Flying fox birthing season has begun, Wildlife Rescue South Coast flying fox and micro-bat coordinator Janine Davies says.
"Numbers of flying foxes in the region are increasing as those coming in search of blossom have joined the local camps while their young are born," she said.
"A small percentage, less than one per cent of flying foxes and insectivorous bats can carry the Australian Bat Lyssavirus (ABL) and anyone handling them needs to be vaccinated.
"The ABL is transmitted through saliva, and not faeces or urine."
Love them or hate them, our flying-foxes are a keystone species, listed as vulnerable to extinction, are our night-time pollinators and are crucial to the health of our native forests and native fruit trees.
Ms Davies urged everyone in the community to contact the rescue group on 0418 427 214 if they are aware of any bat aloneduring the day, or if one is sighted on powerlines.
Flying-foxes can become entangled in netting loosely placed over fruit crops, and they are found caught by the wing membrane in barbed wire fences. Wildlife-friendly netting has openings of five millimetres or less.
"If you can poke your finger through, it is not suitable," Ms Davies said.
Babies are attached to the mother's nipple which is located up in the armpit area under her wings, and are often not visible.
A dead adult female flying-fox may have an unharmed baby and it is very important rescuers get to them quickly.
"If the rescue phone line is busy, please wait a few minutes and try again as it is now our busiest time of year and resources are stretched," Ms Davies said.
"There is no risk of ABL from any flying-fox or microbat, as long as you do not touch them.
"Call us for assistance and a trained and vaccinated carer will be dispatched".
Endeavour Energy takes responsibility for any animals harmed on their equipment and help to get flying-foxes off powerlines.
Wildlife Rescue South Coast's vaccinated carers take any live wildlife into care and put them through the group's targeted release program.
If bitten or scratched by a flying-fox or microbat, immediately wash the area with soap and running water for five minutes then seek immediate medical attention.
To become a volunteer, contact Wildlife Rescue South Coast.