Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Flying Fox Dispersal Not Linked to Virus

Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Flying Fox Dispersal Not Linked to Virus

Article excerpt

FLYING foxes whose roosts have been disrupted are not more likely to develop the Hendra virus, according to researchers who studied colonies in Queensland and New South Wales.

Biosecurity Queenslandas principal scientist Dr Hume Field said the 12-month research project assessed the impact of colony dispersal on stress and Hendra virus infection levels in affected flying foxes.

aA key finding of the project found there was no association between the disturbance to a colony from dispersal and an increase in the excretion of Hendra virus,a Dr Field said.

aResearchers measured the stress hormones and virus levels in flying foxes by collecting and testing urine before, during and after the dispersal of a colony.

aOf the 13 colonies monitored, (10 in Queensland, and three in New South Wales), 10 were dispersed or disturbed as a result of the submission of a Damage Mitigation Permit.a

In Queensland, colony dispersal may only occur after a comprehensive assessment is completed by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection and under a Damage Mitigation Permit. …

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