Quantcast

Hundreds of Flying Foxes 'Boil' in Extreme Australia Heat

Animals
A colony of flying foxes in Campbelltown, Australia died due to extreme heat. Help Save the Wildlife and Bushlands in Campbelltown / Facebook

The catastrophic heat wave in Australia led to the death of hundreds of flying foxes in the Sydney suburb of Campbelltown on Sunday.

Temperatures hit 117.14 degrees Fahrenheit in the Sydney metropolitan area that day—its hottest temperature in nearly 80 years.


“So many little lives lost due to the extreme heat and not enough canopy cover to shade them or keep them cool," the Help Save the Wildlife and Bushlands in Campbelltown campaign posted on Facebook. “As the dead bodies were recovered and placed in a pile for a head count the numbers had reached 200 not including the many hundreds that were still left in trees being unreachable, sadly a few adults were also included in the body count."

Local rescuers and carers tried to save as many as the bats possible by rehydrating them and taking them to places to cool down, the Guardian reported.

"There were tears shed and hearts sunken," the Facebook post continued, "it's [devastating] when a colony like our local one goes down like this due to heat, this colony needs more canopy cover and shaded areas to help with our ever rising hot summers because this episode will surely not be the last."

About 204 dead bats, mostly juvenile, were collected that day, Campbelltown colony manager Kate Ryan told local media. However, the final death toll "could run to thousands," WIRES Wildlife Rescue group said.

Ryan said the bats “basically boil" in the extreme heat.

“It affects their brain—their brain just fries and they become incoherent," she said. “It would be like standing in the middle of a sandpit with no shade."

She added that because of climate change, there was not much that could be done to prevent a similar incident from occurring again.

Scientists have declared 2017 as one of the hottest years in modern history. EcoWatch reported earlier this week that the triple-digit heat wave in several parts of Australia has also prompted warnings of dangerous bushfire and has literally melted part of a busy highway.

This is far from the first time these animals have succumbed to scorching heat. In Feb. 2017, more than 700 flying foxes died during a 116.6-degree heat wave in the New South Wales Hunter region town of Singleton.

A 2008 study identified temperature extremes as major threats to Australian flying foxes, especially after a January 2002 event in New South Wales, with temperatures exceeding 106 degrees Fahrenheit, that killed more than 3,500 individuals in nine mixed-species colonies.

You can help the effort to save the bats by donating to the WIRES website here.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Variety of fermented food korean traditional kimchi cabbage and radish salad. white and red sauerkraut in ceramic plates over grey spotted background. Natasha Breen / REDA&CO / Universal Images Group / Getty Image

By Anne Danahy, MS, RDN

Even if you've never taken probiotics, you've probably heard of them.

These supplements provide numerous benefits because they contain live microorganisms, such as bacteria or yeast, which support the healthy bacteria in your gut (1, 2, 3, 4).

Read More Show Less
Pexels

Singapore will become the first country in the world to place a ban on advertisements for carbonated drinks and juices with high sugar contents, its health ministry announced last week. The law is intended to curb sugar consumption since the country has some of the world's highest diabetes rates per capita, as Reuters reported.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

A typical adult takes around 20,000 breaths per day. If you live in a megacity like Beijing, with many of those lungfuls you're likely to inhale a noxious mixture of chemicals and pollutants.

Read More Show Less
Fred Stone holds his brown swiss cow Lida Rose at his Arundel dairy farm on March 18 after a press conference where he spoke about PFAS chemical contamination in his fields. Gregory Rec / Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

By Susan Cosier

First there was Fred Stone, the third-generation dairy farmer in Maine who discovered that the milk from his cows contained harmful chemicals. Then came Art Schaap, a second-generation dairy farmer in New Mexico, who had to dump 15,000 gallons of contaminated milk a day.

Read More Show Less
Protesters attend the 32nd annual Fur-Free Friday demonstration on Nov. 23, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. Ella DeGea / Getty Images

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law a bill that that bans the sale and manufacture of fur products in the state. The fur ban, which he signed into law on Saturday, prohibits Californians from selling or making clothing, shoes or handbags with fur starting in 2023, according to the AP.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Watchfield Solar Park in England. RTPeat / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

By Simon Evans

During the three months of July, August and September, renewables generated an estimated total of 29.5 terawatt hours (TWh), compared with just 29.1TWh from fossil fuels, the analysis shows.

Read More Show Less
A demonstrator waves an Ecuadorian flag during protests against the end of subsidies to gasoline and diesel on Oct. 9 in Quito, Ecuador. Jorge Ivan Castaneira Jaramillo / Getty Images

The night before Indigenous Peoples' Day, an Indigenous-led movement in Ecuador won a major victory.

Read More Show Less
Protesters block the road outside Mansion House in London during an XR climate change protest. Gareth Fuller / PA Images via Getty Images

One week into Extinction Rebellion's planned two weeks of International Rebellion to demand action on the climate crisis, the London police have banned the group from the city.

Read More Show Less