facts and care advice
Flying-Foxes & Microbats
Any flying-fox or microbat found during the day is in trouble.
PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT TO RESCUE THE BAT YOURSELF OR TOUCH IT IN ANY WAY.
Please keep children and pets away from any injured wildlife.
Call the Fauna Rescue of SA Bat Hotline immediately on 08 8486 1139
A trained and vaccinated rescuer will respond.
Both flying-foxes and microbats can carry a rabies-related virus, Australian Bat Lyssavirus (ABL), which is very dangerous to humans. Whilst a very small percentage of bats carry the ABL, no risks should be taken.
The virus can only be transmitted through saliva from a bite or deep scratch.
If you do not touch the bat, you are safe.
If you have been bitten or scratched by a bat you should wash the affected area with soap and water for about 5 minutes and then apply a viricidal preparation, such as Betadine and seek medical attention immediately.
Always inform the attending rescuer if you have been bitten or scratched.
THE FAUNA RESCUE FLYING-FOX TEAM COLLECT DATA ON ALL FLYING-FOXES, EVEN IF THE BAT IS DEAD. PLEASE CONTACT THE BAT HOTLINE (08) 8486 1139
Adult flying-foxes are the size of a kitten with wings and have a wingspan of up to 1 metre.
Any flying-fox found injured, on the ground or hanging alone during the day is in trouble.
Please call the Fauna Rescue Bat Hotline on (08) 8486 1139 if you find a bat in these situations.
A bat found on the ground
If a flying-fox is found on the ground, carefully place a weighted cardboard box or washing basket over the bat without touching the animal. This will prevent the animal from moving away until the rescuer arrives.
Please call the Fauna Rescue Bat Hotline.
A bat hanging by itself
A flying-fox hanging by itself during the day is not normal behaviour. The bat may be injured, suffering from extreme heat or cold, disorientated, displaced after severe storms or a juvenile not yet skilled at flying.
Please call the Fauna Rescue Bat Hotline.
A bat found entangled in fruit tree netting
Do not attempt to release the bat by yourself.
Contact the Fauna Rescue Bat Hotline immediately for assistance.
It is essential that the bat is taken into care for observation, even if there are no visible injuries at the time.
Keep children and pets away from the bat.
A bat found caught on barbed wire
Do not attempt to remove the bat yourself or cut the bat’s wing membrane to release.
If you can, carefully throw a towel or light garment over the bat to keep it calm. If the weather is hot, dampen the cloth first.
Please call the Fauna Rescue Bat Hotline immediately.
Please inform the hotline operator if a ladder is required or if one can be provided on site.
Bat observed hanging on overhead power lines
Please call the Fauna Rescue Bat Hotline immediately as the flying-fox may still be alive.
Even if the animal is dead, between the months of September-January, it may be a female with a live young attached under her wing. Fauna Rescue will contact SA Power Networks for their assistance to remove the bat.
Reporting dead animals is also important information in identify regular electrocution sites to help reduce outages by insulating powerlines.
A baby without its mother or on a deceased mother
During the birthing season September-January, babies can become separated from their mothers for a variety of reasons or their mothers can be
electrocuted and the baby survives. These orphans are then bought into care and raised by members of the Fauna Rescue Flying-fox team and released back into the Adelaide Colony.
Please contact the Fauna Rescue Bat Hotline immediately if you find a baby flying-fox as it will require immediate care.
Most microbats are the size of a small mouse with wings and will fit in the palm of your hand. They have a wingspan of about 25cm.
Microbats most often come to your attention when they are seen clinging to a wall during the day, caught by a cat or on sticky fly paper.
Where sugested below, you can call the Fauna Rescue of SA Bat Hotline on 08 8486 1139
A bat on the ground or wall
The bat may just be exhausted or disorientated, but is in a very vulnerable position. Place a small box or container over any bat on the ground or observe at a distance any bat outside during daylight hours.
Call the Fauna Rescue Bat Hotline for advice.
A bat stuck to fly paper
Please do not try to remove the bat yourself, as this will result in further injuries.
Call the Fauna Rescue Bat Hotline immediately for a trained and vaccinated rescuer to attend.
A bat caught by a cat
Any animal that has been caught in a cat’s mouth must be treated with antibiotics to prevent any life threatening infection. Even if the bat appears to be unharmed, please call the Fauna Rescue Bat Hotline so that the bat can be assessed and transported to a vaccinated veterinarian for medical attention.
A baby without its mother
All microbats are small, so adults are often mistaken for babies. A baby will often have little or no fur. Please call the Fauna Rescue Bat Hotline immediately for a trained and vaccinated rescuer to collect.
A bat flying around indoors
Close internal doors to contain the bat in one room, turn off any ceiling fans, open windows and door to outside (if there is one) and then turn off all the lights. The bat should then find its way outside.
Keep all pets away.
Call the Fauna Rescue Bat Hotline for help or further advice.
A roost that has been disturbed
If you accidentally disturb a roost or you find microbats roosting in the house, please contact the Fauna Rescue Bat Hotline for advice.
All species of bats are protected in South Australia.