Dedicated to understanding  the remarkable emotional, social and mental abilities of birds, and the unsuspected richness of their societies.

The Real Facts About Bat Transmitted Diseases

courtesy Bats Qld and Long Grass Wildlife Refuge Centre

 

Grey flying foxThe incidence of Australian Bat Lysavirus (ABLV) in wild bats is about the same as the incidence of HIV in humans: between .09% and 1.2% of free-living population (1,2)

The instance is higher in sick animals that come into care. Bats with ABLV always die.

Responsible for two deaths (one of whom refused treatment). Post and pre-exposure treatment is 100% effective - not one vaccinated person has died from ABLV.

ABLV is saliva-borne and lives a short time outside the body.

ABLV kills. Vaccination is ESSENTIAL. In every continent except Australia and Antartica veterinarians, carers and members of the public are routinely vaccinated.

Humans catch Hendra (originally equine morbillivirus) from horses, not bats

No bat carer has ever caught Hendra. Screening 128 long-term bat carers found none had detectable antibodies (Selvey at al., 2006)

Bats do not suffer from or die from Hendra, but authorities have found antibodies in the amniotic fluid of bats and suspect they may be a host for the disease.... however

"This is all speculation though as we know that bats carry the virus but we don't know exactly how it gets into horses." Dr Stephen Prowse (2008), CEO of the Australian Biosecurty Cooperative research Centre for Emerging Infectious Disease

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Green Cay Wetlands - Part 2

by Susan Collins

 

Reader Susan Collins shares some more of her magnificent photographs and memories from the Green Cay Nature Center at Florida.

 

Least Bittern

A Least Bittern inspects the duckweed for a juicy meal.

 Least Bitterns. the smallest of all herons live in freshwater marshes rich in dense vegetation or in mangroves. The Bitterns can straddle reeds which enables them to feed in water much deeper than other herons. The birds are very shy running away from intruders jumping from one stalk to another, taking short flights only if necessary and diving back into its favorite hiding spot in the thick vegetation. 

 

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Green Cay Nature Center - Wetlands - Part 1

Photos by Susan Collins


Susan loves visiting the Green Cay Nature Center which is one of the newest nature centers in Palm Beach County and overlooks 100 acres of constructed wetlands.   The wetlands include emergent marshes, deep zones, alligator holes, cypress swamps and Seminole Chickee huts. The 1.5 mile elevated boardwalk takes the visitor through journey through a typical Florida wetland providing a great opportunity to learn about wildlife that live there. 

Susan, who is also a regular reader of Wild Bird Talking ezine has taken many magnificent shots of the birds that live in the wetlands and we are delighted to feature some them below.

American Coot

An American Coot (above) ponders on the reflections in the water

Coots are well known for their "show and tell" ways where they use their body postures, white undertail coverts, the degree to which they arch their wings their backs as well as the angle of their neck feathers to communicate their intentions. While these displays are often used to intimidate intruders, that is not their sole purpose.  Coots also use them to issue warning signals from predators like hawks or dangers like planes.  A healthy Coot populations symbolises healthy marshlands and places where the coot population is in decline indicates that many more vulnerable species are also endangered as their habitats rapidly disappear.

  

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Birds At The Bunya Mountains

On our recent trip to the Bunya Mountains (native rainforest in Queensland) we were delighted to find the famous bower of the Satin Bowerbirds.  the male (blue satin coloured bird below) had adorned the nest with blue objects that match his sweetheart's eyes.  He was attempting to woo her and impress her with his bower building abilities.

male satin bowerbird wooing female bowerbird

 

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Gabi's Baby Bat Creche and Adult Release at Batavia

by Gabrielle Friebe from Bats Qld

batsqld.org.au

Batavia is a bat creche recently constructed at Woodford, on the way to the Sunshine Coast on Queensland.  2010/2011 bat season has certainly presented us with a few challenges with babies, flooding, extreme weather conditions and more.

Batavia Bat Rescue Creche

 
Challenges were fairly well to be expected when we think about the delay in getting the release aviary up and running due to weather with still a lot of necessary features ‘undone’. We had to fishing net the whole aviary inside, install more noodles and cover them as well of course for soft landings.

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