Injured, sick or orphaned wildlife

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Bats in the ACT

Bats can be divided into two main groups: Megabats and Microbats.

Megabats

Megabats are commonly known as Flying-foxes. Two species of Flying-foxes are encountered in the ACT: the Grey Headed Flying-fox and the Little Red Flying-fox.

If you find a flying fox caught in fruit netting or on a barbed wire fence DO NOT HANDLE the bat.  A bite or a scratch could transfer Lyssavirus to your body.  If you are bitten or scratched please see you doctor immediately.  Lyssavirus is fatal unless you are treated. Call ACT Wildlife on 0432 300 033 to rescue the bat.

Grey Headed Flying Fox
Little Red Flying Fox

Since 2006 both these species have been roosting in Commonwealth Park over the summer. Most of the colony leaves each winter, so there could be several thousand or none. From September to March each year there is also a maternity colony in Commonwealth Park.

Flying-foxes live in communal camps/colonies. They prefer to camp in dense vegetation near water. They have camps in various places during the year as they are following food sources. Their summer camps are usually larger because they are breeding colonies. They establish roost sites within 30 – 50 km of feeding sites and will fly that distance each night to get to food sources. They tend to use the same sites every year.

Microbats

In ACT and surrounding areas there are 14 species of Microbats. Microbats vary in size but the most common bats in our region are the Chocolate Wattled Bat 5.5-10.3g, Gould’s Wattled Bat. 10-20g, Lesser Long Eared Bat 4.6-14.5g and Little Forest Bat. 6-8.3. Occasionally other species are recorded.

Chocolate Wattled Bat
Gould's Wattled Bat
Lesser Long-Eared Bat
Little Forest Bat

Microbats are insectivorous and use echolocation to find energy-rich food: moths, flying and terrestrial insects, spiders, beetles, flying termites and mosquitos. Some species have specialized diets and eat fish (myotis), orb spiders (phoeniscus). They eat up to 50% of their weight each night and can catch up to 500 insects in an hour’. They are a vital part of our environment in keeping insect numbers down.

Some species of Microbats can fly at 60kg/hr and fly up to 30km to find food each night. Their wingspan is approximately 25cm (depending on species) and weight of adults ranges from approx. 2g – 170g (depending on species). Microbats make up the vast majority of Australian bats and have long lifespans compared to other small animals, over 20 years for most species.

Pebbles, a red-necked wallaby came into care in August 2019, when she was found at Paddy’s River, Tharwa, age 5 months, 660g. That is 5 months since she was born and moved into her mother’s pouch, the size of a jelly bean. We use weight and foot lengths to estimate ages. The gorgeous little girl was cared for mainly by 2 carers and was buddied with 2 boys, Mallee and Jim Bob. She was weaned after her 1st birthday, almost 6kg. With Mallee she was transferred to a fox proof and bushed wallaby enclosure on another carer’s farm to grow over winter and was released with Mallee mid September 2020 into bushland at the back of the farm. Lately, every couple of weeks she has been coming back to the farm with another wallaby for a visit. Maybe, one day in the future, with a joey. She was in care for 13 months and a real delight to care for. 

Pebbles, a red-necked wallaby came into care in August 2019, when she was found at Paddy’s River, Tharwa, age 5 months, 660g. That is 5 months since she was born and moved into her mother’s pouch, the size of a jelly bean. We use weight and foot lengths to estimate ages.

The gorgeous little girl was cared for mainly by 2 carers and was buddied with 2 boys, Mallee and Jim Bob. She was weaned after her 1st birthday, almost 6kg. With Mallee she was transferred to a fox proof and bushed wallaby enclosure on another carer’s farm to grow over winter and was released with Mallee mid September 2020 into bushland at the back of the farm.

Lately, every couple of weeks she has been coming back to the farm with another wallaby for a visit. Maybe, one day in the future, with a joey. She was in care for 13 months and a real delight to care for.