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Bat Issues | WIRES coordinator calls for calm around Hendra and lyssavirus fears

FLYING AWAY: A recent count found Tamworth's flying fox population has dropped below 80,000. Photo: Peter Hardin

TAMWORTH’S flying fox population may continue to dwindle as food sources begin to run out.

Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service (WIRES) Central North bat coordinator, Jae Price, said a lot of the mammals have left in recent weeks.

“A lot of the males have left,” Ms Price told The Leader.

RELATED STORY: Flying fox population shrinks to 80,000

“The food’s running out and they’re leaving behind what’s left for the females and their babies.”

Ms Price also called for calm around bat-related diseases such as Hendra virus and lyssavirus.

“Since 1996, seven people have contracted Hendra virus and four of those who contracted it died,” she said.

Ms Price said there had been three deaths from lyssavirus since 1994.

KEEPING WATCH: WIRES bat coordinator Jae Price. Photo: Peter Hardin

According to the Queensland Government’s figures, ore than 90 horses are known to have been infected with Hendra virus since 1994.

Ms Price said it was hard to know whether the flying foxes would return in huge numbers, once again, next year.

“It was a big blossoming year and it’s still blossoming,” she said.

Tamworth Regional Council manager of regulatory services, Ross Briggs, said the flying fox colony had shrunk to 80,000 in recent months after it swelled to 150,000 earlier this year.

What's council doing to help residents living under the flight path of 100,000+ flying foxes? Story coming soon 🦇 🦇 @The_NDL pic.twitter.com/qmiRv8SRmX— Jacob McArthur (@jlmcarthur4) 13 June 2017


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BatsRule!: Bat Issues | WIRES coordinator calls for calm around Hendra and lyssavirus fears
Bat Issues | WIRES coordinator calls for calm around Hendra and lyssavirus fears
WIRES coordinator calls for calm around Hendra and lyssavirus fears
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