Lifestyle

Surge in bat rescues from fruit tree nets

ORPHANED: These three-week-old flying foxes were orphaned when their mothers died after becoming entangled in fruit tree netting. They are now being cared for by the Wildlife Hospital at RSPCA Wacol.
ORPHANED: These three-week-old flying foxes were orphaned when their mothers died after becoming entangled in fruit tree netting. They are now being cared for by the Wildlife Hospital at RSPCA Wacol. David Nielsen

MORE than 70 flying foxes in the region have been rescued after becoming entangled in netting used to protect fruit trees from insects during the past two weeks.

RSPCA Queensland says many more have perished, subject to a slow painful death together with hundreds of baby bats, gliders, birds, lizards and other native animals. RSPCA wildlife veterinarian Bonny Cumming said it was important people understood the tragic toll the wrong type of netting could inflict on native wildlife.

"Most people are prepared to do the right thing if the situation is explained to them," Dr Cumming said. Hungry animals were easily caught in common bird netting and often became entangled without being able to free themselves, she said.

While struggling to escape, the nets cut into their flesh and the animal eventually dies in pain.

Some people think getting animals caught in nets meant the nets were doing their job - but wildlife rehabilitation and rescue co-ordinator Annette Colling said the nets were there to keep the animals from eating the fruit, not to trap them.

"Every year thousands of bats suffer cruel and preventable deaths as a result of fruit tree netting entanglement," Ms Colling said. "The netting inflicts horrific woundsMany need to be euthanised because their injuries are so severe."

Ms Colling said bats were feeling the pressure of habitat loss as population increased and development removed native bushland.

"Because of a low reproductive rate, flying-foxes are vulnerable to population declines," she said. "Frequent food shortages, a greater prevalence of unsafe netting and barbed wire fences have increased the number of flying foxes requiring rescue."

Two species of bats in Queensland were listed as "vulnerable to extinction" - the spectacled flying fox and the grey-headed flying fox. High stress levels in flying-foxes was likely to increase spill over of Hendra virus. There are wildlife friendly nets available to protect fruit, which do not harm the animals

Topics:  flying foxes rspca queensland



Bette's best work dedicated to daily battle

Silkstone Eisteddfod Original Composition first prize winner Bette Howard.

"You're really stronger than you think”

Hootie & The Blowfish: Darius Rucker ready to rock CMC

American singer Darius Rucker will headline the 2018 CMC Rocks music festival.

EXPECT a few Hootie & The Blowfish hits when Rucker plays CMC Rocks.

Local Partners

The Aldi special buy you won't be getting

AUSTRALIAN shoppers at ALDI will be missing out on a product that’s about to hit the bargain supermarket’s shelves overseas.

Return of Honda Type R shows poise and punch

The Honda Civic Type R has returned.

The prized Honda Type R has made a triumphant return.

Does your home town feature in winning travel video?

Weather at Maroochydore Beach at 9.30am.

Alexandra Franco wins people's choice award called Queensland.

Mum tells how she lost six dress sizes

TRANSFORMATION: Jacinta Dickenson dropped six dress sizes in 18 months.

In just 18 months, Jacinta Dickenson turned her life around.

How Toowoomba blogger made $400 in two days

Toowoomba blogger Bindy Scott with husband Trent and their children LuLu and Tommy.

Documenting her everyday life as a wife and mother

Migaloo vs 'Spinesy': Which do you love the most?

Migaloo and 'Spinesy' the Echidna

Which beautiful creature won the hearts of Australia?

You do know you’re dead after you die

Several studies have recorded brain activity after a person has died

One of life's big questions: What happens when I die?