Headlines and articles in papers almost always report our human fear of the flying fox or fruit bat - our important pollinator for gums and rainforests. The emotive language used in a recent post The battle brewing over bats, the pariah of Australian wildlife does little to settle fears.
The fear of bats is being exploited by many press. Death directly related to flying foxes is minimal - 6 since 1994 while more than 30000 children die daily from polluted water supplies. More horses have died from other causes eg culling and toxic weeds in the paddock than have died from Hendra. Understanding the ecology of natural systems and the interaction of all the biodiversity interacting together - biodiversity infrastructure - is critical to our human survival on the planet.
TEEB The Economics of Ecoysytems and Biodiversity a tool which places a monetary value on the services and goods that nature provides humans on a global scale. Yet we fail to consider these seriously when politicans and planners make decisions about human settlement and our creature comforts. We have cleared great swathes of land that would have provided habitat. The value of these services are being considered internationally - but not locally or at state level.
Elsewhere in the world urban dwellers are learning to live with brown bears and understand that what we do can attract them and also distract them away.
Baby bats in care are raised in a nursery situation and are cute and cuddly - if you've been vaccinated. Dogs with rabies is a health threat currently in Bali but travellers take the precaution of vaccination.
Learning to live with our native species - our wildlife - is critical for our human wellbeing on our one planet. Drastic actions to interfer with the ecology of other species may bring about unwanted and unplanned reactions.
The folk at Gayndah may have displaced some species of flying fox - or did they move of their own accord? I believe the black flying fox is now looking for a roost in the area.
Teaching with cruelty and fear is a method many of us have discarded. Respect for all species and their niche in the global system is long overdue.