repulsive creatures could ever aspire to.

We are the ones who introduced species who are affected by virus, venom and environment.

We are the culprits not the native animals.

LirioJaguar
22-02-13, 08:38 AM
So soberingly true, wtk :(

leesa
22-02-13, 09:32 AM
Remembering that we are now without the Thylacine because the government offered a bounty to protect pecuniary interests

This is going to sound a bit ridiculous, but I swear I saw two of these in QLD last year. :eek:
It was new years eve and I was out at the horse agistment at midnight, making sure noone was injured if there were fireworks.
These things had short coats in a tan colour with large black stripes all down the back, a long thing tail and a large head that looked like a dog.
I know it sounds nuts because they're supposed to be extinct. I could have been mistaken for sure, but they were unique looking things and I'd never seen anything else like it.

cbrown
22-02-13, 10:28 AM
Oh that gave be goosebumps Leesa! I hope it was real :)

It's heartening to read such mature attitudes toward our native fauna here.

mindari
22-02-13, 10:42 AM
until or unless vast areas are marked never to be developed every creature is at risk of habitat loss, stress and extinction.
hubby was on the Nepean the other day and he estimated a bat colony took 20 minutes to fly over from first wave to last, he said the numbers were incredible, without suitable habitat to support these numbers things will slide from bad to worse in crisis.

we dont have the right to decimate either this continent or for that matter the planet.

the big wigs dont have the right to distroy the south american rainforest and displace not only the wildlife but the original people who do OWN the area and never destroyed it in centuaries.

I have little respect for so called modern world rolling though with such destruction in their wake

kait21
22-02-13, 11:15 AM
I dislike bats too and even before I knew about Hendra I found them creepy! I don't think we should cull the mall, as mentioned they are a vital part of our eco system that shouldn't be eradicated. But they are in plague proportions in certain areas in QLD right now (like Warwick). We cull the brumbies and kangaroos etc when there's 'too many' and I haven't heard about them endangering our lives. So why are bats different? I am all for reducing numbers to over time, which I realise is going to start WW3 on here. But I don't have an issue with it happening in other species IF it is done in a humane manner.

Pilchy, please look into going to a seminar on Hendra and learning about what you can do so they are not encouraged onto your property and to ensure your horse is safe. The vaccination is only $90 twice, not THAT expensive if you live in an area where bats really endanger you and your horses life?

teetee
22-02-13, 11:30 AM
This is going to sound a bit ridiculous, but I swear I saw two of these in QLD last year. :eek:
It was new years eve and I was out at the horse agistment at midnight, making sure noone was injured if there were fireworks.
These things had short coats in a tan colour with large black stripes all down the back, a long thing tail and a large head that looked like a dog.
I know it sounds nuts because they're supposed to be extinct. I could have been mistaken for sure, but they were unique looking things and I'd never seen anything else like it.

I swear I saw one (or something that looked like one) about 10 years ago, granted it was very late at night and I was tired so could have been seeing things but it was one of those things that I have remembered ever after. It was the vague shape of a dog but it had the stripes and a strange gait, it ran across the road in front of my headlghts and was gone before I could even stop to investigate. No doubt wishful thinking to hope that they still survive :(

pilchybabe
22-02-13, 11:52 AM
I dislike bats too and even before I knew about Hendra I found them creepy! I don't think we should cull the mall, as mentioned they are a vital part of our eco system that shouldn't be eradicated. But they are in plague proportions in certain areas in QLD right now (like Warwick). We cull the brumbies and kangaroos etc when there's 'too many' and I haven't heard about them endangering our lives. So why are bats different? I am all for reducing numbers to over time, which I realise is going to start WW3 on here. But I don't have an issue with it happening in other species IF it is done in a humane manner.

Pilchy, please look into going to a seminar on Hendra and learning about what you can do so they are not encouraged onto your property and to ensure your horse is safe. The vaccination is only $90 twice, not THAT expensive if you live in an area where bats really endanger you and your horses life?


Completely agree Kait! The problem is not the bats themselves its the number of them. They estimate that there are about 750,000 bats in these colonies. The council is thinking about moving them on as they are currently causing health concerns.
We do cull other species when they are in plague proportions, why not bats?

Have been to a seminar and also have been to a talk by local vets who also quoted the price which was quite ridiculous :/. We do do as much as we can to deter them, but there are just sooo many :(

They are disgusting. Rats are disgusting because they look creepy, they smell and they can carry disease. Bats are the same. When you go down to the colonie, it smells putrid, they make awful noise, and they can carry a disease.

LisaL
22-02-13, 12:05 PM
I thought bat colonies were under pressure from urban development, we are the ones encroaching into and changing their environment.

14 years ago I was really excited to see Koalas in their natural habitat around Logan, the locals took them for granted. Now with all the development they are rarely seen and those that are seen are sick.

Go google the bat sustainability sites, learn about the bats, they are fascinating little creatures. Yes they are smelly and far from cuddly, but they are great little creatures.

The populations are migratory, and every time we knock down woodlands to create horse properties, suburbs and acreage, we force them into smaller and smaller areas.

If you're worried about Hendra, vaccinate your horse's. If you're concerned about the bats, educate your children about the bats, visit a bat sanctuary so your children can learn about safety.

Culling is for feral animals only, and honestly, culling is problematic unless the carcasses are dealt with (but hey, we can sell feral pigs, buffalo, camel, horse's,goats, rabbits, foxes etc etc to tesco as meat pies).

pilchybabe
22-02-13, 12:18 PM
Culling is for feral animals only, and honestly, culling is problematic unless the carcasses are dealt with (but hey, we can sell feral pigs, buffalo, camel, horse's,goats, rabbits, foxes etc etc to tesco as meat pies).

LOL!!


Anyway,

The bats are migratory and they visit the town every year at the same time. However the bats are growing in numbers every year and where they live whilst here (in the trees over the river) is just not coping with their numbers.
Obviously the bad could be migrating from other colonies or they could be breeding. Either way they are growing in numbers.

And the children in Warwick are clearly not even educated on safe sex let alone bats. Some of the parents who actually have children are proposing that all the bats be shot (wtf). Anyway the education needs to start with some of the parents first.

acaciaalba
22-02-13, 12:24 PM
i agree with whoever said attitudes to ALL creatures is important, and parents should teach their kids about animals in the scheme of things. i hate seeing any living thing killed just for the hell of it, and i hate seeing kids who think its funny . bashing snakes is not nice.
we have only ourselves to blame for the state things are in, for instance large lots of bats invading towns. if people left them enough country to live and feed in, they wouldnt move into towns.
sure they smell pretty bad , but so do some people i come in contact with !
they are fascinating creatures when you see them up close. the little face is almost like a dog !
its not their fault they are what they are. its up to us to be aware and take care , and stop clearing so much land or we will have no animals left !

leesa
22-02-13, 01:26 PM
I swear I saw one (or something that looked like one) about 10 years ago, granted it was very late at night and I was tired so could have been seeing things but it was one of those things that I have remembered ever after. It was the vague shape of a dog but it had the stripes and a strange gait, it ran across the road in front of my headlghts and was gone before I could even stop to investigate. No doubt wishful thinking to hope that they still survive :(


It's heartening to read such mature attitudes toward our native fauna here.

Apparently there have been a lot of reports of apparent sightings so maybe there were a few left here and there that bred on.
The strange gait got me too. It was so dark and I had my headlights out while I was parked on the side of the road, so I figured I just hadn't seen it properly and it must have been a fox.. but I don't think foxes even hunt in pairs.

There was someone hunting on the agistment grounds at night and a curlew was found with an arrow through it. I wonder if they'd also spotted the animal that I saw, and were regularly out hunting for it.
I think I'd almost rather the real story be that there's a sicko out shooting native animals, rather than someone out trying to shoot and capture a supposedly-extinct one.

LirioJaguar
22-02-13, 03:23 PM
How awesome would that be?

Sangria
22-02-13, 09:04 PM
Unfortunately I am not in a financial position to vaccinate my horses against it. I am a Uni student who is currently unemployed. There is absolutely no chance for me to vaccinate and still be afford to pay rent.

Have you spoken to your vet? I'm sure if you discussed your concerns and financial constraints they could come up with a payment arrangement with you.

Zampari
23-02-13, 04:33 PM
I totally agree with you both Pilchy and Kait. I'm not in a bat area so I have no vested personal interest in making these comments but I do believe while the current bat colonies are out of control not only in Warwick but in the Gympie area too where people can't even go to the local parks because of the stench and the bat faeces all over picnic tables and BBQ's etc, I do believe the government has a responsibility to control numbers for the publics health. I'm not suggesting that bats need to be wiped out but their numbers do need to be reduced to a sustainable level. Personally I believe a controlled cull now is a lot kinder than letting the poor creatures starve to death at a later date due to insufficient food sources because numbers are out of control.

It's in the news today that the child infected with lyssa virus has died. What a devastating time for his family.

acaciaalba
24-02-13, 12:03 AM
but how did the child come in contact with the virus/bat ??
yes, terrible for the family for sure.
but how did that happen ?

LirioJaguar
24-02-13, 12:19 AM
Just over 10 years ago there was a massive overpopulation of bats in Melbourne. Many were relocated (though many of those returned) and I think a cull was canned (does anyone remember if a cull occurred?).
Anyway, it wasn't just humans encroaching on habitat, it was also environmental. A few years later there was the cockatoo problem, and that was narrowed down to drought. The birds were moving further south every year, like the bats had. We got some wetter winters and the bats and cockies thinned out again.
Educate, vaccinate and wait. Simplistic, perhaps, and history says it may be the way to go.

mindari
24-02-13, 09:37 AM
but how did the child come in contact with the virus/bat ??
yes, terrible for the family for sure.
but how did that happen ?

until it is known the scare mongering is incredible, I met two chaps yesterday who think all bats are potential killers.

the bat subjectt came up while they were showing me a phamphlet on how to make native bee homes to put in your garden. said i was going to make some for microbats as well.

they freaked out..and i mean freaked out.

not interested in how many thousands of mozzies a single microbat munches daily, well, nighthly.

considering these chaps are bee keepers and a significent number of people die due to bee allergy.
I suspect would outnumber those who get killed by a bat, their reaction was complete fear.

no microbat would be safe with this sort of fear in the population.

we have them living in the walls of our 150 + settlers cottage and one even wanted to fly in while i was sitting on the throne of meditation, both of us were a bit suprised to see the other, but i couldnt convince them the fluttering visitor was no threat to me. I kept still and it went to the window and slipped behind the fram through was to me anywas was the virtually invisible gap and into into the wall. all our internal walls are hollow and open up to the roof, so I rather wonder why he/she used a side entrance. I know because a feral kitten fell down one and I had to open up the bottom of the wall to get it out.

ive rescued microbats since i was a kid, Marion Road was a favourite micro bat feeding area, all those lovely street lights, amazing some got caught up in truck or car slipstreams and hit the road some died and some stunned, so the living I would put them in a box to recover with a slit for them to leave when they felt better and no i never took any chances of being bitten, not that i had a clue about disease. any bite can end in infection, regardless of species.

bluetonges have back facing teeth thats one bite you darent pull away from. some idiot scared me witless once telling me such bites break out in sores for years.

LirioJaguar
24-02-13, 10:19 AM
How many blue tongues do you see around on a weekly basis in your own yard, and how many sharks do you see when surfing? Yet, I always get asked if I'm scared of sharks because I surf...*face palm* Not that I'm scared of blue tongues, but you're more likely to find a lizard in your gardening tool area than a shark on a Friday morning...
World gone mad.

LisaL
24-02-13, 10:21 AM
The death of any child is a tragedy. Condolences and hugs to the affected family.

people have died from Lyssa Virus since it was first discovered 15(?) years ago. However, the media fearmongering always ignores the bigger picture. More children are dying of whooping coug, even more are dying from cancers, many children drown each year, lightning, accidents and the biggest killer of children in Australia? Well I suppose it's adults driving cars, hundreds of children are killed, injured and maimed every year by adults driving cars. And yet I dont see any FB campaigns to ban cars.

mindari
24-02-13, 10:43 AM
The death of any child is a tragedy. Condolences and hugs to the affected family.

people have died from Lyssa Virus since it was first discovered 15(?) years ago. However, the media fearmongering always ignores the bigger picture. More children are dying of whooping coug, even more are dying from cancers, many children drown each year, lightning, accidents and the biggest killer of children in Australia? Well I suppose it's adults driving cars, hundreds of children are killed, injured and maimed every year by adults driving cars. And yet I dont see any FB campaigns to ban cars.

not to mention bee's, its weird how some things freak people out uttlerly yet something else just as dangerous is ignored or 'ho hum'?

this site is seriously cute, even shows how to built a micro bat pup catcher

http://batworld.org/bat-house-pup-catcher/

http://www.backyardbuddies.net.au/buddies/Microbats.html





as for blue tongues, we had heaps of them as a child, used to love taming them, although never kept them caged they just loved our yard,the back yard was petty steep so the builder put in tons of brick fill behind the house so there was a level area for the clothes line and play area for the kids, it only went half way down the block then did a sharp drop to the real ground level, so the back wall of the fill was a haven for them.

play with buetongues and you better know not to pull away if you did get bitten. that way you only had a squashed finger or hand and no holes or rips instead

ours loved snails, mince meat and would pinch the cats milk, now thats a funny sight, a blue tongue lapping the cats milk

I will never understand why people kill these beautiful harmless creatures, I used to live in terror of any of ours wandering into the neighburs, the idiots would kill them on sight if they could, we have no where near as many here but then we dont have as many great homes available as there was in my childhood back yard.

acaciaalba
24-02-13, 11:35 AM
i have 2 bluetongues around my yard. one is really old and big and slow and the other is younger and smaller. they walk under your feet at the clothesline if you dont watch it. there are also some of those lizards that look a bit like a frill neck but i think they call them eastern monitors , not sure. they are so nice but they move thru yards and one of the neighbours said the other day their dog has killed 2 of them,,,i felt like crying !
i have frogs on the front verandah and an owl who comes hunting them too. he flew across the top of my head at 6 the other morning and scared me witless until i caught on what it was.
we had a little bat get in the house. they can squeeze around the edge of a poorly fitting screen so easily. i shut the cat in the loo, and propped both screen doors open and in 2 seconds flat he was out and gone ! so clever the way he went from the back bedroom straight to the front door and away.
its sad more parents dont teach their kids to respect all animals.

shadowmystique
24-02-13, 10:53 PM
This is going to sound a bit ridiculous, but I swear I saw two of these in QLD last year. :eek:
It was new years eve and I was out at the horse agistment at midnight, making sure noone was injured if there were fireworks.
These things had short coats in a tan colour with large black stripes all down the back, a long thing tail and a large head that looked like a dog.
I know it sounds nuts because they're supposed to be extinct. I could have been mistaken for sure, but they were unique looking things and I'd never seen anything else like it.

Leesa.. could it have been a Quoll??

G Dog
24-02-13, 11:10 PM
Quoll's have spots
More likely a numbat

teetee
25-02-13, 12:03 AM
The one I *thought* I saw was way too big for a numbat.

awetsawdustdemon
25-02-13, 12:07 AM
Numbats are only found in a very restricted area of Western Australia (think they may have been reintroduced to a fauna reserve in nsw at one point.. ) so unlikely to be that.

teetee
25-02-13, 12:35 AM
Unlikely to be a tassie tiger too but the thing I saw looked more like this than anything else.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2f/Tasmanian_tiger.jpg
I had never given them any thought at all until I saw this thing and I never forgot it, my logical brain finds it very hard to see how they could have survived undetected though :(

mindari
25-02-13, 09:37 AM
amazing arent they, every dog show judges dream of "well let down hocks"

Belltrees
25-02-13, 04:22 PM
Approximately 20 people are killed by horses annually in Australia. A further 3000 require hospitalisation for horse related injuries.

Should we ban or cull all horses?

http://www.aihw.gov.au/media-release-detail/?id=6442464348

Research conducted in China found that fruit bat populations which were stressed due to habitat loss shed higher concentrations of zoonotic viruses than populations which were not stressed.

There is a human vaccine for AB lyssavirus and it is only transmitted through bites/scratches or direct ingestion of saliva or mucous, which is why deaths from it are so rare compared to the number of bats living in areas close to humans.

Some interesting info from the QLD govt about it.

http://access.health.qld.gov.au/hid/InfectionsandParasites/ViralInfections/australianBatLyssavirus_fs.asp

acaciaalba
25-02-13, 05:11 PM
what about deaths from cars ? cull all cars ???
more kids drown in the back yard pool , or creek, or river, than will ever see a bat !
makes the " kill bats " theory look a bit sad, IMHO.
yes, i feel sorry for the loss of that child. but life is a risk these days . parents are backing over their own kids in drive ways every week.

missys-girl
25-02-13, 05:34 PM
Unlikely to be a tassie tiger too but the thing I saw looked more like this than anything else.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2f/Tasmanian_tiger.jpg
I had never given them any thought at all until I saw this thing and I never forgot it, my logical brain finds it very hard to see how they could have survived undetected though :(


Don't worry Leesa, there is far more about this world than we know, and we constantly discover things once thought to be extinct, we find how many new species a year?...its not unfathomable for them to evade detection, with number so down, they could have just become so utterly wiley, human phobic and down right smart they stay the hell away from people, cause it sure as shit didn't do them good in the past...i don't think it is beyond the realm of the possible.