Flying foxes are intelligent and remarkable. These unique animals help regenerate our forests and keep ecosystems healthy through pollination and seed dispersal. Many other species of plants and animals rely upon them for their survival and wellbeing. Flying foxes, like bees, help drive biodiversity, and faced with the threat of climate change, land clearing, and other human-caused ecological pressures, we need them more than ever.
Flying foxes are bats or, more accurately, mega-bats (big bats). They are commonly known as fruit bats, but their diet is predominately nectar, pollen, and fruit — in that order. They don’t use sonar like smaller, insect-eating bats; only their eyes and ears like us. They see as well as a cat at night and are just about as smart.
As natural habitat and food sources shrink, many flying fox roosts are becoming surrounded by urban areas and it is here that they encounter one of the biggest threats to their welfare and survival: backyard fruit tree netting.
Backyard fruit tree netting comes in two types: safe and unsafe. Unsafe netting captures and kills thousands of flying foxes each year. Strangulation and dehydration are common, and this can mean lactating females are left unable to return to their hungry babies back in the colony. Wings are broken and mouths are torn in their efforts to escape. They are frequently found dead.
You don’t need a cape or mask to be a superhero to bats (but if that’s your thing, go for it). You can help end this preventable cruelty. It’s easy to tell safe netting from unsafe netting!
You cannot poke your finger through safe netting — the holes are too small. Any netting you CAN’T poke your finger through is safe for flying foxes and other animals.
The good news is that many large netting / hardware retailers are already selling wildlife safe netting — including Fruitsaver, Fruit-sock, Hailguard and Coolaroo.
NEVER handle flying foxes yourself — ALWAYS call your local wildlife carer if you spot a flying fox in distress and follow their advice. https://www.facebook.com/WildlifeCarersCentralWest/ Rescues: 0408 966 228