Please join us to pay tribute to the 23,000 spectacled flying foxes that lost their lives in the unprecedented heatwave in November. In a peaceful vigil we will solemnly thank those lost for the work that they did in pollinating our plants and seeding the Wet Tropics World Heritage rainforest. We will promise those remaining that we will do everything we can to protect them from extinction.
Sadly, this heatwave wasn’t the start of the plight of this species. In a shocking, rapid and well-documented decline it is expected only 15-20% of the Australian population of Spectacled Flying Foxes remains. They have recently been uplisted to Endangered but in reality now meet the criteria for Critically Endangered.
On top of this, in a simply unbelievable move our local government, the Cairns Regional Council has put in a submission to the State and Federal Governments to carry out the forced removal – ‘dispersal’ of the nationally significant Cairns Library camp.
The Library camp is the only permanent camp in the region that often contains upwards of 10% of the population. The council are intending to commence with this dispersal against the advice of experts on their own Flying Fox Advisory Committee.
We cannot let this happen.
**Change the date**
So Friday 26th April, we, as a community, will stand together in peaceful assembly to show our solidarity for the great loss of bats that died during the heatwave, and for the few that remain who continue to struggle in their survival. We will stand together enmasse to show our local government that we disagree with the implementation of disruptive and costly management actions that have no evidence to support them.
We ask you to join us for a peaceful vigil, please wear WHITE as a sign of hope that we can rapidly work together to do what is best for this species.
When: Friday 26th April, 6.00pm
Where: Lake Street, Cairns Library Lawn
What: A peaceful vigil with speakers and massive group photo – please wear white!
Want to help? Volunteers have already made over 700 popsicle stick crosses to represent the flying foxes that were lost. We want to make 2,300 so each cross will represent 10 flying foxes who died in the heatwave. These crosses can be held up in the vigil for a powerful photo opportunity that will reach national media and decision makers at all levels of government.
– Background on the issue in Cairns and link to Wildlife Biologist Martin Cohen on ABC Radio on why he doesn’t support dispersal: https://cafnec.org.au/get-involved/take-action/spectacled-flying-foxes-extinction-in-action/