Adapted from an article written by Jo Shepherd
The prolonged wet weather is taking its toll on local wildlife and no species is doing it tougher than flying-foxes.
Large numbers of bats have been coming into care, weak and emaciated, due to shortage of food.
As pollen and nectar are the main diet of flying-foxes, these animals play a major role in pollinating our hardwood forests. Unfortunately the bad weather is destroying these food sources – rain washes pollen and nectar out of blossoms, so that animals that depend on nectar like flying-foxes have no food.
Rescues of underweight juvenile bats started as early as last April with food shortages along the entire east coast.
Rescues due to injury from entanglement in netting and on barbed wire have also increased – because they are so desperate for food, the bats are landing on incorrectly netted fruit trees and becoming entangled.
The large increase in the number of bats in care as well as the extended period of support feeding is putting a strain on Northern Rivers Wildlife Carers’ coffers. This financial strain has been worsened by the recent shortages of apples and substantial increases in fruit prices, further to the Queensland floods.
The attached brochure (click here) will provide you with information and advice on how to best net your trees so that you get maximum protection whilst minimising harm to wildlife. You can also visit the Wildlife Friendly Fencing website for more information on how to safely net your trees and make your fences safer for wildlife.
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