January 12, 2014
Many colonies across South-East Qld have been severely affected.
Deaths include Grey Headed Flying-foxes which are on the vulnerable to extinction species list and Black Flying-foxes. Flying-foxes are Australia’s only nocturnal, long-distance pollinator and seed disperser.
Volunteer rescuers have been overwhelmed with the mammoth task of collecting dead bodies and tending to survivors as part of their service to the community. Currently there are over 200 baby flying-foxes in care.
Rules for human safety and flying-fox welfare
1. If you see a flying-fox in trouble, immediately call the 24 hour hotline 0488 228 134 or 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625).
Call if you see a flying-fox entangled in backyard netting, caught on barbed wire, on a powerline, alone in a tree during the day, or on the ground.
2. Do not touch flying-foxes. It is safe to be near flying-foxes but Australian bat lyssavirus can be transmitted through a bite or scratch.
3. If you find a flying-fox on the ground, move it without touching it (eg. with a shovel) to a safe place away from traffic or dogs and cover it with a towel and a weighted box.
4. If you find a flying-fox entangled on barbed wire or in a net, cover it with a towel to keep it calm.
5. Even if a flying-fox on powerlines is dead, call a rescuer because they may have a live baby.
6. To safely protect your backyard fruit from birds and flying-foxes, only use netting with a weave
smaller than 1 cm. If you can poke your finger through a net, it could be deadly to wildlife.
See these websites for more info...