Rescue organizations in far west New South Wales are calling on local residents to stay alert for microbats that may require assistance due to the recent abnormal weather fluctuations, according to ABC NET NEWS. The Rescue and Rehabilitation of Australian Native Animals (RRANA) in Broken Hill has witnessed an increase in rescue requests for bats in distress.
Sudden drops in temperature can cause the microbats to fall into torpor, which renders them incapable of flying back to their roosts. However, handling these creatures is not advisable as they are capable of carrying disease.
RRANA advises locals to contact them instead, and trained and immunized carers can come and take care of the microbats, which are typically released the same day. The most crucial thing is to keep predators away from the bats when they are in their vulnerable state.
What diseases can microbats spread to humans
Microbats are known to carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans. These diseases include rabies, Hendra virus, Australian Bat Lyssavirus (ABLV), and histoplasmosis. Rabies is transmitted through bites or scratches from an infected bat, while Hendra virus and ABLV can be transmitted through contact with bodily fluids. Histoplasmosis is a fungal infection that can be contracted by inhaling spores found in bat guano.
Microbats are a type of bat that are smaller in size compared to other bats, with most species weighing less than an ounce. They are found all over the world and are commonly found in forests, deserts, and other natural habitats.
Microbats are considered special for several reasons, and one of them has to do with echolocation. Microbats use echolocation to navigate and hunt for prey. They emit high-pitched sounds that bounce off objects in their environment, and then use the echoes to determine the location, distance, and size of objects around them. This unique ability allows microbats to navigate in complete darkness and hunt prey with incredible accuracy.
With an average weight of only 10 grams, microbats are generally unnoticed despite tens of thousands of them living in roosts throughout the town.