What can you do to help save our flying foxes?
AS WIRES becomes inundated with sick and starving bats, residents are being urged to give them a helping hand.
A bat starvation event is occurring across Northern NSW and Southern Queensland as WIRES works hard to nurse sick and starving back into health.
WIRES officer Linda Harrison said she had been receiving a large number of flying foxes, particularly juveniles, which were severely undernourished.
The lack of blossoms due to a combination of worsening drought conditions and continued destruction of the natural habitat went some way to explain the event.
"I have had them come in near dead. They are just starving, there is just no food out there for them,” she said.
"A big part of that is the amount of clearing that has been done - 200 years ago this would not have affected them near as much as it what it is now because there would have been more trees out there.”
Ms Harrison said the lack of blossoms meant the bats were starting to look for alternative food sources and were increasingly being found in backyards and trees lower to the ground.
"They are flying in and finding a food source and because they are just so worn out they are staying where they are,” she said.
"People are finding them in their backyards because they don't have the energy to go anywhere.
"They do have a fairly specific diet but at the moment they are eating anything.”
Ms Harrison said while the bats should be left alone, there were a few things people could do to give them a helping hand, including putting fruit out on string for the bats to have a feed.
"As a rule we don't usually encourage people to feed them but at the moment they are eating anything and we are doing what we can to keep them alive,” she said.
"Cut up some soft fruit or hang some fruit on bits of rope.”
Despite some rainfall in the last week, Ms Harrison said she was expecting the problems to continue and flying foxes were not the only animals having a hard time.
"I think I am in for a long couple of months, this is going to go on for a while. I think we are in for a long summer.”
"You can see there are more kangaroos coming into people's yards around South Grafton, they are just coming in for fresh grass.”
WIRES rescue line: 1300094737.