Recently we shared the heartbreaking news that thousands of flying foxes were dying all over the Gold Coast due to a starvation event and many of you asked how you could help. Our response was to offer a fruit kebab to your local bats and hundreds of people around the Gold Coast offered fruit to their bats, many of who had great success and filled lots of bat bellies.
Weather conditions are improving around South East Queensland and food supplies are steadily coming back to normal. If you’re continuing to feed your local bats now is the time to begin to stop offering food. While many of you fed your bats sporadically, others were feeding everyday and when feeding wildlife, it is always a difficult situation. We don’t want to suddenly stop the food supply to these animals, so we need to decrease the quantity of fruit being offered gradually.
So here’s what you need to do,
Next time you provide fruit for your bats, decrease the quantity by a piece of fruit each night. So if you’ve been feeding the bats 10 apples, feed them 9 today, 8 tomorrow, 7 the next day and so on. If you were chopping fruit, decrease the amount by a handful each day, another handful the next day and so on. It is important that the food doesn’t suddenly disappear (especially those who were fed everyday), as some bats may have become regular visitors and will leave disappointed and hungry. Over this decreasing period, they will still be able to have a feed and then head off in search of more dinner elsewhere and ultimately learn to find food somewhere else altogether.
We did not want to ask people to feed wildlife as it can cause issues of dependency on people for food. However, we believe that everyone who fed bats over the last two months has truly saved them from starvation. Things were bad out there and we were seeing mass deaths like never before. Thousands of bats were lost, but many were saved from your generosity and care.
The bats and us will forever be grateful. Thank you.