What you need to know
Rescuing and rehabilitating bats is a rewarding and challenging branch of wildlife care. It is, however, a specialised field and should only be undertaken by trained and vaccinated persons.
For information on how to become a carer, or if you have found an injured bat, contact your local wildlife group or nearest Parks & Wildlife office. You can search online here
You can download a membership application here. (Word doc)
You can access Bat Rescue By Laws here (PDF).
What is it like to be a carer? Watch one of our members, Jennifer, in action!
Joining Bat Rescue Inc.
We are based on Queensland's Sunshine Coast, and are always pleased to welcome new members. Should you join Bat Rescue as a volunteer:
- A mentor will be assigned to assist you and you will be invited to accompany more experienced carers on rescues
- You will have access to equipment to borrow in your first year of caring if you need it
- A friendly network of people will be introduced to you and there will be opportunities to become involved in other bat related activities and conservation projects including participating in annual national bat counts. Involvement in such activities helps to further the understanding of bats in the community.
- Rescues of adults can take place any time during the year, but bat carers are at their busiest between September and December, when most of the rescues are performed. Babies are born in these months and orphans are raised for release in February/March. Creche begins around mid-January.
What does it cost?
All wildlife carers are volunteers with costs for food and medications usually being met personally. Bat Rescue Inc. actively fundraises in order to try and subsidise some of the costs for our members.
- Prior to handling bats, carers need to be vaccinated against Australian Bat Lyssavirus. This involves a course of 3 rabies vaccines at a cost of around $330. This can be arranged through your GP and rebates for the cost can be claimed through certain Health Funds. Every 2 years, Bat Rescue Inc. arranges for each member's antibody levels to be tested, to ensure immunity is maintained above the minimum recommended level.
- All new members are required to attend carer training sessions.
- There is a fee payable by carers when their bats go to creche and release. This money covers the cost of fruit while the animal is housed with other hand reared youngsters, learning to fly and socialise with the other bats prior to release. The cost can vary according to the amount of funds available to subsidise carer expenses.
Active (carer) members must be 18 years of age or over. Commencement of rescue and caring activity by new active members is subject to first providing proof of rabies vaccination. All new carers must also attend training (workshops are conducted annually).
Support Membership (which is a financial member only) is open to anyone. Support members receive regular newsletters and are welcome to participate in social, display and fundraising activities.
If you need to know more, or are interested in joining, please email us via the CONTACT US page of this website.