THE general public may find the number of flying foxes in town disturbing, but coordinator Jae Price suggests enjoying the spectacle, because while they've come in force, they leave the same way.
A colony of approximately 93,000 grey headed flying foxes have set up camp in Tamworth, driven inland due to the large white box and iron bark blossom event, as well as wet weather on the coast.
Northern Tablelands flying fox coordinator of the Tamworth branch, Ms Price, has a particular interest in the animal because they are the only flying mammal in Australia.
"They are on the decline, especially with climate change, and habitat loss," she said.
"This is why they come into areas along the rivers, because we destroy their habitat, so they have to have somewhere to live."
The threatened species can get entangled in fishing line, barbed wire and fruit netting. Ms Price asks that fruit netting be tied down, secured and taut.
Australian Bat Lyssavirus can be transmitted from flying foxes, but the disease is not deadly if a person bitten or scratched goes immediately to hospital.
"If you don't, and you do contract Australian Bat Lyssavirus, once you have symptoms it's too late," she said. "It's that deadly."
Ms Price advises staying away from the animals, and not touching them.
Hendra virus can also be transmitted from flying foxes to humans through horses. Any horses not vaccinated should be kept sectioned off from trees playing host to flying foxes, and feed bins and water troughs covered.
In the case of any injured flying fox or microbats found, contact Northern Tableland wildlife carers on 1800 008 290.
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