Following freezing temperatures experienced across Texas last week, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is receiving several reports of bat fatalities.
Sharing an update on its Facebook page, the state agency warns Texans never to attempt to handle bats, dead or alive, as many colonies are being found frozen under overpasses throughout the state.
According to the Houston Zoo’s bat specialist and naturalist Suzanne Jurek, Winter Storm Uri largely impacted bats as they had already used most of their fat reserves, leaving them vulnerable.
“The main concerns were dehydration and low body weight,” Jurek said. “There were additional bats that were down but were doing well enough to climb or be placed on a vertical surface so they would be able to drop into flight at dusk to eat and fill up those reserves.”
According to Jurek, many bats across Houston were saved and taken to a rehab facility in the Lake Jackson area.
“We may continue to have some bats die from the aftereffects of the freeze but should be through the worst of it,” Jurek said.
Texas Parks and Wildlife is recording wildlife mortalities due to Winter Storm Uri.
Courtesy of click2houston.com
Some studies earlier suggested that the new coronavirus had been caused by bats, and although this theory has not been confirmed, Israeli media has suggested that that the recent mysterious deaths of the nocturnal creatures could have come as a punishment for the onset of global disease or as a sign of something even more dreadful.
Swarms of dead bats with no physical signs of trauma were spotted across Israel, raising questions and fears about the end-of-days omen.
The photos of the dead creatures lying in Gan Leumi Park in the Israeli city of Ramat Gan were first shared by Adi Moskowitz on Facebook, who asked for an explanation to the mysterious phenomenon. Similar photos and videos were published by some other users in neighbouring cities, according to Breaking Israel News, which was suspicious of the death plague among bats and even linked it to a biblical prophecy about the end of humanity as it is.
Courtesy of sputniknews.com
A colony of bats were found dead at Kaarimoola in Karassery panchayat in Kozhikode district in the wake of the first bird flu case in the state since the 2016 outbreak in Alappuzha was confirmed in Kozhikode district. Over 100 bats were found dead near west Kodiyatur amidst bird flu being reported in Vengeri, west Kodiyatur among other places.
Courtesy of english.mathrubhumi.com
Victoria’s Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) declared a natural emergency on Friday after officers found dead grey-headed flying foxes near Bairnsdale.
On Friday temperatures soared to almost 46 degrees Celsius in East Gippsland, about 300 kilometres east of Melbourne, accompanied by strong winds.
The department temporarily closed the Mitchell River walking track near nesting areas of the animals at Bairnsdale, to try to protect the flying foxes.
But it did little to help the endangered bats, and authorities estimate about 1,400 of the animals perished near Bairnsdale, almost a third of the town’s flying fox population.
Another 900 flying foxes were found dead near Maffra.
“We have had grey-headed flying foxes impacted on before from heat events, but certainly not to the extent we have experienced over the last couple of days,” he said.
“It was a prolonged period of temperatures up around 46 degrees across Maffra and Bairnsdale, also accompanied with low humidity and hot drying winds.
“And unfortunately, as a result we had a number of grey-headed foxes impacted at both sites.”
He said the department estimated about 5,000 flying foxes were nesting near Bairnsdale before the devastating mass deaths.
It comes about a month after an extreme heatwave in Far North Queensland killed about 23,000 spectacled flying foxes, which is about one-third of the species in Australia.
Along with the spectacled flying foxes, the grey-headed flying fox species is also endangered, and classified as ‘vulnerable’ due to a significant decline in its population as a result of loss of habitat.
Courtesy of amp.abc.net.au
As parts of Australia swelter, trees in many towns and cities are rustling – not just with the sound of dry leaves, but also with bats fanning themselves with their wings to keep cool.
Some areas have recorded temperatures above 48C, and bat deaths have been reported on a “biblical scale”.
The record-breaking heatwave has seen temperatures remain at 39C even at midnight.
For some, the relentless heat has been too much. Temperatures above 42C can kill flying foxes, and thousands have dropped dead from the trees in Adelaide, South Australia.
Back in November, amid another heatwave, more than 23,000 spectacled flying foxes died in just two days in the northern city of Cairns. Residents were forced to move out of their homes due to the smell of rotting carcases, the ABC reported.
The figure represents a third of Australia’s spectacled flying foxes.
“This sort of event has not happened in Australia this far north since human settlement,” said Dr Justin Welbergen.
“It’s clear from climate change projections that this is set to escalate in the future,” he told the BBC, adding the deaths were “the canary in the coal mine for climate change”.
Growing numbers of bats are roosting in urban areas, according to the Australian government – a trend that has made the deaths conspicuous.
Courtesy of independent.co.uk