Though there are between 3000 and 4000 flying foxes in the Bomaderry colony, numbers are depleted.
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A hundred juvenile bats perished in the recent hot weather experienced in Nowra, where temperatures reached up to 43 degrees.
The greatest human threat to local bats according to Shoalhaven Bat Clinic & Sanctuary owner Janine Davies is coming from netting and barbed wire.
In one week the clinic has euthanised seven bats, that have been trapped and injured.
Being trapped or entangled can result in very serious injuries and a slow, agonising death for the animal if not rescued quickly.
“This is totally unnecessary,” Mrs Davies said.
“There’s fruit netting available less than 5mm in aperture.
“If people would invest in the right nets and put it up correctly we wouldn’t be killing them.
“What a lot of people tend to do is throw netting over a tree, but it needs to be taught to the point it springs back when you touch it.”
She has also advised residents not to plant fruit or flowering trees near barbed wire, or avoid using barbed wire altogether.
Mrs Davies is passionate about dispelling myths about bats.
”People keep on wrongly commenting that we’re inundated with bats, but numbers are diminishing,” she said.
They play a vital role in forest ecosystems.
“They pollinate eucalyptus trees and native plants, without them the forests would deteriorate, and other animals would suffer,” Mrs Davies said.
She also quashed the widely-held view that bats are dirty and disease-riddled.
“Less than one per cent of the population carry a disease similar to rabies,” Mrs Davies said.
“If people don’t touch the bats, they have nothing to worry about.
“And bats do not pass hendra to humans.
“They’re a very, very clean animal.”
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