News

Holy bat-astrophe! Another hot weekend looms

Large numbers of flying foxes were found dead in Casino after three scorching hot days. WIRES took to the streets to care for the orphaned baby bats.
Large numbers of flying foxes were found dead in Casino after three scorching hot days. WIRES took to the streets to care for the orphaned baby bats. Marc Stapelberg

WILDLIFE carers working around the clock to save hundreds of orphaned baby bats are preparing for more problems with heat this weekend, with the temperature predicted to reach almost 40 degrees at Casino.

It is estimated as many as 5000 black and grey headed bats died along the banks of the Richmond River as a result of the scorching conditions last Saturday, which reached a record 44.1 degrees at Casino, according to figures from the Bureau of Meteorology.

Northern Rivers WIRES critical incident co-ordinator Renata Phelps said wildlife groups had been preparing for a hot weekend, but it was unclear how many bats remained in the colony and how high the temperature would go.

Ms Phelps said preparations included co-ordinating with the Rural Fire Service, which would spray the bat colonies with water again, if and when needed.

However, she stressed this would happen only if necessary because "preventative" spraying could create more stress for bats.

"Anything that disturbs or stresses the bats makes them fly so they're expending more energy in the hot weather flying, which speeds up the onset of heat stroke," she said.

As for the hundreds of orphaned bats, Ms Phelps said wildlife groups across the country, including in Queensland, South Australia and the ACT, had been working hard to relocate and rehabilitate the baby bats, known as "pups".

She said wildlife carers had been working "around the clock" with pups regularly being brought in to "bat central" - a wildlife carer's property at Caniaba - and the healthier ones redistributed to carer properties elsewhere.

"Most of us haven't slept more than a couple of hours since Saturday and we're mobilising as many volunteers as we can, both vaccinated and unvaccinated," Ms Phelps said.

"There's people here who are doing load after load of washing and folding the bats' linen, there's people bringing meals to us, people washing up the dishes, people helping the vaccinated bat handlers.

"The bat hand-lers are basically just sitting giving fluids to the little bats and there's so many bats that they are just doing that around the clock."

Ms Phelps said most of the bats being brought in, aged one and four weeks, would need to be bottle-fed four to five times a day until they were at least 10 weeks.

Anyone wanting to help the bats can donate online at www.wires.org.au or phone 8977 3396. Donations should specify for the Casino bats.

Topics:  casino editors picks flying foxes weather



Mum is 'still looking after us'

Tessa Rutley.

"I don't want to know who the man was."

Shark nets: Why you really need to read the fine print

A sign at Lighthouse Beach advising visitors of the shark net trial.

Is it safe to get back into the water?

Lismore's composting gets the green thumbs up

Northern Rivers Waste team members (l-r) Danielle Hanigan, Paddy Byrne, Kevin Trustum and Charlie Crethar launching the Biocycle Compost Facility expansion earlier this year.

Lismore can now add another sustainable accolade to it's reputation

Local Partners

Spiderman star used fake name to research role

Spiderman star Tom Holland.

Spiderman star went undercover at Brooklyn highschool

What's on the small screen this week

A scene from the TV documentary Running Wild: Australia's Camels.

TWO new Aussie docos will pique your interest.

EXCLUSIVE: Meet Robert Irwin, wildlife photographer

SNAPPER: Apart from wildlife, photography is Robert Irwin's great passion.

Steve's boy has a passion for photography

Louis Tomlinson's tribute to late mother

Louis Tomlinson's new single is a tribute to his late mother.

Justin Timberlake stuns students with secret class

Justin Timberlake stunned high school students in Sydney

Carrie Fisher says Ford will be bugged by affair confession

Carrie Fisher is sure Harrison Ford is annoyed at her

'Crucial' farm land eyed by defence department

Lawson Geddes moving the Brangus cattle to higher ground - which is the land the Defence Department is interested taking for the Shoalwater Bay expansion.

"You can't have one without the other.”

Former Shark Show for sale for $1.3 million

Vic Hislop at the old Shark Show.

TALK about a jaws-dropping real estate opportunity.

There's a whole lot of luxury in this home

The Endeavour Foundation's latest prize home in Mountain Creek.

WHEN it comes to desirable homes, it's hard to go past a prize home.

WATCH QTV: The highlights of your $150 million CBD

GRAND PLAN: The highlights of the Ipswich CBD redevelopment and where they will be located.

Work on city heart's radical transformation to begin next year

VOTE IN OUR POLL: Sand mine opponents face serious dilemma

Public meeting for the proposed sand mine at Maroochydore last week.

Coast MP calls on Minister to stop KRA proposal with stroke of a pen

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!