FED UP: Proston residents are at their wits end with the flying fox population.
FED UP: Proston residents are at their wits end with the flying fox population. Tracie Hoyland

OUR SAY: Bats can be a significant health risk

THE volume of dead flying foxes across the Fraser Coast isn't just an environmental tragedy, it's a public health risk.

Bats fall into comas when they become hypoglycaemic, and fall to the ground.

They can look dead, but sometimes they aren't.

People can find themselves being bitten or scratched when trying to help the animal.

It is essential that anyone who notices injured, starving or sick bats calls an appropriate group, such as Wildlife Rescue Fraser Coast.

The volunteers know how to handle the bats in a way that will not injure themselves or the animal.

Bats can carry disease, most notably Australian bat lyssavirus, a rabies-like virus.

Anyone who is scratched or bitten will require immediate medical treatment.

Sadly, while people may be trying to help the dying animals, a bite or a scratch is a death sentence for the bat as testing for the disease is carried out on the animal's brain.

While we are well aware of the struggles people face due to bushfires and dry weather, we often overlook the impact it can have on wildlife.

Bats are an essential part of a healthy environment and ecosystem.

They are natural pollinators and seed dispersers, crucial to the survival and regeneration of native forests.

It's terrible to see their population so cruelly depleted.