Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and Victoria Police officers were shocked to find eight Grey-headed Flying-foxes shot dead in Riverine Street, Bairnsdale recently.

DELWP’s Regional Manager Environment and Natural Resources, Ryan Incoll said: “Grey-headed Flying foxes are listed as a threatened species under the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 and protected under the Wildlife Act 1975 and it is illegal to shoot or harass them.”

“We appreciate that the large number of bats roosting at this site is causing concern for nearby residents.”

“Measures have been taken by East Gippsland Shire Council, working with DELWP, to remove  trees to create a buffer between the houses closest to the colony and the bats,” Mr Incoll said.

“It is not acceptable and it is not legal for anyone to take matters into their own hands and shoot wildlife, particularly in a residential area.”

“Victoria Police will investigate firearms and public safety offences related to this incident and DELWP will be working closely with them on the associated wildlife offences.”

“Both agencies will increase their patrols of the area to protect the bats and the residents along Riverine Street.”

If anyone has any information about the shooting, or about any suspicious behavior in the area, please contact DELWP on 136 186, or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. All information will be treated in confidence.

Information about Grey-headed Flying-foxes can be found at: www.depi.vic.gov.au/environment-and-wildlife/wildlife/flying-foxes