Monday 30 September 2019

Bats starving to death in Australia drought

SEPTEMBER 24, 2019
Large numbers of bats are being found severely emaciated or starved to death in Australia amid a prolonged drought that is crippling their food supply, according to wildlife carers and environment officials.
There has been a "rapid increase" in the number of stricken native flying foxes found in areas of Queensland and New South Wales over the past two weeks, rescue group Bats Queensland told AFP.
Volunteer wildlife carer Ashley Fraser said Tuesday that parts of the picturesque Gold Coast, a popular tourist destination, were currently "littered" with hundreds of dead bats.
Though there have been cases of mass bat starvation in the region before, Fraser said her organisation had never dealt with an event on this scale.
"We can expect to see it get worse as well," she told AFP.
"The changing climate is going to worsen the drought and make it a pretty poor environment for bats to try to survive in."
Some flying fox species are listed as vulnerable to extinction. They are also a key pollinator of eucalyptus trees, the koala's main food source.

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