Bat colony growing in size

ORANGE councillor Reg Kidd says bat numbers in Orange need to be carefully monitored after a large colony on the outskirts of the city tripled in size over a two-week period.

Cr Kidd, who is the chair of the Orange City Council local orchardists working group on flying foxes (bats) said in the daytime at least 200 flying foxes can be seen hanging from trees in the Ploughmans Lane property.

At night the majority of these animals can be been seen leaving the trees in search of food.

Cr Kidd said he'd spoken to the owner of the property where the flying foxes had settled and she's unconcerned about her new tenants.

"I think she's fascinated by the colony and watching their behaviour," he said.

GEE KEEPS AN EYE ON FLYING FOXES

Cr Kidd said he'd also spoken to another resident in the area about the need to vaccinate their horses as flying foxes had been spotted on their property.

"People with horses need to be aware that they may need to vaccinate their horses against the Hendra virus," he said.

"I'd also like to remind people that if a bat lands on their roof or is electrocuted on a wire they shouldn't touch it.

"If you get scratched or get bitten by a bat you could catch (the fatal disease) lyssavirus.

"Anyone who finds an injured bat shouldn't touch them, they should juts call the DPI (department of primary industry) or Wires."

Cr Kidd wants anyone with flying foxes nesting in their trees to contact him immediately so the working group can get an accurately assess their numbers and locations.

tracey.prisk@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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