Almost an entire population of Black flying foxes at a Palmwoods roosting site is believed to have died due to the weekend’s record breaking temperatures.
Heat stress caused the death of about 2000 black flying foxes as temperatures peaked at more than 40 degrees on Saturday.
Another 4000 grey flying foxes at the same site have survived due to their ability to deal with changes in temperature. Grey flying foxes regularly fly south and are used to a lower humidity at higher temperatures.
Environment Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said council officers had now removed most of the dead animals.
“A number flying foxes that died are still suspended in trees and areas that are difficult to access so council officers will continue to inspect the Palmwoods roosting site and collect them as required,” Cr McKay said.
“About 150 young flying-foxes have been orphaned as a result and they have been taken into care by local wildlife carers.
“Council is also inspecting other flying fox roosting sites around the region and will take similar action if needed.”
Cr McKay said heat stress was a known cause of flying fox death during extreme temperatures.
“This sort of thing occurs often during heatwaves in Victoria and New South Wales and unfortunately it has occurred here,” she said.
Council staff have been working in accordance with Queensland Health guidelines when removing dead flying foxes.
Queensland Health advises community members who come into contact with dying or deceased flying foxes to avoid handling them and to contact the nearest vaccinated wildlife carer, wildlife officer or veterinarian.
Residents who come into contact with orphaned flying foxes are urged to contact Bat Rescue Inc. on (07) 5441 6200.