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SA heatwave: 100 flying foxes die during extreme weather


PHOTO Ecologists say flying foxes with heat stress often cluster together and can suffocate each other.ABC NEWS: KIM ROBERTSON

More than 100 flying foxes in Adelaide's Botanic Park have been found dead in what ecologists say is a devastating result of the heatwave that has hit South Australia.

The bats moved from the eastern states into the park about seven years ago and forage across the metropolitan area.

Natural Resources SA ecologist Jason van Weenen said the bats do not cope well with hot temperatures and he expects the number of dead animals to rise.

"They camp during the day in that area near the entrance to Adelaide Zoo, that's where we're seeing a lot of the animals succumbing to the heat at the moment," he said.

"But there is the potential the animals move out during the night and forage as they normally would and succumb to heat across the broader metropolitan area.

"We are advising people that they could potentially come across them anywhere across the metropolitan area."


PHOTO Flying foxes have been in Adelaide's Botanic Park for about seven years.ABC NEWS: KIM ROBERTSON

Adelaide is in the middle of a heatwave with today's expected top 39 degrees Celsius and Saturday 36C.

Mr van Weenen has warned people not to touch the bats because they could carry deadly diseases such as Hendra virus and Australian bat lyssavirus.

"It's really important that people don't pick them up," he said.

Natural Resources SA said the flying foxes were a threatened species and anyone who came one needing assistance should contact Fauna Rescue.

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Megabats and Microbats: SA heatwave: 100 flying foxes die during extreme weather
SA heatwave: 100 flying foxes die during extreme weather
SA heatwave: 100 flying foxes die during extreme weather
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