Terry Wayne Cloutier, a BCI member since 1994, shared this letter, which he wrote to Robert Carr, Premier of New South Wales, Australia.
Dear Premier Carr:
My daughter just returned from a month-long trip to Australia as part of a People-To-People student ambassador program. She had a wonderful time and learned a mountain about your country. She was very intrigued by your wonderful people and your wildlife. We have videos and photos galore! We are considering coming over to visit Australia next summer on our family vacation as her passions have infected us!
With the strong wildlife heritage that your country has, I hope you and your people will continue that tradition and protect the flying foxes. Bats are a unique creation that should have a bright future ahead, but do not always. I strongly urge protection of these integral parts of the Australian heritage and landscape.
Yours in Conservation
Terry Wayne Cloutier
Many thanks for your letters to government officials on behalf of flying foxes. A moratorium has been declared, halting the killing of flying foxes at the botanical gardens in Melbourne, pending investigation of alternative solutions to bats roosting where they are unwanted. The government of New South Wales has announced low-interest loans to fruit growers for purchase of exclusion netting to prevent flying fox damage to cropsa solution that offers orchardists and flying foxes a real chance to coexist. We also are informed that grey-headed flying foxes likely will receive additional protection through a "vulnerable" listing later this year in the states of New South Wales and Victoria. Letters of international concern have been very helpful and are much appreciated.