You’ve seen a dead bat on power lines?
Does it matter?
After all lots of bats (and possums) come to grief on power lines. While most of the year the body could just hang there until decayed enough to drop, now is the time to have a closer look. From late September until about the end of January (the period seems to keep extending each year) flying-foxes give birth to their young (called pups) – just one per year.
In its early weeks the pup is totally reliant on mum and hangs on for dear life, especially when she’s flying! For the first few weeks mums fly out to feed at night carrying their pups with them. The way our powerlines are installed (above ground cables spread out rather bundled or underground) pretty much means certain death for any wildlife that has the misfortune to touch more than one line. While a lot of flying-fox mums come to grief on power lines and are electrocuted, miraculously in most cases the pup survives.
If the pup is rescued, it can be assessed for any injuries, successfully raised by a dedicated wildlife carer (and we mean dedicated!) and released back into the wild with other orphans in late summer. For the next few months (at least ’til the end of February), if you see a dead flying-fox on power lines, please report it to one of the wildlife rescue groups. They will send someone to check for a live pup and if necessary contact power line authorities to arrange its retrieval.
And if the pup isn’t rescued? It will simply starve to death over a number of days.
So please keep your eyes peeled and call for rescue:
- Sydney WIRES – 1300 094 737
- Sydney Wildlife – 9413 4300
- For other areas please contact your local wildlife rescue groups.