Wild weather kills flying foxes at Cowra Golf Club

More than 300 flying foxes roosting in a tree at the Cowra golf course have been killed after the tree collapsed in high winds earlier this month.

The roosting tree housing grey-headed flying foxes collapsed at the course on Sunday, August 19.

The Bureau of Meteorology reported wind gusts of up to 80km/hr on the day.

Following the collapse of the tree a rescue effort was brought together between the SES and animal rescue groups WIRES Weddin Lachlan and Central West branches, Wildcare Queanbeyan and Wildlife Rescue South Coast (WRSC) to save as many of the flying foxes as possible.

Cowra Central Vet Centre set up a triage centre on site to evaluate which animals could be saved. In the final count 69 of the flying foxes, mostly pregnant females, were able to be rescued and are now in care with WIRES and WRSC members. 

As the long and confronting rescue process continued, Cowra Council and Woolworths provided food and refreshments for the rescue teams as they worked into the night in sub zero temperatures. 

WIRES volunteer Racheal Walker said she was deeply moved by the number of local people and businesses that provided their support.

“We were overwhelmed with offers of help and on behalf of all the rescue groups we would like to thank North Cowra Veterinary Surgery, Lachlan Fertilizes Rural, Zest Pharmacy Cowra, Canowindra Pharmacy, Bernardi's Forbes, Walkers Ag n Vet Forbes, Agriwest Forbes and Flannerys Pharmacy Forbes who graciously donated transport supplies,” she said. 

Ms Walker said the Cowra Agricultural Research and Advisory Station donated use of their coolroom to enable her to collect the deceased animals and transport them for research purposes.

The Office of Environment and Heritage NSW says 'flying-foxes help pollinate plants and spread seeds, ensuring the survival of our native forests and they do this over much larger distances than birds or insects'.

They were listed as Vulnerable by the NSW government through the Threatened Species Conservation Act in 2001.

This listing was transferred to the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 when it came into force on August 25, 2017.