- Category: News
Dr Les Hall, OAM
This is a tribute to a man who inspired thousands, lived his life to the full right to the end and left behind a legacy that inspires and excites.
Dr Les Hall OAM passed away in early February 2019 Dr Hall was awarded an AM in the Order of Australia in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday List ‘for significant service to veterinary science as a specialist in the area of bat biology, and as an academic, researcher and mentor’.
Below you will find some wonderful reminders of who this man was.
Dr Les Hall and Steve Parrish.
A public talk on flying foxes by Les Hall is available on YouTube:
For bat lovers, Les was a guiding light and mentor over the years, effortlessly educating the masses on the weird and wonderful features of bats.
Les was at the forefront of bat research, having studied them for over 40 years. He was a consultant for the orchard grower association complaints against flying foxes in the 70’s, was involved in early Hendra virus detection and research, worked in the Division of Wildlife Research for the CSIRO, was an animal welfare advisor on dispersal programs around the country and developed novel techniques for management, such as the canopy-mounted sprinkler system currently used by Sunshine Coast Council. Although his passion for conservation was mainly focused in Australia, and his local community in Maleny, he also spread his knowledge internationally. He was a member of the IUCN Chiropteran Specialist Group, an advisor for Bat Conservation International and trained many budding zoologists in Borneo. Right to the end, Les was still involved in bat research, as one of the advisors to the Australasian Bat Society Flying Fox Expert Group.
He was also a very talented artist and author, illustrating many Australian animal field guides, producing several books and providing illustrations and information in The Magic of Mary Cairncross for his favourite Sunshine Coast location. He was a great educator, lecturing human and veterinary anatomy and conservation biology at the University of Queensland for 26 years.
Les Hall was a true gentleman of conservation and the original bat superhero long before the man in the black cape came along. His passing is a monumental loss for flying-fox conservation, education and management, and I do not think it is an overstatement to say that his passing is a greater loss to flying-fox conservation than any heat event could ever be. He will be greatly missed but his legacy will be continued through the research and work of flying-fox experts across the country. Dr Les Hall was a truly exceptional man whose contribution to conservation will forever be appreciated.
[Source: https://www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/Environment/Education-Resources-and-Events/Environment-Resources-and-Publications/Native-Animals/Flying-Foxes/Flying-fox-community-news-April-2019 -- 31 October 2019 update]