Second chance for bat babies

Colac bat carer Jan Virgo is busy rehabilitating 22 orphaned grey-headed flying fox babies from across Victoria and South Australia. Thousands of the vulnerable native animals have died in heatwaves this summer, while thousands are roosting in the Colac Botanic Gardens for protection.

A Colac bat carer has thanked Colac Otway Shire Council for protecting endangered flying foxes during extreme heat and praised sections of the Colac community for their support.

Colac wildlife carer Jan Virgo is looking after more than 20 juvenile grey-headed flying foxes which were orphaned following heatwaves in Adelaide, Warrnambool and Geelong.

She says that while tens of thousands of the vulnerable native animals had died in Queensland, New South Wales and East Gippsland, the Colac Botanic Gardens provided lush green undergrowth that kept
temperatures cool and flying foxes alive.

“The council put the sprinklers on those really hot days at the end of last year, and I’d like to thank them for that,” Ms Virgo said.

“It’s not just that they’re flying foxes; it’s about animal welfare – they’re animals they need to be protected in the heat,” she said.

“I spoke to Frank (Castles, operations and services manager at COSC) and said it would be nice to put something in place for the summer.

See today’s Colac Herald for more.

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One Response to “Second chance for bat babies”

  1. Lawrence Pope

    Good on you Jan helping our little Aussie battlers. They’re just hanging out with their mates but they do a big job regenerating ecosystems via pollination and seed dispersal. One quibble, they’ve been up and down these coasts for two million years depending on climate and Melbourne’s indigenous people have them as an important part of their religion – so many thousands of years. So maybe “new” to Colac on our time frames but not theirs.
    The shocking drought, everywhere, has hammered the species already low numbers as the trees have failed to produce nectar and therefore the bat-mums have abandoned their pups due to low milk production. Many tens of thousands died from starvation in QLD and NSW in 2019 and then got hit with heatwaves in NSW, Victoria and South Australia. We’ve lost mega-numbers of these mega-bats in the past 12 months. And this follows from a decade of drought linked poor flowering and fruiting down eastern Australia. Good work Jan, Colac Otway Shire Council and Botanic Gardens I hope the local community is fundraising and supporting your remarkable work. We are all focused on the big picture and how we can help!