Flying fox take over Griffith skies

GRIFFITH'S gone batty as local skies are filled with flying foxes.

National Parks and Wildlife area manager Robin Mares couldn't definitively explain the abundance of the webbed-wing critters but he was monitoring the situation.

Mr Mares said the jury was out as to whether the flying-foxes were here to stay.

"I'm not sure whether they're vagrants or they plan to take up residence," he said.

"There seems to have been some extra ones arrive just recently and the colony seems to have moved in where it's roosting.

"We are monitoring where they are and looking at the numbers and what is happening to the colony."

Mr Mares said he had received concerned calls from locals who wondered whether the flying-foxes posed a health risk.

"There are all sorts of conjecture and misinformation about flying foxes and disease. They are vectors for some diseases but none that directly infect humans," he said.

"The reason we ask people not to handle any sort of bat is because a small percentage carry the lyssa virus which can be treated but is very serious.

"I need to reiterate we would always advise people never to handle any sort of bat, even though the disease is rare and difficult to contract."

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