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

Hundreds of Flying Foxes 'Boil' in Extreme Australia Heat

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.

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Sponsored
Health
San Cristóbal de las Casas, in the Mexican state of Chiapas. Tjeerd Wiersma from Amsterdam, The Netherlands / CC BY 2.0

How Coca-Cola and Climate Change Created a Public Health Crisis in a Mexican Town

A lack of drinking water and a surplus of Coca-Cola are causing a public health crisis in the Mexican town of San Cristóbal de las Casas, The New York Times reported Saturday.

Some neighborhoods in the town only get running water a few times a week, so residents turn to soda, drinking more than half a gallon a day on average.

Keep reading... Show less
Animals
Emilie Chen / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

Against All Odds, Mountain Gorilla Numbers Are on the Rise

By Jason Bittel

The news coming out of East Africa's Virunga Mountains these days would have made the late (and legendary) conservationist Dian Fossey very happy. According to the most recent census, the mountain gorillas introduced to the world in Gorillas in the Mist, Fossey's book and the film about her work, have grown their ranks from 480 animals in 2010 to 604 as of June 2016. Add another couple hundred apes living in scattered habitats to the south, and their population as a whole totals more than 1,000. Believe it or not, this makes the mountain gorilla subspecies the only great apes known to be increasing in number.

Keep reading... Show less
Animals
Plastic trash isn't safe for kids, whether human or bear. Kevin Morgans Wildlife Photography

Even Polar Bear Cubs Can’t Escape Plastic Pollution

By Allison Guy

Plastic bags are often stamped with an all-caps warning: This bag is not a toy. Unfortunately, polar bear moms don't have much control over their kids' playthings.

Keep reading... Show less
Insights
Sea level rise is a natural consequence of the warming of our planet. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

We Can’t Hide From Global Warming’s Consequences

Over the past few months, heat records have broken worldwide.

In early July, the temperature in Ouargla, Algeria, reached 51.3°C (124.34°F), the highest ever recorded in Africa! Temperatures in the eastern and southwestern U.S. and southeastern Canada have also hit record highs. In Montreal, people sweltered under temperatures of 36.6°C (97.88°F), the highest ever recorded there, as well as record-breaking extreme midnight heat and humidity, an unpleasant experience shared by people in Ottawa. Dozens of people have died from heat-related causes in Quebec alone.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Health
Stacey_newman / Getty Images

More Than a Third of Schools Tested Have ‘Elevated Levels’ of Lead in Drinking Water

A troubling new report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that more than a third of the nation's schools that tested their water for lead found "elevated levels" of the neurotoxin. But despite heightened concern in recent years about lead in drinking water, more than 40 percent of schools surveyed conducted no lead testing in 2016.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Bill Pugliano / Stringer / Getty Images

Can Elon Musk Fix Flint’s Water?

By Fiona E. McNeill

The Michigan community of Flint has become a byword for lead poisoning. Elon Musk recently entered the fray. He tweeted a promise to pay to fix the water in any house in Flint that had water contamination above acceptable levels set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Popular
A researcher at Oregon State University examines creeping bentgrass. Oregon State University / Flickr / Tiffany Woods

You Need to Be Paying Attention to GMO Grass

By Dan Nosowitz

Creeping bentgrass doesn't get as much attention as other genetically modified plants. But this plant tells us an awful lot—emphasis on the "awful"—about how GMO plants are regulated and monitored.

Keep reading... Show less
Politics
Alaska Wilderness League

Grassroots Fighters for the Arctic Refuge Take the Case to DC

By Rebekah Ashley

Even though our day-to-day existence may be far removed from Arctic Alaska, we must stand for the protection of the Arctic Refuge and ask our representatives to do the same.

Most Americans oppose drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. In fact, a majority of us "strongly oppose it." This broad public concern echoed through the halls of Congress during Alaska Wilderness League's Wilderness Week, when more than 25 people from around the country (as far as Alaska and as young as six months) convened in Washington, DC, in late May to advocate for the protection of the Arctic Refuge. Collectively, our group met with more than 60 offices in just three days.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!