The number of flying foxes needing care is up 400% on last year. Last year RSPCA Qld’s Fairfield Wildlife Department had 27 flying foxes in care between the months of March and July. This year the number has skyrocketed to 66 with wildlife care groups and hospitals reporting similar increases.
“Of particular concern is that many of these are endangered Grey Headed flying foxes,” said RSPCA Qld’s Wildlife Coordinator Janet Gamble. “There has also been a change in distribution. Grey Headed flying foxes are now regulars in South Australia and in May one was spotted in Tasmania for the first time since 1951. These changes in distribution could be indicative of climate change or food shortages due to land clearing. Loss and changes in habitat places them in vulnerable situations where they’re exposed to dog attacks, encounters with barbwire fences, motor vehicles and other threats.”
RSPCA Fairfield Wildlife Centre currently has 2 flying foxes in its wildlife hospital under the care of wildlife veterinarian Bec Burgess and her team. Both are suffering injuries from being caught in barbwire fences. One is an endangered Grey headed and the other a Black flying fox. These two are lucky and expected to make a full recovery.
As an indicator of general environmental health it’s vital we take notice. The best message here – stop felling mature trees and start an environmental awareness program in your area. Support you local wildlife and vote with the environment in mind.
If you find a bat please call 1300Animal (1300 264 625) and we can put you in contact with a volunteer local wildlife group / bat carer. Remember! Don’t try to rescue a bat yourself – leave it to the professionals.
Media contact Janet Gamble 0415 385 604 or Michael Beatty 0415 385 602