09 Apr Human mishap a blessing for Flying-foxes
Little did anyone think in mid-February 2021 when FAWNA’s flying-fox pre-release crèche mother, Gail, slipped and broke her ankle that it would turn into a good luck story for orphaned flying-foxes going through crèche and release.
The FAWNA Flying-fox team sprang into action looking for a Plan B solution for the crèche program. Fortunately it was the quietest flying-fox rehabilitation year for some time and a suitable aviary was organised for the 19 pups to meet each other and start their end journey to freedom. From crèche the pups were due to be transferred to the FAWNA release cage situated in a location close to the Manning River mid to late March. The crèche entry plan was delayed by one week and it was this delay that became a blessing.
On 20th March 2021 the Manning River and Cedar Party Creek catchments were both flooded causing the highest flood levels, last recorded in 1919, to be exceeded – a 101 year flood. Floodwaters totally inundated FAWNA’s release aviary which in the normal course of events would have been holding the 19 flying-fox pups in release. Plan C quickly saw a modular aviary waiting to be erected in the Port Macquarie area transferred down to a location close to the flying-fox camp; the usual release site. Permission was granted by NPWS due to the extenuating circumstances to use a release aviary smaller than Flying-fox Code standards for the FAWNA 2021 release. It was a hasty effort to put Plan C into action and it all worked and 19 Flying Foresters stayed safe and integrated into the nearby flying-fox camp once their aviary hatch opened.
We are blessed that we have a resilient and adaptable bunch of volunteers who are great problem solvers. They put their all into good outcomes for wildlife that come to our group. The Wildlife Heroes rabies vaccination grant has delivered a good number of additional vaccinated flying-fox rehabbers and increased vet staff capability to handle flying-foxes. Thank you Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife, Wildlife Heroes.
9 April 2022
Photo caption: 27 flying-foxes in the FAWNA 2022 release program crèche aviary.