Why won’t those bats clear off?

THE pesky bats that have invaded Albury are defying their traditional winter migration north.

More than 1000 bats remain, but have been moved on to a new camp at Leaney’s Bend in Padman Park in the second co-ordinated attempt to blast them out of the local area.

They are still in similar numbers to those that forced the closure of the children’s section at the Botanic Gardens.

After leaving the Botanic Gardens in mid-May, the bats unexpectedly set up camp at the nearby junction of Bungambrawatha Creek and the Murray River.

Relocation to Leaney’s Bend — about 750 metres west of Bungambrawatha Creek — required another approval from the Office of Environment and Heritage.

A “nudging” technique involving lower level noise has proved successful in recent days.

Albury Council’s parks and recreation team leader David Armstrong said he was surprised at the large number still in the area at this time of the year.

“The natural migration pattern is they go north for the winter,” Mr Armstrong said.

“But the numbers are increasing.

“Whether it’s other camps coming in and stopping overnight we don’t know.

“I am still hopeful they will go north, but we are getting information there was an over-winter camp at Tumut last year.

“It is related to the cold, but it also to the amount of food available.”

City staff banged on small corflute signs and used mini hand-clappers to “nudge” the bats to Leaney’s Bend.

The process was expected to take up to a fortnight with daily movement targets of between 50 to 100 metres, but took less than two days.

“It is well vegetated and it is on a bend in the river,” Mr Armstrong said.

“The bat expert said if he was a bat he would love to live there.”

The latest bat relocation campaign required a permit from the Victorian Department of Primary Industry with cross-border staff also taking part in the “nudging”.

The Murray River is a known habitat of the bats.

The council must report back to the Office of Environment and Heritage by the end of August.