Mar 4, 2019

Spring Report

Unloading pups into bush release cage
Unloading pups into bush release cage

Hello Fellow Bat Lovers. We are coming to the end of the pup season, which is exciting, however we have had a surge in the number of adults and juveniles coming into care.

Firstly an update on our pups. We have put our first group of pups into the release cage , which is located in the bush near a Grey Headed Flying Fox camp. After a week of acclimatising to the new environment we opened the hatch 2 nights ago, so our young ones could leave and experience free living! Once they have dispersed and integrated into the colony, we will put our next lot of 30 pups in to get ready for release. It is with a great deal of satisfaction to be able to report on this, as many of the pups will have been in care for over 3 months, so to have a sucessful outcome of release is exciting.

The news for the adults is not so cheerful. We have had a long, hot and dry summer that has meant the food supply for adults is low. Due to these weather conditions, the gums that are flowering are not producing much nectar, and the bats are looking for an alternate food supply - fruit trees in peoples back yards. The favourite seems to be fig trees as the figs are ripe and juicy. Unfortunately many people have the incorrect netting over their trees, consequently we are rescuing many adults from entanglement. These net caught bats need to be in care for a minimum of 2 weeks, and many are in for much longer due to the injuries they sustain from being caught up in the nets. Educating the public and retail stores (that sell netting) about wildlife friendly netting is a long and slow process. Any netting that you can poke your finger through is dangersous for any wildlife, not only bats.

I want to personally thank you all for your continued support for our Flying Foxes.Without it we could not contiune to rescue, rehabilitate and relase these amazing animals.

THANKS!

Fiona

New home sweet home
New home sweet home
Net caught adult
Net caught adult
Net wrapped around wing
Net wrapped around wing
Jan 15, 2019

The Oracle of the skies

One of our rescuers getting control of the talons.
One of our rescuers getting control of the talons.

Once in a lifetime you get to cross paths with an animal so majestic that it’s almost heart-stopping. Two of our amazing office volunteers - Susan and Katie - took the call from a resident in Mona Vale. Ian was pretty sure he had a wedge-tailed eagle in his suburban backyard. Given that we only have about 2 pairs on the Northern Beaches, everyone was a bit sceptical...

Two Sydney Wildlife rescuers - Susan and Lynleigh - were dispatched to the site and were thrilled (and a tiny bit nervous) to be faced with this incredible raptor! Catching him was going to be a bit of a challenge as he had already started calculating ways of bolting. After some artful ‘herding’ with giant blankets, Oracle (what we named him) was cornered and our rescuers were able to wrap him up, take control of the talons and get him into a bunker box for transportation to a veterinarian.

The Wildlife Hospital at Taronga was the obvious place to take Oracle as his needs would be quite specific and their team of veterinarians have considerable experience with raptors. He was immediately assessed, x-rayed, given treatment, fed and housed. He was found to have a puncture wound in his mouth and a couple in his chest, as well as an eye injury. He also wasn’t able to perch or take flight. They also informed us that he is a young bird - probably not even a year old yet.

Whilst trying to piece together how Oracle came to be in a backyard in Mona Vale, Margaret - another Sydney Wildlife rescuer and photographer - managed to get in touch with some of the other extraordinary photographers from the area. One had witnessed a mid-air fight between the pair of white-bellied sea eagles and the pair of wedge-tailed eagles about 6kms from where we rescued Oracle. Thank you to Biggles Csolander for the amazing images of this encounter. The images show adult birds but we suspect that Oracle had been involved in the melee before these pics were taken.

After 2 weeks in care with the incredible team at Taronga, Oracle was ready for the next step in his rehabilitation process. Lynleigh and Connor collected him for a 3-hour drive to the Southern Highlands where he would have the privilege of meeting the one-and-only Peg McDonald of Higher Ground Raptors. Peg is beyond amazing!

Peg set Oracle up in an aviary with CCTV where she could observe his movements and decipher what exercise regime he required for rehab.

Luckily the name Oracle is gender-neutral as Peg thinks he is a she 

This was a great example of many Wildlife organisations working together to provide the best outcome possible for our gorgeous animals.  

Imagine finding this raptor in your backyard
Imagine finding this raptor in your backyard
Oracle in one of Peg's wonderful aviaries
Oracle in one of Peg's wonderful aviaries
The mid-air fight with wedge-tails and sea-eagles
The mid-air fight with wedge-tails and sea-eagles
Lynleigh and Connor bring Oracle to Higher Ground
Lynleigh and Connor bring Oracle to Higher Ground
Dec 3, 2018

The Good News and the Bad!

Twin girl
Twin girl

It has been a relatively quiet start to pup season in New South Wales this year, which is good, as we much prefer pups and mums to stay together.

I have 3 pups in care at the moment: one little girl was found on the outside of a swimming pool and the little boy was found at the base of a tree, all alone. The final little girl I have in care is a bit special as she is a twin. Mum came into care with a head injury and it was found that she was carying two pups, which is very rare. The mum was only able to feed one pup while she was recevring from her injuries so the boy was left with her and both mum and pup are doing well. The littel girl came into my care a few weeks ago and after a bit of a rough start is also thriving.

We have started work on the maintenance at Kukundi and thanks to the hard work of a few Sydney Wildlife members, we have had a coolroom installed. This going to be amazing once the season is in full swing.

Unfortunately up north in Queensland, where they have been suffereing from heat wave conditions so early in the season, it is not such a good story. The Spectacled Flying Fox speceis in Queensland has been decimated by this record breaking heat wave. Thousands of adults and pups have dropped dead due to the extreme temperatures, and many hundreds of orphaned pups have come into care. 

This species is currently listed as vulnerable in Australia and conservationists have been pushing to upgrade the species to endangered.

Sorry to end the report on such a sad note, however, thank you for all of your generous donations that enable us to contiune to rescue, rehabilitate and release back into the wild our beautiful flying foxes. We couldn't do it without your help

Fiona

Pool girl
Pool girl
After the clean up
After the clean up
New cool room!!
New cool room!!
Boy pup
Boy pup

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