Two not-for-profit wildlife veterinary hospitals and seven wildlife rescue groups have received a total of $56,400 of funding through the NSW Wildlife Heroes Vaccination Fund Grant program.
The grants of between $3,000 and $9,000 will pay for rabies vaccinations, valued at $100 each, a requirement for anyone working with bats and at risk of exposure to Australian Bat Lyssavirus (ABLV). The fund was set up to increase the number of people who can rescue and care for Australian bats and improve outcomes for threatened species such as flying foxes.
Flying foxes (or fruit bats) are the pollinators and seed dispersers for Australia’s east coast forests. Populations have been seriously affected by habitat loss and climate change as was evident last summer when tens of thousands of flying foxes died during extreme heat events.
Spring and summer are the busiest time for bat carers as more flying foxes are injured on powerlines, barbed wire fences and in fruit tree netting and more microbats are caught by pet cats.
Everyone can contribute to the conservation of bats by buying wildlife-friendly netting, reporting bats on powerlines (to a wildlife rescue group) and keeping wildlife safe from cats.
Wildlife Heroes Vaccination Fund Grant Recipients:
Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital
Sydney Metropolitan Wildlife Services Inc.
F.A.W.N.A. (NSW) Inc.
Northern Tablelands Wildlife Carers
Native Animal Trust Fund Inc (Hunter Wildlife Rescue)
Southern Cross Wildlife Care
Wildlife Animal Rescue and Care Society Inc
Wildlife Heroes is proud to support wildlife volunteers in the challenging and important work they do caring for native animals. This project has been assisted by the New South Wales Government through its Environmental Trust.
Photos courtesy of Doug Gimesy