Fruit bats behind power disruptions up north

Power and Water crews have attended a number of power interruptions affecting the Katherine region due to fruit bats caught in powerlines and high voltage power distribution equipment.

The main cause for the disruptions is from bats breaking tree limbs and hitting the overhead lines, as well as hitting the lines with their wings when perched.

Fruit bats are common visitors to an area annually when native plants are in flower and then move on once their food source runs out.

To help minimise damage to the network and to local wildlife, Power and Water has upgraded insulators on overhead powerlines, replacing them with longer post-top insulators that provide greater clearance for birds and animals. In affected areas, specifically designed mesh mats have also been installed to deter smaller bats.