Heatwave raises concern for bats
Heat conditions are taking a toll on Numurkah’s resident fruit bat colony on the banks of the Broken Creek.
Bohollow Wildlife Shelter operator Deb Fowler said she was concerned for the health of the bats after finding 26 dead in recent heat conditions.
‘‘It’s definitely the heat, when the temperature rises they work their way down the tree, making their way to the ground,’’ Ms Fowler said.
She said the creatures clustered together during times of heat stress and could suffocate each other.
‘‘It’s called clumping, they pile on top of each other as a form of coping,’’ Ms Fowler said.
Finding mostly juveniles dead, Ms Fowlers said at this time of year they were not strong enough to cope with the conditions.
‘‘Bats are a threatened species, so any loss can be devastating,’’ she said.
People are advised not to touch the bats if they find them on the ground.
‘‘People who are not vaccinated should not touch any bat, dead or alive,’’ Ms Fowler said, adding that it could be dangerous.
She said the shelter staff would continue to get down to the creek as often as possible to care for the ones that were badly heat stressed.
‘‘If they’re in your yard, you can spray them with tepid water to cool them down, not cold water, that will send them into shock,’’ Ms Fowler said. ● For help with heatstroke in wildlife, phone Bohollow Wildlife Shelter’s Deb Fowler on 0418 328 671 or Kirsty Ramadan on 0447 636 953. Hanging around: There are concerns for Numurkah’s bats after recent heatwave.
Making a splash: Kyabram’s Macy O’Dwyer, 6, keeps cool.