Dead bats in Queensland, Australia, 8 January 2014. About 100,000 bats may have died as a result of last weekend's heatwave in southern Queensland, the RSPCA says. Photo: ABC

["We were all sitting around having lunch, and it flew into the tree next to the back deck, and it took its last breath and screamed and fell on the deck in front of everybody."

Desdemona remembers when thousands of birds fell from the sky in Australia during the record heatwave of 2009.]

By Josh Bavas
8 January 2014

(ABC) – About 100,000 bats may have died as a result of last weekend's heatwave in southern Queensland, the RSPCA says.

Mass deaths at about 25 separate colonies have been reported since the weekend, including at Mt Ommaney, Redbank, Boonah, Palmwoods, Laidley, and Gatton.

RSPCA spokesman Michael Beatty says the heatwave was a significant hit to the population of bats across the state.

"The heatwave was basically a catastrophe for all the bat colonies in south-east Queensland," he said.

"That's obviously going to have a pretty disturbing impact on those colonies and those colonies are vital to our ecosystem."

The smell of bat carcasses has caused problems for locals.

The Scenic Rim Regional Council, west of Brisbane, has organised rubbish collectors to clear up the carcasses of about 2,000 bats.

Residents near Boonah's Athol Terrace lookout say they have been putting up with the stench of the dead animals for four days.

Hundreds of bats also lie dead in trees and nearby bushes, and are being eaten by maggots.

The council today advised local residents it will not send workers into nearby bushland to collect the remaining bat carcasses, as it could cause further disruption to the nearby colony. […]

Further north, Lockyer Valley Regional Council says it also faces a massive task of cleaning up thousands of dead bats from around Laidley and Gatton.

Sunshine Coast Regional Council has sent workers out to collect thousands more dead bats near Palmwoods. [more]

About 100,000 bats dead after heatwave in southern Queensland

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