A week before last December’s massive floods in Queensland, Australia, volunteers from the Australian Bat Clinic and Wildlife Trauma Centre rescued 150 orphaned grey-headed flying foxes, these five among them.
Clinic co-founder Trish Wimberley says the mothers may have left their young because they sensed the coming flood or were suffering from starvation. Preserving these endangered bat populations is important, says Winifred Frick, a National Science Foundation bioinformatics postdoctoral fellow, because bats perform “ecosystem services” such as pollinating plants and eating insects that would otherwise consume crops.
Generally, the clinic releases the animals back into the wild after 16 weeks of feeding and medical care, but because they were severely undernourished when found, these bats will require extra care before being brought back home.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.