02 May Timely Addition Helps Orphaned Flying-foxes
The volunteer wildlife rescue and rehabilitation group, Northern Tablelands Wildlife Carers (NTWC), was earlier this year awarded a grant from the Wildlife Heroes Program, which is managed by the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife. The purpose of the grant was to enable NSW volunteer wildlife rehabilitation groups and independents to acquire, build, repair, or upgrade medium to large assets for use in wildlife rehabilitation.
NTWC’s grant was used to purchase a multi-purpose re-locatable enclosure to expand the group’s ability to care for orphaned flying-foxes and will also be used to build a pre-release enclosure for kangaroos and wallabies outside of Emmaville near the beautiful Torrington region near the NSW/QLD border.
The grant was extremely timely for NTWC, as an unseasonal December cold snap saw large numbers of young Grey-headed Flying-fox pups falling from trees overnight in Tenterfield. In addition to flying-foxes from the Northern Tablelands region, record storms in Sydney led to an influx of pups from electrocuted mothers and loss of facilities, while carers in south eastern Queensland also lost enclosures due to flooding events.
The Wildlife Heroes grant enabled the group to quickly extend a smaller enclosure into a full 6.3 metre long pre-creche enclosure, which then enabled the group to take on orphans from Sydney as well as return the favour to Queensland carers who took flying-foxes from NSW during the 2019-2020 drought and bushfire events. Having a second pre-creche enclosure will enable NTWC to better manage large groups of orphaned flying-foxes, ensuring that pups have time to form strong social bonds while having plenty of space to flap, fly and test their wings before moving onto creche and final release on the coast.
As major pollinators of hardwood species such as eucalypts, the Grey-headed Flying-fox (Pteropus poliocephalus) is a keystone species in the eastern Australian environment and has recently been declared a threatened species, making the rescue and conservation of these amazing animals of vital importance and a priority for NTWC.
The pre-release pen, which will be completed in the coming months, will also provide much-needed facilities for releasing orphaned joeys back into the wild in a safe and secluded area without stress. Macropods such as kangaroos and wallabies require a large, safe area with access to natural bushland to be released successfully and completion of this project will provide that ideal environment.
The Wildlife Heroes Program is managed by the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife with funding from the New South Wales Government through its Environmental Trust. #fnpw #wildlife @fnpwaustralia www.fnpw.org.au www.wildlifeheroes.org.au