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Dr Anja Divljan, the Museum's expert for flying-foxes knows:
Everyone can have a share in saving the fliers with very little effort. Here, we provide some tips & contact details of wildlife groups.
Ideally netting should not be used at all, but if you believe you must use netting to protect your fruit trees make sure it is done properly . Loose netting and/or thin nylon/monofilament netting should NEVER be used. Find more tips regarding fruit trees & bats HERE.
Barbwire can destroy the bats’ mouths and wings. If possible, do not use barbwire. Another possibility is to cover the barbwire (e.g. with bags or polypipes) next to flying-fox feeding places. If you have a barbwire fence which no longer serves a purpose, please, have it removed.
Flying foxes are affected by habitat loss, as are most other species of native animals. Plantings of native trees, such as eucalypts, are beneficial for flying-foxes. Although flying-foxes can be attracted to feed on fruiting Cocos palms, unripe fruits are not good for them, and they can get their feet wedged in the fronds and have to be rescued.
Helping injured Flying-foxes
Any bat found by alone during daylight hours is likely to be in trouble. It may be injured, sick, orphaned or electrocuted. In addition, bats in trouble seen between late September and January may be females and have young attached. Therefore, it is important to act as soon as you notice the animal.
Please do not touch the animal yourself as it takes training and experience to handle an injured flying-fox. If the animal is on the ground, you could cover it with a cardboard box to restrict its movement, while waiting for an animal rescuer to arrive. An animal hanging low should not be disturbed, and any children and/or pets should be kept away, until the bat is rescued. In all instances when you see a flying-fox in need of help you should immediately
Contact one of the wildlife groups:
If the flying-fox is dead, and if it is possible and safe to do so, please check whether it has any markings (bands or collars). Flying-foxes captured for research are generally banded on their thumb (the finger separate from the rest of the wing) with a metal band with a unique number. This number (e.g. 073-33859) should be reported to the
- Australian Bird and Bat Banding (ABBBS) (http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/science/abbbs/)
along with the information on the location and date when the animal was found. If the deceased bat has a radio/satellite collar around its neck, the contact details of the researcher responsible can be found on the collar itself. Bats with collars will also have a metal band, therefore if the information on the collar is not clear, it can be reported to the ABBBS with the additional information on the location, date found and any details on the collar. Ideally, animals with such bands or collars should be placed in a plastic bag and kept until the appropriate person has been contacted for further instructions on what to do with the carcass. If the animal cannot be collected, please note the number on the band and report it before disposing of the animal.
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