flying foxes

Heat Stress in Flying Foxes - Event Report

by Charmaine from Bats Qld

Heat stress workshop - flying foxes - bats qldA little over a year ago we were coming to terms with the death of over 50,000 bats in a heat stress event in SE Queensland. For most of the carers who attended the colonies on that day, this was their first experience with a heat stress event and most were left with feelings of frustration for their lack of knowledge on how to handle an event.

Moving on one year and although there has been no improvement in predictions of further heat stress conditions, there has been a vast improvement in the knowledge of most of the bat carer groups in how to work a heat stress event. In September 2014, Bats Qld organized a HSE workshop for all carers at the RSPCA Wacol. In the morning Linda Collins covered the basics of how to identify the different stages of a heat stress and what to do at each of the stages. In the afternoon, Tania Bishop presented a talk on how to treat heat stressed bats. The notes and manuals from these talks are available on

It is my sincere hope that all bat care groups will incorporate this new knowledge in both their Rescue and Rehab and their Baby Care Manuals.  Unfortunately, on the week-end of the workshop, further heat stress events occurred at the Caboolture colony and in Casino in northern NSW. Bats Qld members attended the Caboolture colony and orphans from both the Caboolture and Casino colonies were raised by Bats Qld members and are currently in crèche with Gabi at Woodford.

Recent reports from CSIRO and other climate change experts ( predict that the number of days hotter than 35 degrees will be dramatically increasing in Queensland which would suggest that heat stress events will become a norm rather than a rare occurrence. Flying foxes, especially Black Flying-Foxes, have not been exposed during their evolution to such high temperatures and the speed of this climate change means that there will probably be no time for evolutionary selection to favour bats that could handle increased temperatures. If this happens, bat care groups and their members will be called on to attend heat stress events on a regular basis. As a group, Bats Qld has made considerable progress towards preparedness for the next event. A core number of our members have been trained and will be able to supervise untrained volunteers at an event. We have stored at Woodford a number of backpack sprayers (which are the first line of action in an event) and water containers and we are currently working on the final draft of the Woodford Colony Plan. Although none of this will prevent a heat stress event, it should go a long way towards reducing the number of bat deaths on the day. 

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My First Rescue

by Yvonne Morrin     (Bats Qld) 

Rescued red flying foxNow I have finished my course of vaccinations, I have finally started rescuing. My first bat was entangled in fishing line with a fishing hook embedded in her side – the constriction injury was severe, and she was euthanized.  
The second had been up a food tree for a week without flying away, and appeared to have a wing injury. He could clamber around the tree perfectly well, just out of reach of my pole! Finally I got him to the ground, and he began to crawl, his wing injury very apparent now. Unfortunately he was a euthanasia case too.
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Cruelty Towards Bats on The Coast

By Gavin Miles from Bats Qld

 flying fox pierced by dartIn recent months there has been a spate of deliberate acts of cruelty towards bats on the Gold Coast.  These acts seem to have coincided with the sensationalised articles from our favourite fish wrap the Courier Mail and GC Bulletin. BatsQLD members were involved rescuing in two of these cases; Cherokee (Shot with a blow dart) and Peter Sterling (Shot with a .177 calibre air rifle). 

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Fly Free Tulip - A Little Black Flying Fox

by Gabi Friebe from Long Grass Wildlife Refuge and Bats Qld

flying fox

Tulip was an orphaned baby rescued from Esk. I got the call late afternoon and went to check. I saw the mother high up in a tree looking down and the baby was just hysterical. Seemed like a perfect reunite so I fed the baby, gave it a mumma roll tied to a branch where the mum could easily land and as I was on the way to Long Grass decided to leave the two to get together after dusk. The baby was calm by this stage and there was a helpful caller who would keep an eye on the situation who advised me that there was some altercation with dogs which is why they separated in the first place. 10pm I called to see if the mum was with bub. Sadly no and bub was screaming. Yes you guessed it back in the car for the trek to Esk to colect Tulip. Next day passing Esk on my way back to Batavia the mum was still up the tree fairly obviously injured by her altercation with the dogs and unable to fly. She had not moved. Such a sad situation but I was comforted slightly by knowing how pleased mum would be to not hear her baby screaming.  

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Don't Shoot Bats - Please tell your state & local leaders

Don't Shoot Bats - Banner

It's not too late to help - visit - to find out how you can help and for more information on bats. 

"Full exclusion netting is the only reliable method" - NSW Govt (Dept of Environment & Climate Change)

Unfortunately LNP has announced plans to shoot bats instead of following progressive ways that actually work.  Let your pollies know that these bad old ways are no longer acceptable.

Sign the petition at:

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