For the third straight year, extreme heat in Australia is causing bats to fall out of trees dead in alarming numbers.
According to The Cairns Post, temperatures higher than 40 deg C, 104+ deg F, have killed hundreds of flying foxes, who just fall to the floor dead or dying from the extreme heat.
The extreme weather has been taking a toll on the Far North’s flying foxes, who are dropping by the dozen from trees — and causing a potential public health risk.
Wildlife carers say they are struggling with the overwhelming numbers of bats becoming affected by heat stress in colonies in Cairns, Edmonton, Gordonvale, and Townsville.
In the Murray St Park in Manoora, Amanda Milligan and Jessie Smart from FNQ Wildlife Carers had set up a “triage” system, administering glucose injections and spraying injured flying foxes with water.
Ms Milligan, who has lived in Cairns for more than two decades, said she had never seen so many bats badly affected by the heat.
“As soon as it hit more than 40C, we had bats falling from the trees,” she said.
She said they were desperate for other wildlife carers and volunteers to assist with either treating bats, or help clear and count the dead.
In January 2018, thousands of flying foxes, bats, died in an Australian heatwave so severe it melted tarmac, the temperature reached almost 50 deg C or 122 deg F.
Animal welfare volunteers battled to save the lives of the hundreds of babies and some adults in distress but the death toll is believed to be in the thousands.
A spokesman from the charity Help Save the Wildlife and Bushlands in Campbelltown said: "The efforts of our volunteers yesterday was both heroic and heartbreaking. Full story
Imagine if the human population fell by 60% Wildlife populations have declined by 67% in less than 50 years! The Living Planet Report 2018