The purpose of this document is to standardise the initial treatment of flying-foxes requiring rescue or rehabilitation, in line with the Code of Practice for Injured, Sick and Orphaned Flying-foxes (the ‘Possum and Glider Code’) (DPIE 2021).
Understanding that each case is different and should be assessed individually, this document aims to guide licensed wildlife rehabilitators in New South Wales on assessment and first aid treatment principles for flying-foxes first presenting for care.
Three species of flying-foxes occurring in New South Wales are grey-headed flying-foxes (Pteropus poliocephalus) (listed as vulnerable under the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999), black flying-foxes (Pteropus alecto), and little red flying-foxes (Pteropus scapulatus), both are not threatened, but are protected species under the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (BC Act).
This document advises on the initial care and management of flying-foxes following rescue, from capture to physical examination, initial stabilisation and treatment before presentation to a veterinarian. It advises on how to manage the more common rescue encounters in flying-foxes including trauma, heat stroke, burns, orphaning and starvation.