Heat stress event in Casino 2014
Images by Dee Hartin
Sadly many lives were lost on Saturday in Casino. Extreme heat caused the death of thousands of Flying Foxes in the Casino camp.
WIRES had been monitoring the flying fox camps in the region as temperatures climbed and at around 3pm disaster struck.
Thousands of Flying Foxes died dropping to the ground killed by the extreme heat low humidity and lack of shade. Female Flying Foxes have young thi...s time of the year and hundreds of babies were clinging to their dead mothers on the ground.
WIRES, Northern Rivers and Tweed Wildlife carers sprang into action and hundreds of baby flying foxes were taken into care.
Each of these orphans had to be assessed, hydrated and taken care of individually; you can imagine the enormous task of literally hundreds coming in at the same time.
The task is ongoing; carers are working round the clock and emotions are tested as carers do what they can to ensure each and every little flying fox is taken care of whilst dealing with the sight of thousands of adults and juveniles dead and dying.
As the network swings into action baby flying foxes as young as only a few days old are being transferred to other WIRES branches and other wildlife care agencies after assessment and emergency treatment.
Our carers are working round the clock looking after the huge number of Flying Fox babies orphaned over the weekend. If you would like to help with donations we would be most appreciative.
This is a huge task and will be continuing for many weeks to come.
Images by Helen Carlos & Barb Wilkins
Images by Jule Reid
Some of the innocent victims being bundled up for transport to carers across the state and into Qld. These orphaned flying fox pups are a sample of the approximately 400 pups that came into care mostly from Casino after the weekend heat wave.
Thousands of adults died and volunteers from every available wildlife care group have been working around the clock to keep these babies alive. The feeding of these babies is around the clock, making up bottles, feeding, washing up bottles and teats, finish and it starts again from the beginning with no time in-between.
Each baby bat uses two cloths; both are changed at every feed.
Filling the washing machine, emptying the machine, hanging out the cloths to dry, taking it all back inside when dry and folding it for the next baby bat. This task is also never ending.
But it is all worth it. These Flying Foxes will survive; they will fly free next year and help pollinate our forest.
Flying-foxes are crucial to keeping native forests healthy. They disperse seeds and pollinate flowering plants. Flying-foxes are highly mobile and seeds can be moved over great distances. Seeds germinated away from their parent plant, have a greater chance of surviving and growing into a mature plant. Seed dispersal also expands the gene pool within forests and this strengthens forests against environmental changes.
If you would like to help your donation will certainly be appreciated.
http://www.wiresnr.org/Helping.html See More
Images below by Brydie Lee
Images by Sharon McGrigor
Bat carers use 100% cotton squares to wrap the baby bats in care from the Casino disaster last weekend. Perfect size is a standard bandanna 50x50cm, already hemmed.
Through this disaster hundreds of wraps are being used daily as the baby bats are changed at every feed.
We have kindly been offered drop off points for members of the public to leave donations of these wraps at the following locations.
Cnr Fox & Kerr Sts
Ballina NSW, 2478
Lismore Square S/C , Cnr Uralba & Brewster Sts
Lismore NSW, 2480
Community Centre Byron Bay
69 Jonson Street Byron Bay
27 March 2015
Update on Casino Heat Stress Event.
In November last year when temperatures reached over 40 degrees several days in a row, the flying-foxes in Casino succumbed to the heat. Local wildlife carers from WIRES and NRWC responded to this emergency. There was a death toll of over 5000 adult flying-foxes, however over 400 orphaned flying-foxes were rescued.
These pups ranged in age from newborn to five weeks and needed bottle-feeding five times daily.
An emergency response centre was established with vaccinated carers and non-vaccinated support volunteers working around the clock to stabilise and feed the little orphans.
Wildlife carers from many groups within NSW, Qld, ACT and even South Australia quickly offered assistance.
Groups of young flying-foxes were despatched to carer groups many hundreds of kilometres away.
It’s a great credit to the many wildlife groups which responded so quickly and effectively. The groups who offered to take Casino orphans already had their own rescued pups in care and took extras knowing there were several months of intensive dedication required to raise them to independence.
Although wildlife carers have had to deal with heat stress events in the past, there had never been one in November when there were so many dependent young.
Amazingly, almost all the rescued pups which went to the many carers all over the country survived.
Most of the rescued pups were black flying-foxes; fewer than 8% were grey-headed flying-foxes.
The black flying-foxes had to be released back on the North Coast or in Queensland. So once they were raised and ready for release, they had to make the trip back North. This was another logistical challenge for the various carers.
During the past few months, the 400 rescued young have been transported to specialist release facilities where they have been set free and are still being support fed by teams of volunteers.
WIRES Northern Rivers thanks the many other wildlife groups, DART, our local veterinary clinics and other WIRES branches for their generous support with this unprecedented and challenging wildlife emergency.
Images below by Lib Ruytenberg and Lisa Baxter
31 March 2015
Last weekend WIRES Northern Rivers hosted a Bat Party at Clunes to celebrate the rescue and release back to the wild of 402 flying-fox pups from the heat stress event in Casino in November last year.
Several thousand adult bats and pups succumbed to the heat, leaving hundreds of orphans which were rescued by wildlife carers. The baby bats were transported to wildlife carer groups across NSW, Qld, ACT and SA. They were raised by dedicated carers over the summer months and have been returned to the North Coast and Queensland for release.
Party decorations featured 402 hanging silhouette flying foxes, representing the babies that survived through to release. The Bat Party at Clunes was attended by almost one hundred people, including wildlife volunteers from NSW and Qld. It was a tribute to the wonderful co-operation between wildlife groups and a celebration of the release of over 400 orphaned baby bats.
Some of the wonderful bat carers from Queensland and NSW wildlife care groups
Image by Dee Hartin
These 50 small bats represent the flying fox pups that were rescued but did not make it.
Images by Jenny Beatson