Flying-fox protection over summer
As we continue to navigate the heat and rain this summer has brought, Lockyer Valley Regional Council is encouraging residents to take extra care when it comes to flying foxes.
A Council spokesperson said flying foxes are the largest flying mammal in Australia and are protected by law.
“These native animals are critical in ensuring the overall health of our ecosystem – they are like nocturnal bees.
“At night they pollinate the flowers of native trees, including eucalyptus and create new forests by dispersing seeds from the fruit they eat.
“However, temperatures above 38 degrees for a prolonged period can often cause heat stress in flying foxes.
“This summer, we have certainly experienced oppressive heat – and humidity.”
The spokesperson said it was hugely important people never approach or touch a flying fox or bat, even if it was sick, injured or deceased.
“Bats also pose a threat of Lyssavirus, which means there is a risk if an infected animal scratches or bites a well-intentioned community member trying to assist a sick bat.
“Council has a detailed Regional Flying-fox Management Plan that provides guidance on response actions when heat stress is suspected.
“Important signs to look out for include flying foxes clumping together on branches, animals moving down the trunk, animals on the ground surrounding the roost, or deceased animals on the ground,” the spokesperson said.
If you suspect heat stress or if you come across a sick or injured flying fox, contact a wildlife rescue carer on 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625) or the Bat Conservation and Rescue Queensland 24-hour hotline on 0488 228 134.
For further information, contact Council on 1300 005 872 or visit www.lockyervalley.qld.gov.au/wildlife