Documentary Photography Killing The Bats In Australia

Isabella

This documentary photography was submitted to Edge of Humanity Magazine by environmental photojournalist Steven Saphore.

 

From Project: “Australia’s War On Bats”

 

100,000 Little Reds: 100,000 Little Red Flying-foxes return to roost as the sun rises over the tiny outback town of Duaringa. A keystone species of Australia, flying foxes play an ecologically paramount role in the region as forest pollinators. Naturally nomadic, Little Reds follow the flowering eucalypt as it seasonally blossoms across Australia.

100,000 Little Reds: 100,000 Little Red Flying-foxes return to roost as the sun rises over the tiny outback town of Duaringa. A keystone species of Australia, flying foxes play an ecologically paramount role in the region as forest pollinators. Naturally nomadic, Little Reds follow the flowering eucalypt as it seasonally blossoms across Australia.

Baby Pan: 11 Orphaned Flying-fox babies are cleaned, fed and blanketed in Trish Wimberley's Australian Bat Clinic.

Baby Pan: 11 Orphaned Flying-fox babies are cleaned, fed and blanketed in Trish Wimberley’s Australian Bat Clinic.

Blind Bella: Left sightless from a car accident, Blind Bella is a black Flying-fox who works at the Australian Bat Clinic as a full-time surrogate mother. Though she will never fly again, Bella is not euthanised because she actively raises 2-3 orphaned baby bats each year. Often incorrectly assumed blind, Flying-foxes have better eyesight than a human during the day and a cat at night.

Blind Bella: Left sightless from a car accident, Blind Bella is a black Flying-fox who works at the Australian Bat Clinic as a full-time surrogate mother. Though she will never fly again, Bella is not euthanised because she actively raises 2-3 orphaned baby bats each year. Often incorrectly assumed blind, Flying-foxes have better eyesight than a human during the day and a cat at night.

CHRC 1: As part of a government "dispersal", an armada of C.H.R.C (Central Highlands Regional Council) vehicles mounted with smoke canons frantically fumigate trees of Duaringa town as Flying-foxes attempt to return to their roost in the early hours of the morning. "With misinformation and irrational fear at its highest in years, the perception of these creatures is that they are disease-ridden, winged menace." says Lyn Laskus, a wildlife rehabilitator.

CHRC 1: As part of a government “dispersal”, an armada of C.H.R.C (Central Highlands Regional Council) vehicles mounted with smoke canons frantically fumigate trees of Duaringa town as Flying-foxes attempt to return to their roost in the early hours of the morning. “With misinformation and irrational fear at its highest in years, the perception of these creatures is that they are disease-ridden, winged menace.” says Lyn Laskus, a wildlife rehabilitator.

CHRC 2: As part of a government "dispersal", an armada of C.H.R.C (Central Highlands Regional Council) vehicles mounted with smoke canons frantically fumigate trees of Duaringa town as Flying-foxes attempt to return to their roost in the early hours of the morning. "With misinformation and irrational fear at its highest in years, the perception of these creatures is that they are disease-ridden, winged menace." says Lyn Laskus, a wildlife rehabilitator.

CHRC 2: As part of a government “dispersal”, an armada of C.H.R.C (Central Highlands Regional Council) vehicles mounted with smoke canons frantically fumigate trees of Duaringa town as Flying-foxes attempt to return to their roost in the early hours of the morning. “With misinformation and irrational fear at its highest in years, the perception of these creatures is that they are disease-ridden, winged menace.” says Lyn Laskus, a wildlife rehabilitator.

Dead Trees: The limbs of dead trees litter the streets of Duaringa; casualties caught between the contest of nature conservation and human survival. As part of a government sanctioned "dispersal", the Central Highlands Regional Council cuts down trees that flying-foxes may use to roost during the night as they fly out to find food.

Dead Trees: The limbs of dead trees litter the streets of Duaringa; casualties caught between the contest of nature conservation and human survival. As part of a government sanctioned “dispersal”, the Central Highlands Regional Council cuts down trees that flying-foxes may use to roost during the night as they fly out to find food.

Don't Shoot Our Bats: A demonstrator takes stand outside the gates of the Queensland Parliament Building as part of a rally organised against the legalized slaughter of Flying-Foxes. On National Threatened Species Day 2012, the Queensland Government announced intentions to legalize the shooting of Flying-foxes.

Don’t Shoot Our Bats: A demonstrator takes stand outside the gates of the Queensland Parliament Building as part of a rally organised against the legalized slaughter of Flying-Foxes. On National Threatened Species Day 2012, the Queensland Government announced intentions to legalize the shooting of Flying-foxes.

Flying Primate Theory: I am amazed at the countless social and physical likenesses between Flying-foxes and humans. In fact, Flying-foxes are more biologically similar to humans than their own microbat brethren.

Flying Primate Theory: I am amazed at the countless social and physical likenesses between Flying-foxes and humans. In fact, Flying-foxes are more biologically similar to humans than their own microbat brethren.

Grey Casualty: A family of Grey Headed Flying-foxes found dead in a car park. In a disturbing display of compassion, the mother grips her baby even during death. In 2008, A study conducted on the effectiveness of bullets as a method to cull bats found that over 92% of the flying mammals would instead be shot through the wing. Rendered unable to fly, a slow death ill inevitably ensue.

Grey Casualty: A family of Grey Headed Flying-foxes found dead in a car park. In a disturbing display of compassion, the mother grips her baby even during death. In 2008, A study conducted on the effectiveness of bullets as a method to cull bats found that over 92% of the flying mammals would instead be shot through the wing. Rendered unable to fly, a slow death ill inevitably ensue.

My Hands Are Full: Tutoring new carers on the basics of raising a Flying-fox baby. Trish tells her class, “Raising a baby Flying-fox is remarkably similar to raising a human baby in terms of the tactile upbringing they require.” With an inherently playful nature, Flying-foxes crave consistent interaction. Around me, carers of varying skill levels struggle to clean, feed and dress squirming baby bats. With no government funding or support, wildlife rehabilitators like Trish subsist solely on the compassion of like-minded individuals for the accomplishment of this vital job.

My Hands Are Full: Tutoring new carers on the basics of raising a Flying-fox baby. Trish tells her class, “Raising a baby Flying-fox is remarkably similar to raising a human baby in terms of the tactile upbringing they require.” With an inherently playful nature, Flying-foxes crave consistent interaction. Around me, carers of varying skill levels struggle to clean, feed and dress squirming baby bats. With no government funding or support, wildlife rehabilitators like Trish subsist solely on the compassion of like-minded individuals for the accomplishment of this vital job.

Isabella: Meet Isabella, a 2 week old Flying-fox who was found tangled in fruit netting with her dead mother. “Now, the only savior of Australian bushland is the countries most hated creature...”

Isabella: Meet Isabella, a 2 week old Flying-fox who was found tangled in fruit netting with her dead mother. “Now, the only savior of Australian bushland is the countries most hated creature…”

Lousie Saunders: Louise Saunders, president of Queensland Bat Conservation & Rescue, speaks to the media about the legalised slaughter of Flying-foxes by the Queensland Government. In her hand, she holds an orphaned juvenile black flying-fox rescued that morning.

Lousie Saunders: Louise Saunders, president of Queensland Bat Conservation & Rescue, speaks to the media about the legalised slaughter of Flying-foxes by the Queensland Government. In her hand, she holds an orphaned juvenile black flying-fox rescued that morning.

Scare Gun: 4WD utility trucks with rear tray and trailer mounted ‘scare-guns’. A combustion-based, projectile-less canon system, a ‘scare-gun’ relies on the ignition of propane from an attached gas cylinder to disorientate and deter the returning Flying-foxes with the noise of a concussive ‘BANG’.

Scare Gun: 4WD utility trucks with rear tray and trailer mounted ‘scare-guns’. A combustion-based, projectile-less canon system, a ‘scare-gun’ relies on the ignition of propane from an attached gas cylinder to disorientate and deter the returning Flying-foxes with the noise of a concussive ‘BANG’.

Sedated: Found tangled in fruit netting, this black Flying-fox is sedated for surgery. Once unconscious, Trish will snip away an infected area of the animal’s torn wing "A lucky Flying-fox will be rescued, an even luckier one will fly again” says Trish Wimberley.

Sedated: Found tangled in fruit netting, this black Flying-fox is sedated for surgery. Once unconscious, Trish will snip away an infected area of the animal’s torn wing “A lucky Flying-fox will be rescued, an even luckier one will fly again” says Trish Wimberley.

Tree Fall: A resident of Duaringa watches as the Central Highlands Regional Council fells trees of the tiny town. Part of a government-sanctioned Flying-fox dispersal, C.H.R.C. will utilize ‘limb-lopping’ as a means to prevent Duaringa’s roosting Flying-fox population from returning to town after their night of nectar and pollen feasting.

Tree Fall: A resident of Duaringa watches as the Central Highlands Regional Council fells trees of the tiny town. Part of a government-sanctioned Flying-fox dispersal, C.H.R.C. will utilize ‘limb-lopping’ as a means to prevent Duaringa’s roosting Flying-fox population from returning to town after their night of nectar and pollen feasting.

Washing Line: 4 unique species of Injured Flying-foxes, 2 of which are threatened, hang alongside one another like tattered clothes along a single washing line. With a plethora of ailments like missing eyes, severed limbs and bullet-torn wings, these bats will recover in the safety of ABC for multiple weeks until they are able to be released back into the wild. “A lucky bat will be rescued. An even luckier one may fly again.”

Washing Line: 4 unique species of Injured Flying-foxes, 2 of which are threatened, hang alongside one another like tattered clothes along a single washing line. With a plethora of ailments like missing eyes, severed limbs and bullet-torn wings, these bats will recover in the safety of ABC for multiple weeks until they are able to be released back into the wild. “A lucky bat will be rescued. An even luckier one may fly again.”

Wing Inspection: “The most common killers are fruit netting, barbed wires, power lines and dog/cat attacks, but the biggest one is human ignorance,” says Trish as she inspects the development of blood vessels inside the translucent membrane of a Flying-foxes wing. Incredibly delicate, a ripped wing can permanently rob a bat of their vital ability to fly.

Wing Inspection: “The most common killers are fruit netting, barbed wires, power lines and dog/cat attacks, but the biggest one is human ignorance,” says Trish as she inspects the development of blood vessels inside the translucent membrane of a Flying-foxes wing. Incredibly delicate, a ripped wing can permanently rob a bat of their vital ability to fly.

 

See also:

Backyard Birds: Brisbane

Colors Of The Kula

Gallery of Projects

By Steven Saphore


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