A RISE in the number of flying fox deaths and injuries has prompted a plea for residents to use smaller aperture wildlife-safe netting to protect fruit trees.
Flying foxes play an important ecological role by pollinating native trees. “Delayed eucalypt flowering this season may mean fruit bats and birds are more likely to seek food and nectar from fruit trees, leading them to become entrapped,” Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning manager Suriya Vij said.
“Deaths and injuries caused by fruit netting can easily be prevented through the use of the right net type which has five millimetre by five millimetre apertures or smaller.
“The best way to check if fruit netting is wildlife-safe is to poke a finger through the net holes.
“If you can fit your finger through, the net is not wildlife friendly and flying foxes can get their wings and feet stuck and it’s very difficult to extract them.
“Many sustain terrible injuries and often have to be euthanised.”
For more information and information on wildlife rescue groups visit delwp.vic.gov.au