Responding to heat stress in flying-fox camps

Over the past two decades, a number of documented heat stress events have resulted in significant flying-fox mortality.

What is heat stress?

Heat stress or hyperthermia occurs when the body produces more heat than it can dissipate. Post-mortems suggest that flying-foxes mainly die from resulting heat shock i.e. the body can no longer function effectively.

Responding to flying-fox heat stress

There is conflicting advice about how or whether to intervene during a heat stress event at a flying-fox camp, but it should be noted that a human presence in a camp at such times can increase the stress and activity levels of the flying-foxes and potentially lead to greater harm.

If you choose to respond a heat stress event in a flying-fox camp, the response should be organised and monitored.

Data about the event should be collected and provided to scientists able to analyse the data and to help the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment share best practice management techniques as they are developed. The data collected will help improve future advice on intervention during these events.