Barbed wire injures vulnerable flying-foxes
WIRES Northern Rivers are informing residents of vulnerable flying-foxes and their pups getting entangled on fences after a spike in the species being brought in for care with torn wing injuries.
This happens repeatedly each year from September to November when females are pregnant or heavily laden with a pup they are nursing.
Flying-foxes carry their pups on their underbelly until their young are able to fend for themselves at about four months old.
This is when they can fly and feed independently.
WIRES noted that until that age is reached and while the pups are being carried and growing heavier the female can tire easily and misjudge fence heights and clearances.
They said flying-foxes are listed as vulnerable to extinction, and are crucial pollinators of our forests.
"Unfortunately many species of wildlife get caught on barbed wire fences when they are near water or fruiting and flowering trees."
"If it is absolutely necessary to use barbed wire please consider using plain wire for the top strand of wire.
"You can also improve the visibility of the fence near these danger spots using flagging tape, shiny metal tags or bunting."
What to do:
If you see a Flying-fox entangled, injured or alone during the daytime, do not touch.
Simply cover with a light sheet and call WIRES and a vaccinated trained volunteer will rescue the bat.
The 24-hour hotline is for all calls to WIRES in the Northern Rivers - 6628 1898. www.wiresnr.org