With trees starting to produce juicy and plump fruit, growers are reminded that flying fox friendly netting makes a huge difference in protecting this threatened, but absolutely vital species.
The beginning of the season starts on the South Coast around October as flying foxes follow the Eucalypt blossom, and so it's an important time to remind people that netting needs to be less than 5mm in aperture.
"Basically anything you can get your finger through is a no go," said Janine Davies from Wildlife Rescue South Coast.
"People can get hail guard or different types of crop netting, or alternatively buy the little bags that you can put over three or four pieces of fruit, and maybe leave some for the birds.
"Nets need to be taut, as if you could bounce something off it and it would fly across the room".
"If people invest in the right netting initially, they won't have the issue of them getting stuck or ruining nets".
As flying foxes are native and vulnerable to extinction, organisations like WIRES or WRSC are obliged to rescue them.
Unfortunately most rescues involving netting end with the animal having to be euthanised.
While monofilament bird netting has been banned in Victoria, it is still able to be sold in NSW and many stores still carry it despite cry-out from conservationists.
"If they do get trapped in inappropriate netting they die, because what happens is once they get caught, they try to get out and get wrapped around the net".
The incredible thing about flying foxes is that they are crucial to the survival of the forests and without the forest all other species, including humans, would be affected.
"The Eucalypt blossom nectar is actually their main source of food, so they're actually our night-time pollinators.
"Without them our eucalypt forest will cease to exist.
"A number of blossoms will only bloom during the evening and a lot of eucalypt trees are very tall, but the bees don't tend to go that far and of course don't do their job of a night-time.
"Flying foxes are just as important as the bees."
Flying foxes carry pollen on their fur from tree to tree and consume the nectar from the blossoms using their long pointy tongues.
Ms Davies said the only reason they were coming into people's backyards and into their fruit trees was because of habitat destruction and insufficient food.
The grey-headed flying fox is only found on the East Coast of Australia, along the costal belt, because this is the prime area where the trees they pollinate and feed on are distributed.
Flying foxes are just as important as the bees.Janine Davies from Wildlife Rescue South Coast
"So their environment is what we as humans have decided to choose to be the best option for ourselves," said Ms Davies.
In addition to diminishing habitat, Ms Davies said the drought caused a mass starvation event that was followed by the the Black Summer bushfires.
A subsequent heat stress event left their population particularly vulnerable.
"During the starvation event the mothers were not getting enough food to keep them going so bubs weren't being nourished before they were born.
"When they were born, mum's milk just wasn't of adequate quality to maintain them, so the babies were falling off because they didn't have the strength to hold on."
In order to help dwindling flying foxes and support other nectar-eating birds, Ms Davies recommends planting more native trees that produce blossom and nectar.
If planting fruit trees, individuals could consider adding a couple more fruit trees to leave for animals.
While flying foxes don't eat citrus, in the event of not finding enough blossom they will eat plums, apples, guava, and pears.
During November, December, and January WRSC can sometimes do four or five flying fox rescues per day.
In the case they are stuck in netting, people are reminded not to touch them as a small number of the species carry the Australian Bat Lyssavirus.
WIRES or Wildlife Rescue workers have been vaccinated and are trained to rescue the animal. People can contact the WRSC 24 hour rescue hotline on 0418 427 214.
"It's not a matter of being a crazy red neck or a leftist greenie, it's a matter of being passionate about our environment and what we're going to leave for the future generations," said Ms Davies.