Is someone killing our bats?
WILDLIFE carers suspect flying foxes are being poisoned to death, leaving their babies to die in the hundreds.
An overwhelming 600 baby flying foxes have fallen from trees at the Cairns library and Yorkeys Knob bat colonies since October.
What’s causing the young to fall from the colonies is a mystery, but FNQ Wildlife Carers flying fox co-ordinator Jesse Jansen said some adult bats being cared for were showing signs of being poisoned.
"We’ve got a bat waiting testing, to see what toxins are in its liver and we’re waiting on those results," Ms Jansen said.
Flying foxes not only eat fruit, they also consume nectar, pollen and rainforest fruits.
In the Wet Tropics, the animals are responsible for the pollination of about 160 native plants.
The Department of Environment and Resource Management has said it is investigating the baby flying fox deaths.
Ms Jansen said, however, FNQ Wildlife Carers wanted more action to prevent further deaths.
"We walk the colonies twice a day and see first-hand what is taking place," she said.
"It has been thought that the cause has been a lack of food and therefore the babies are being abandoned.
"Our experience has shown that this is not the case."
Tour guide Gaby Schierenbech said the Cairns library colony was a major tourist attraction.
"I take people from cruise ships on a bus past the colony and every time I point the bats out, they are just amazed," she said.
"They will come back at night just to take photographs of them flying off. It’s just incredible."
There are about 100 surviving babies, some as young as three weeks, being cared for by the group, which will be released in coming weeks at Tolga and Atherton. The organisation has started an adoption program for the baby flying foxes.
A Department of Environment and Resource Management spokesman said the group was working with the council and wildlife carers to determine what was causing the phenomenon.
For information on the adoption program, contact FNQ Wildlife Rescue on 4053 4467.
Share this article
Survivor: Far Northern Wildlife Carers co-ordinator Jesse Jansen has her hands full caring for baby flying foxes. Picture: MIKE WATT