EDUCATION

The facts around many of our species of native and non-native wildlife are often unknown or inaccurate - this section will hopefully dispel some of the untruths and misinformation while providing some needed facts

 
 

volunteer training days

JABS Melbourne has assisted with training offered by both Wildlife Victoria and The Wildlife Rescuers and can recommend these training days to anyone interested in volunteering to assist with helping injured and/or orphaned wildlife.
The variety of roles played in successful animal rescue and rehabilitation are varied and anyone will be able to help with activities that they are comfortably able to do.
Roles that volunteers can assist with, like transporting (between carers, shelters, vets and rescuers), rescuing, caring and helping in a shelter, require different levels of capability and commitment - there is, no doubt, a role that you can play that will contribute.

The strength of Victoria’s wildlife rescue and rehabilitation network is the diversity of volunteers who are prepared to give up some of their time and help in ways that are comfortably within their capabilities.

 

FLying Foxes are not vampire bats -
they're not even carnivorous

The grey-headed flying foxes commonly found in Australia have a diet of nectar, pollen and fruit (in that order of preference) and while their jaws and dentition may, at a glance, appear to be suited to a carnivore, they are principally vegetarian.

The sharp and scary teeth are necessary to get through flower husks and fruit skins - not through animal skin.

Flying-foxes are crucial to keeping our native forests healthy due to their role in dispersing seeds and pollinating flowering plants. 

 

Bats (including Flying Foxes) must not be handled without proper training and protective equipment

Australian bat lyssavirus (ABLV) is a virus that can be transmitted from bats to humans and poses a significant risk to humans - ABLV infection has resulted in three human deaths in Australia since it was identified in 1996.
ABLV is closely related to the Rabies virus and can cause a fatal (if not promptly treated) disease in humans - caution must be exercised when dealing with any bats in Australia.
The virus is transmitted through bites or scratches or exposure to bat saliva or neural tissue via any mucous membrane (including the eyes, nose, mouth) or any broken skin.
Note that even deceased animals can still be carriers of ABLV and handling of deceased bats should be done using proper personal protective equipment.
Please note also that exposure to bat blood, urine or faeces is not considered an infection risk for ABLV.

Surveys of wild bat populations have indicated that less than one percent of bats carry ABLV.
The condition and health of a bat is not indicative of ABLV infection, although it has been found that sick, injured or orphaned bats have a significantly higher chance of being ABLV carriers.


If bitten or scratched by a bat, immediately wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water for at least five minutes. If available, an antiseptic with anti-virus action such as povidone-iodine or alcohol (ethanol) should be applied after washing.
MOST IMPORTANTLY, seek medical attention as soon as possible, preferably within a 24-hour timeframe.

Rabies vaccine administered after exposure to ABLV will prevent the disease.

 

A fledgling on the ground may not need to be rescued

Not all birds wake up one morning and just fly off - they, like human toddlers, have to learn and go through stages of development before they are accomplished at flight and therefore, just because we may see a fledgling on the ground, doesn't mean it needs human help - there's a good chance that the parents are watching from nearby while their fledgling learns to forage and take off from the ground itself.

So - if you do see a fledgling on the ground, please don't kidnap it and take it away without first making sure that is really does need your help.