Wildlife rescue group, For Australian Wildlife Needing Aid (FAWNA), has saved its first flying-fox pup of the season.
Group members are now caring for the 88 gram female Grey-headed flying-fox pup which appears to have been dropped from its mother at birth, early in the 2021 birthing season.
FAWNA NSW president Meredith Ryan said the group was contacted by a member of the public, the pup now named Margaret was quickly taken into FAWNA's care and offered a colostrum supplement.
"The Grey-headed flying-fox is a threatened species, listed as vulnerable to extinction due to their declining numbers caused by deforestation and competition for habitat," Mrs Ryan said.
"It is now the time for mothers to give birth and the FAWNA area maternity camps are swelling in numbers.
"This means that vaccinated flying-fox rescuers and carers along the eastern seaboard have now entered their busiest part of the year.
"In some cases baby flying-foxes, known as pups, may be found on the ground, hanging alone or hanging low to the ground in trees and shrubs. That means they are in trouble."
Mrs Ryan said flying-foxes are a keystone species of night-time pollinators, which disperse the seeds of many native trees and pollinate eucalyptus blossom.
She encouraged residents who find a flying-fox or microbat to call a wildlife organisations instead of attempting to pick up the animal.
"As cute as they are, never pick up a flying-fox or microbat even if it is a baby as they can scratch and attempt to bite you," she said.
"Less than one per cent of the bat population may carry the Australian Bat Lyssavirus. If you are bitten or scratched by a flying-fox or microbat you need to seek immediate medical attention and please don't forget to advise the rescue hotline operator when you call.
"Any bite or scratch from a flying-fox or bat means that you need a course of injections against the Australian Bat Lyssavirus that is deadly if untreated.
"Any flying-fox or bat found alone during daytime hours is in trouble and needs a vaccinated wildlife carer to check it."