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Sunshine Coast Wildlife Rehabilitators

WILDLIFE NEWS A monthly newsletter

Issue 4 July 2012

This newsletter can be passed on to anyone who would like to read it. Any contents copied from it and used elsewhere must give appropriate credit to the author and/or photographer. The views expressed in it are not necessarily shared by the editor or any other person involved with its’ production. Please e mail all submissions to walkaboutclaire@hotmail.com.

WHAT’S HER FATE? Why is the Dingo NOT protected? How long does it take to be classified native? Rescue News

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3,000 YEARS AND STILL NOT PROTECTED!

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We have to take responsibility. It is quite possible for weaker strains of Dingo without a stable pack society to intigrate with feral dogs, mate and produce off-spring. However, scientists believe that the purer stains of Dingo would be less likely to do this.

The Dingo, like our other unique mammals, is an iconic Australian symbol. Yet this shy, pack animal is still not recognised as a ‘native’ animal and therefore not protected under state or One of the largest, pure strain of Dingo is federal law. resident on Fraser Island. It is believed Farmers and the like have a free rein to the population stands at around 200, but poison and shoot these ancient icons who it is also believed that this is too high to take responsibility for every ‘dog’ attack be sustainable. on lams, sheep and calves.

Over the years, the Fraser Island Dingos We cannot dismiss the fact that in parts have been a media talking point. People of Australia we DO have a ‘feral’ dog reporting Dingo attacks and one fatality. problem. This has ultimately been Without discussing the tragic fatality it is caused, in large, by a ‘feral’ human also noted that the behaviour of people problem. I do not use this term lightly. around wild Dingos leads to problems. There are people who just dump their Fraser Island have strict codes of conduct dogs because they don’t wan them any with regard to human and Dingo more, who spare no second thought for interaction. All campers and guests on their dog or what will ultimately happen the island are greeted with notices - DO to it. There are, of course, dogs who do NOT FEED THE DINGOS. There are escape and go wild, and despite owners easy to follow guid-lines regarding trying to find them, disappear into the storage of food stuffs and rubbish for great yonder. campers to follow. If followed, humans Now, dogs will naturally ‘pack’ and this and Dingos should be able to co-exist is of course what can happen with ‘feral’ peacefully, without incident. But of dogs. These dogs will mate and then you course this isn’t always the case. get 1st generation ‘wild’ dogs. These Many years ago I was travelling around dogs know no other existence other than Europe. Whilst in Southern Spain I took kill to survive - this is a natural instinct. a trip to Gibralta, famous for it Barbary Apes.

EXTINCTION IS FOREVER! 2

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The apes occupy the top of the mountain and have a magnificent view over the island, the coast of Spain and in the distance the tip of North Africa, their home. I went to see the apes and was told by my guide not to feed them and to leave anything loose ie keys, wallets etc in the car. This I duly did. The apes are used to people, they are a tourist attraction to a degree. However, if they should attack a human they are destroyed, regardless. The word attack conjures up images of snarling, big fanged baboon like creatures, however, by attack I mean this, and this is a true story. An American woman visiting the apes was told the same as I was, do not feed the apes. However, she thought it would be great to give one of the apes a banana. She produced the banana and started to tease the ape with it ignoring the pleas of the guide. The ape eventually got tired of the game and rushed the woman, grabbed the banana but in doing so scratched her face. The hysterical American screamed she’d been attacked and later that day made a complaint to the island authorities. The upshot was the ape was removed and destroyed. Ed People are stupid. So, back to the plight of our Dingos. Aboriginal people across the continent adopted the dingo as a companion animal, using it to help with hunting and for warmth on cold nights. European settlers' tolerance of dingoes ended with the large scale introduction of sheep. Dingoes were blamed for many sheep (and cattle calf) deaths and so were trapped, shot and poisoned. In the 1880s construction of a 5500 km dingo fence began, with the aim of protecting the fertile south east of the country (where the dingo had largely been eradicated). However, the fence was only partially successful and dingoes remain in the south east, albeit in small numbers, and farmers have had to live with the extra competition for pasture from rabbits and kangaroos. RESCUE NEWS

Some now believe that the attempted eradication of the dingo has caused the extinction of many small marsupial species. This is because the presence of dingoes in an environment keeps in check the number of cats and foxes. For example, south of the 'dog-fence', where dingoes have largely been eradicated, fox numbers are 20 times higher than to the north. Cats and foxes are terrified of dingoes and will avoid areas that have been scent- or scat-marked. “Where there are no dingoes, introduced predators are rife, and up to 65% of ground-dwelling mammal species have disappeared,” says Chris Johnson of James Cook University. “If dingoes hadn’t been so savagely persecuted, we wouldn’t have had this total catastrophe. There is no reason to think we won’t have more extinctions, if things stay as they are. Potential extinction Dingoes readily breed with domestic/ feral dogs and as a result the number of purebred animals is rapidly diminishing. It is thought that this process cannot be halted as long as baiting of dingoes continues (dingoes with stable pack structures probably will not tollerate feral dogs) and as such the extinction of the purebred dingo is thought likely.

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SO, WHERE TO FROM HERE? If the Dingo isn’t going to join the Tasmanian Tiger there needs to be legistlation to protect it. Easier said than done though. Perhaps starting closer to home and tightening up the domestic dog laws would go a long way to helping the Dingo. Without doubt, feral domestic dog attacks are of major concern. The laws surrounding dog registration could be far tighter and penalties much higher. Compulsory re-sexing could be introduced with the exception of registered breeders. This would cut down the amount of unwaned animals. Surely, if the government offered a voucher scheme for compulsory de-sexing of domestic dogs, and for that matter cats, we would see a massive decline in animal welfare costs, a dramatic fall in feral animals and far less incidents of attacks on native animals and live stock. The long term benefits, both to the environment and financially, would surely out-weight the costs of compulsory de-sexing and mandatory registration? Perhaps writing to local Council, local MPs and other organisations l i k e t h e R S PA C , Q P W S a n d expressing our concern for the future of the Dingo may open up the lines of communication and get the discussion back on the table in a positive light. Ed 4

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APPLICATION FOR CITIZENSHIP NAME: (CANIS LUPUS DINGO) Dingo COUNTRY OF BIRTH: Australia COUNTRY OF ETHNIC ORIGIN: South East Asia CURRENT RESIDENCY STATUS: Not entitled to State or Federal protection, freely hunted and poisoned, blamed for most livestock deaths and even accused of eating babies. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A RESIDENT?: Approximately 3-3,500 years. DO YOU HAVE A CRIMINAL RECORD? 1 recorded death, 1 suspected death and one attack on human Australians - these are known and reported. (data source wikipedia)

DOMESTIC DOGS Protected by the RSCPA, state and federal law. Ethnic origin GLOBAL. Brought to Australia by European settlers. People can be prosecuted for the abuse and mal-treatment of the domestic dog. Domestic dogs are responsible for vast numbers of native wildlife attacks/deaths and human attacks. (a small selection of reported domestic dog attacks below) Aug 28,Tue, 2007 A two week old baby has died after being attacked by a family dog in Perth. March 17th, 2007 an American bulldog-Catahoula mix — attacked and killed Pamela Rushing. 2006 July 22nd Three Pig-hunting dogs.Tyra Kuehne, 4, was mauled to death by dogs near her home in Warren in central New South Wales. 2000 July 4 Malamute cross Mooroopna - Victoria -Malamute cross, killed 2 year old boy (Patrick Bloomfield) in bedroom. 1995-96 -South Australia Akita bit a drunken owner through an artery and he bled to death. 1978 Wire Fox Terrier Killed 3 month old baby in pram - Victoria Sep 15 1991 North Richmond Bull Terrier cross 55 Km North West of Sydney 2 month old boy mauled to death by a Bull Terrier cross 1998 Nov 9 Cattle Dog and Great Dane cross Bull Terrier Grandmother at Charters Towers mauled to death after trying to stop dogfight. The two dogs involved were a Cattle Dog and Great Dane cross Bull Terrier. They were her pet dogs. RESCUE NEWS


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What you can do

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Human–wild dog interaction

Keep food scraps and compost heaps out of the reach of wild or straying dogs. The wildlife in your area will be at less risk if dogs are not encouraged to scavenge nearby.

Wild dogs are predators that hunt to survive and they instinctively fear humans. This inborn fear is reduced when humans provide food and encourage wild dogs to set up territories outside their natural environment.

Keep you own dog under control at all times— at home, when on a walk, or when in a vehicle. Domestic dogs injured or lost when chasing wildlife may become part of the wild dog problem.

Closely restrain female dogs on heat to avoid attracting wild or straying dogs and to help reduce the number of unwanted dogs.

There is always some risk when dealing with wild predators; however, when these are compared with other risks in our environment, the risk of attack by wild dogs is small. For example, each year in Australia approximately 3000 people are bitten by snakes. Of these, about 500 need treatment with antivenene and, on average, one or two people die. However, in the last 30 years only two people have been killed by wild dogs; both of these attacks were in areas of high human–wild dog interaction and where humans often provided food.

The law on shooting wild dogs worrying livestock It is legal to shoot a wild dog that is worrying your livestock provided you: •

have the necessary firearms licence and use the firearm according to state firearms laws

believe the dog is or is likely to attack your livestock and is not under someone’s control

live on land that is subject to a rural fire levy

comply with other laws such as the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001. While you can legally shoot a wild dog, you cannot shoot a roaming domestic dog unless you believe the dog is likely to attack livestock and you meet the rest of the requirements above. Landholders can use private contractors providing they have the appropriate licences and follow legal conditions for use of weapons.

The Queensland Injury Surveillance Unit (QISU) based at the Mater Hospital, South Brisbane, collated statistics concerning the number of hospital reported injuries caused by dog bites. In approximately two-thirds of the recorded cases, the bites were sustained in a residential setting. Within this category, 40% of dog bite victims were attacked in their own homes with a further 26% of attacks occurring on the property of another (often a neighbour’s yard). Only 25% of recorded attacks occurred in a public place such as a footpath or roadway. Almost half (45%) of children presenting with bites presented as a result of being bitten by a dog. Twenty-nine percent of recorded injuries required admission to hospital. (Queensland Parliamentary Library)

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Type to enter text

THE HARD FACTS

The Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital relies on the support of Nearly 100 wildlife emergency the community, suppliers and calls are received every day at sponsors to continue operating. Australia Zoo Wildlife Over 8000 native wildlife patients Hospital •

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Up to 30 different species are admitted to the hospital every day Approximately 70% of patients are victims of car accidents or domestic pet attacks The cost to treat one animal ranges from $100 to thousands of dollars The hospital is open 24 hours, 365 days a year Wildlife is treated from a 100,000km2 area over southeast Queensland and northern New South Wales In keeping with the principles of ecological sustainability, the hospital building features "green" design and materials

are treated at Australia's largest wildlife treatment facility each and every year. These patients have fallen victim to the cruelties of human nature - driven from their natural habitat, hit by cars, attacked by domestic pets, caught in fences, ingesting fishing hooks, and suffering at the hands of unspeakable acts of human brutality. Four koalas have been shot in the past two years. Over 200 koalas were hit by cars in 2011. Nearly 100 wildlife emergency calls are received each and every day - 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital receives NO state or federal government funding, relying heavily on public support to continue this free community service. YOU can help save one, save the species.

Help these innocent victims by making a donation. Thank you.

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PROTECTION WORK OVER-SEAS Costa Rica - The Great Green Macaw Habitat This macaw lives in the canopy of humid lowland rainforest; it can also be found in more open areas where its feeding tree still stands. Range From eastern Honduras down to northwestern Colombia and western Ecuador, this bird is found at elevations of up to 600 m or higher. National Parks Tortuguero National Park, La Selva, Earth University, Maguenque National Park (a newer reserve intended to help the Green Macaw). Physical Description/ Interesting Biology These intensely colored birds recently became the focus of a desperate protection effort as their flocks dwindled to alarming scarcity. Deforestation has ravished their foraging lands, isolating and reducing the trees they rely upon for food. These intelligent macaws can live more than 60 years with sufficient foraging grounds, and are a delightful (though rare) burst of color to see crossing gaps in the canopy overhead. The endangered Great Green Macaw is closely related to the Scarlet Macaw and is equally as bright in plumage. They are easily distinguishable because the head, shoulders and back of each species is draped in the color matching their name; also, in Costa Rica they exist on separate coasts. The Great Green has a sturdier frame, heavier bill, and shorter tail than the Scarlet Macaw. Adults have a bright red forehead and pale facial skin streaked with red and black feathers. Their wing feathers are a radiant blue, the lower back is a pale blue, and the tail feathers are also scarlet and blue. Along the Caribbean slope, this macaw migrates searching for the enormous swamp almond tree, Dipteryx panamensis. With their incredibly strong bills, the macaws penetrate the resilient nuts of this tree and rely on it almost entirely for food. They also require the hollow cavities of this tree for nesting and raising their young. Sometimes this tree is left standing alone in pastures or somewhat open areas; the macaws come in squawking flocks of up to 15, often from far distances. They migrate RESCUE NEWS

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seasonally according to where they can find fruit, and the trees that they remember and need are far apart and not all within preserved areas (and instead are often on private property). This means that the macaws may arrive to find their food source cut down and find themselves far from another Dipteryx. These birds are widespread but decreasing in number. They usually stay at an area with fruit for a few weeks or months and move on when food becomes insufficient. This is just one example of many in which the survival of a species depends not simply on living in forest, or even a certain kind of forest, but particularly on another species. The total number of 549 Great Green Macaws in 1998 sank to just 210 by the year 2000. I was inspired to include an article on the plight of this incredible bird after I saw photos taken by Nurse Jen from the AZWH. She recently spent some time in Costa Rica learning more about this endangered species and helping out at a rehabilitation and breeding centre. It is estimated that there are only 25 mating pairs of Green Macaws in Costa Rica. Thankfully their main diet of nuts, from the Swamp Almond tree, is at least now protected. A major step in preserving and protecting these birds. Protect the habitat and you save the species. Something that is not new to wildlife carers but seems completely alien to councils who continue to allow vast, sprawling development and land clearing. Ed

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THE RED SQUIRREL UK

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years, some appear to have stabilised or even increased in the last decade,' the report states.

AT RISK: BRITAIN'S TE

The red squirrel faces extinction in BRITAIN’S TOP TEN the next two decades as its population has dropped by half in the ENDANGERED past 50 years, warn researchers. SPECIES Efforts through wildlife biodiversity action plans to save British mammals have failed to halt the decline in numbers of red squirrels, as well as hedgehogs, Scottish wildcats and dormice. Red squirrel populations have been hit by invasive grey squirrels, which compete with reds for food and carry a disease which is fatal to their native cousins. And wildlife experts think the animals will soon be confined to remote areas of Britain such as the 1 Red-necked phalarope (pictured) Scottish Highlands. 2 Black-tailed godwit 3 Scottish wildcat 4 Capercaillie Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/ 5 Cuckoo news/article-2041859/Red-squirrelextinct-2-decades-numbers-fall-50-506 Red squirrel years.html#ixzz21NxskZah 7 Turtle dove 8 Natterjack toad 9 Brown hare 10 Hedgehog 'Of the 25 monitored mammal species native to Britain, half are stable (not necessarily in a good state) or increasing.' Despite the largely negative news from the report, there was some encouragement from the fact that the populations of bats, otters and water voles has increased. Otters in particular have benefited from cleaner rivers in Britain, following a ban on chemicals used in The State of Britain's Mammals sheep dip in the late 1990s. study claims that seven mammal But a combination of pesticides species whose conservation was killing their prey, hedgerow low and given priority status were still other factors has seen the UK's declining last year. hedgehog numbers plummet. The report states: 'Although many of The omens for the red squirrel have Britain's mammals apparently also not been helped by the discovery declined significantly in the past 25 RESCUE NEWS


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in Scotland in 2005 of the squirrel pox virus, carried by grey squirrels. The disease had previously been confined to England, where it has been one of the causes of the huge reduction in the number of red squirrels. David Macdonald, one of the report's authors, warned: 'We expect the future of red squirrels to be confined to a few islands, such as Anglesey and the Isle of Wight, or in the Highlands of Scotland.' He and co-author Dawn Burnham added: 'The last 15 years have seen some successes, particularly recovery of some rare species. 'However, with the ongoing decline of once common species, like hedgehogs, it is widely accepted that targets for the Convention on Biological Diversity, for 2010, were missed. 'In general, progress has been better for species restricted in range that could benefit from targeted, sitebased, conservation efforts. 'There's been less progress on targets for habitats and many widespread species.'

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TIGGYWINKLES The busiest Wildlife hospital in the world! Caring for sick and injured hedgehogs, badgers, wild birds, foxes, even reptiles and amphibians Every year in Britain over five million wild animals and birds are injured as a direct result of their encounters with man's world. We are a specialist hospital, dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating all species of British wildlife using all available veterinary expertise. Tiggywinkles treats over 10,000 animal casualties every year. Our doors are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to receive British wildlife casualties. We treat all casualties free of charge.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/ news/article-2041859/Red-squirrelextinct-2-decades-numbers-fall-50-50years.html#ixzz21NylDDds

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GAPE WORM / THROAT at O.5 to 1 ml (depending on bird stages of mite infestation can be WORM Throat worm is a parasite size) 3 - 4 times a day. Once the bird difficult. Young birds have longer passed from parent to young in insectivorous bird species. Higher incidences of throat worm are usually seen during the breeding season, commonly in Magpies, Butcherbirds, and Magpie larks. Symptoms include small white blisters around the tongue and bottom of mouth, difficulty in breathing with a wheezing cough, difficulty swallowing, severe weight loss and pale gape. Treatment is to apply Avitrol Plus®, Moxidectin® or Levamisole® directly onto the blisters. Then several days later you can gently remove the worms with tweezers. (The worms burrow into the tissue in the throat so you must kill them first or bleeding will occur). Seek assistance from a veterinarian or an experienced bird carer to remove. Ivomectin® has been used to treat throat worm, however some individuals do not survive the dosing.

is improving then small balls of meat recovery rates than adult birds. mix and insects can be given. Recovery rates are poor if the bird has other illnesses (throat worm, All insect eating babies coming parasites, respiratory infection, poor into care should be checked for body condition). Antibiotics and throatworm. Be aware that your pain relief will assist with comfort bird may not have signs of throat for lesions on the body and feet. worm when you first check but may develop symptoms or blisters a few Pox can spread through an aviary of weeks later. birds at an alarming rate. It does not necessarily affect two birds of the same species in the same way. Transmission is by mosquitoes Avian pox is a severe and slow feeding on an infected bird (which developing disease of birds caused has pox virus). Transmission is also by an avipoxvirus. There are two possible through direct contact with strains of pox (dry pox) which are food and water sources contaminated wart like growths on the unfeathered with virus containing scabs or parts of the body or (wet pox) which inhalation of feather dander or air affects the mouth, larynx and trachea. borne particles.

Avian Pox

Symptoms include hard lumps or pus and blood filled lesions on the legs and around the face and eyes, white lumps in the mouth or down the throat, nasal discharge, cough, pox lesions can turn into an abscess if they break open, underweight and Swallowing can be difficult for the poor immune system. bird so liquidised, oral rehydration mixes, ie Wombaroo First Aid for ALL species seem to have the Birds® should be fed for the first few favouring of the legs as the starting days after treatment. This can be point. Distinguishing this from early slowly given orally down the throat 10

There is NO TREATMENT for the virus however supportive care will help treat any secondary infections that may occur (respiratory, infected lesions, abscess). A high vitamin diet and bathing the lesions with a diluted Betadine® solution will help. If the bird is severely debilitated (pox has affected the leg joints, or eyesight, internal organs [losing weight]), euthanasia is the best option. Isolate infected birds. RESCUE NEWS


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SUNSHINE COAST KOALA RESCUE

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Ray and Murray's Rescue vehicle is on its last leg/wheel and they are trying to raise funds for a new vehicle. If you know anyone who could help, corporate sponsors etc, we would love to hear from you. Ray and Murray currently have to find funds to keep their Koala Rescue vehicle fueled and serviced. They donate all of their own time and finances to this important cause - but they appreciate and need support. Feel free to to donate funds to help them out, this could be a small amount or larger amounts. You could even have your company name shown as a sponsor and feel proud that you are helping save our furry friends.

Bank Details for Donations: Account Name: Sunshine Coast Koala Wildlife Rescue Bank: Wide Bay BSB: 656-400 ACC: 105505536

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98% of Koalas natural habitat has been removed in SE Qld and replaced with housing, roads and train tracks. 763 Koalas have been injured in one year as at July 2011 Koalas are injured by cars and dogs

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RECOMMENDED READING LIST FOR BIRD CARERS Australian bird rehabilitation by Norma Henderson. This is a manual specifically written for carers of native birds. It is available from Norma by going to her website: www.michaleandnorma.com Chicks, nestlings & fledglings of Australian Birds by Norma Henderson again this is a must and available through Norma’s website. Field Guide to the Birds of Australia by Simpson and Day available at most good book shops. Essential for identification of birds. Published by Penguin. Wildlife of Greater Brisbane by Queensland Museum available in most good book shops. Published by Queensland Museum in partnership with Brisbane City Council. For anyone with an iPhone4 or an iPad check out the app Michael Morcombe Field Guide to Australian Birds. This excellent book has been converted into a great interactive app allowing the viewer to look up birds by Taxonomy or alphabetically, search by State, search by key features. Read about and hear the birds in action. Great companion for anyone interested in furthering their knowledge of birds. Cost $33 approx.

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CELEBRITIES DOING THEIR BIT! Tippi Hedren - The actress and former model founded a wildlife habitat in 1983 called Shambala Preserve. Shambala houses some 70 animals, including African lions, Siberian and Bengal tigers, leopards, servals, mountain lions and bobcats. The preserve took in Michael Jackson's tigers after his death as well as a lion owned by Anton LaVey when he was told by San Francisco city officials that he couldn't keep a full-grown lion as a pet. Hedren lives on the Shambala site and conducts monthly tours of the preserve for the public. She also played an influential part in helping to convince U.S. lawmakers to pass The Captive Wildlife Safety Act in 2003, which limits the private ownership of big cats across the country. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) awarded Hedren with a Lifetime Achievement award. Martin Sheen - Actor Martin Sheen is active in many humanitarian causes. In 1995, while protesting the annual slaughter of Canadian seals with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, he was attacked by angry hunters.

Noah Wylie - In 2009, Noah Wyle became a spokesperson for the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), saying that polar bears are "hanging on by a thread" and "may be extinct in our children's lifetime, due to the effects of climate change."

WARM - DARK - QUIET Just a quick revision on the importance of these three words. When the bird comes into care it is vital to create a safe, warm, dark space for it avoid further stress – stress can easily kill an already sick or injured bird. If it is obvious that it requires immediate veterinary treatment still ensure it is kept warm etc but seek aid immediately. Keep bird away from domestic pets or other wildlife, these will instinctively be predators to the bird and cause stress. Make sure the bird is warm – this doesn’t mean cooked. Use a heat pack wrapped in a towel and then placed near the bird. Never use boiling water. Cover box or carry basket with a towel and make a cup of tea. Re-visit the bird and carry out a thorough examination approx.. 20-30 minutes later. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO FEED IF BIRD IS COLD.

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Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre Inc‎ 1411 Eumundi-Noosa Road Eumundi QLD 4562 (07) 5442 8057 This little guy is a Blue-faced Honey Eater. He was rescued after a phone call from the ladies at My Salon in Peregian Beach phoned us (via the RSPCA). When we arrived he was sitting beside a window in the courtyard whilst he parents were madly calling him from a close by tree. He is almost able to fly by himself. He could fly down but didn't have enough strength to actually get off the ground by himself. Given his location in a busy shopping area that is frequented by dogs we thought his best chance was to take him back to the centre. He is a fit and healthy bird and will be released in another area when he is ready.

Each year, RSPCA Qld’s wildlife team provides care to thousands of sick, injured and orphaned wild animals, and assists in dealing with tens of thousands of wildliferelated calls to the RSPCA’s Call Centre. In 2010/2011, RSPCA Qld admitted 7,490 wildlife patients across the organisation, with 6,348 receiving veterinary care at the Wildlife Hospital. This represents a 15% increase in admissions on the previous year, and a 44% increase on 2008/2009. With the rapid expansion of the human population bringing about land-clearing for urban development, wildlife casualties are expected to continue to rise. Therefore, it is essential to continually expand the capacity and resilience of RSPCA's Wildlife focus.

BECOME A WILDLIFE HERO

The Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre is a non profit organisation that is dedicated to rescuing sick and injured Australian wildlife. It is run by Gill Brownhill and a small team of volunteers. Gill & her late husband Col have dedicated the last 16 years and much of their lifes savings to build facilities for the care and rehabilitation of native wildlife. The centre receives no government funding and only survives from donations of time and money from other animal lovers.

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Every day the RSPCA team receive countless calls through the 1300 ANIMAL emergency hotline regarding sick or injured animals from the community. With the help of Wildlife Heroes, many of these calls can be answered and many lives can be saved. For instance, if a driver finds an animal on the road with an injury, they can call 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625) and an RSPCA ambulance team member or Wildlife Hero will attend the incident and retrieve the animal for treatment and hopefully save its life. Without 1300 ANIMAL and the Wildlife Heroes, the animal may die or suffer needlessly. The 1300 ANIMAL hotline offers 24-hour support to the public, with a comprehensive wildlife knowledge database as well as a huge range of contacts from Wildlife Heroes, rehabilitators and rescuers, council agencies and other animal welfare organisations state-wide. With onsite veterinary assistance, these animals can be cared for and released once healthy again. Our Annual Report shows that RSPCA took in 5,300 wildlife patients, increasing on last years total by 15%. Our team also facilitated the rescues of more than 30,000 animals state-wide that were reported as sick or injured to 13


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our 1300 ANIMAL wildlife emergency hotline. Once reported our wildlife carers were dispersed to the area and we managed to save many lives that would have otherwise faced an uncertain future.

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can sign up to be a 1300 ANIMAL Wildlife Hero. Simply register with the Wildlife Hero Registration form and RSPCA will send you your Hero pack. This is your chance to make a real difference to the wildlife of Queensland.

Being a Wildlife Hero is a selfless and rewarding decision that doesn’t MEET OUR MATE have to take up all your spare time. BOB With the option to attend to calls in an area you choose, to animals that you feel comfortable handling and in Wildlife activist Bob Irwin Snr has times that suit your life, this decision joined forces with RSPCA Qld to pave the way for future animal can work with your lifestyle. welfare and care. The father of the Heroes are asked to assist sick, late Steve Irwin is widely respected injured or orphaned wildlife. In many for his lifelong work in wildlife cases these animals have already preservation and conservation and been placed in confinement for travel hopes his profile and expertise will and simply need to be picked up and help the charity that cares for all creatures great and small. transported to receive care. If you are not a registered wildlife rehabilitator with a permit from the Environmental Protection Agency then you are not allowed to keep the animal and must pass it on as soon as possible. Anyone who feels they want to do more, is able to give some time and offer true support to injured Wildlife,

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has been designed with the guidance of Mr Irwin. In return RSPCA Qld will assist Mr Irwin in the running of his special projects, such as the plight of the turtles and dugongs in North Queensland, and the battle to save the Southern Hairy Nosed Wombat in South Australia. “To be able to help Bob is an honour in itself,” said RSPCA Qld CEO Mark Townend. “But to have him assist us in the expansion of our wildlife unit and education department is truly thrilling.” For more information on Bob’s projects, visit www.bobirwinwildlife.com.

All donations are very much appreciated and will help in our collaborative efforts with Bob Irwin “I’ve always admired the work of the to continue our work helping RSPCA,” said Mr Irwin. “Obviously animals, enlightening people and my passion is wildlife and the changing lives. RSPCA is seeing its wildlife intake increase dramatically. I feel I can To make your donation towards make a real contribution.” special projects identified by Bob Irwin to help the conservation of our The RSPCA’s new Animal Care precious wildlife please call (07) Campus at Wacol will house a 3426 9914 or you can donate online. specialised Wildlife Hospital, which

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RAMBLINGS FROM THE EDITOR As spring approaches and birds are busy building nests the memories of last year come flooding back....IT’S BABY SEASON! Initially I was not got to take any babies last year - there were a hundred and one reasons why not: 1 I work full time 2 I already had more than enough adults to look after And that’s just two good reasons. My problem was that I just couldn’t say NO. Long story short, which is usually very difficult for me, I ended up raising 23 baby magpies, and as delightful as they all were, truly, it was about 19 too many!!! This year I have told everyone, I AM NOT DOING ANY BABIES, even if I cave in and say yes, plead with you and convince you I want to take half a dozen orphans...say No to me because it will just be that old part of me rising to the surface without NO in my vocabulary! I am not suggesting that everyone says no to babies, far from it. It’s incredibly rewarding and they grow and change so quickly. What I will say though is ‘KNOW YOUR LIMIT’ and if that limit is 4 at any one time, stick to it. Remember, you need to be able to release these birds as well as care for them and it can get pretty crazy trying to release multiples upon multiples in areas where they are not going to over burden the food supply. In the past I have told myself ‘if I don’t take them, who will?’. This is not a good place to be coming from. There WILL be someone else and either your coordinator, the vet, the hospital etc WILL find someone else and you should never feel guilty for saying NO because you know your limit. Ultimately, if you can stick to your limit, and look after those birds really well, you will be doing the right thing as a rehabilitator. If you over burden yourself you cannot possibly be doing the best for ALL the birds you have in care. Or you’ll go bonkers trying to! Take it from one who knows, getting up at 3.45am to get 42 birds cleaned, watered, medicated in some cases, fed (remember that 23 of these were babies so all hand fed) and then leave for work at 6.30am only to start the same procedure upon arriving home from work WILL exhaust you, will test your relationships, potentially cause burn out and cost a fortune . Now I tell people, caring for small numbers, really well, will give those birds the best chance at a good outcome and it will keep you wanting to rehabilitate birds. Ed RESCUE NEWS

If you enjoy reading WILDLIFE NEWS please pass it on to others who you think would also enjoy it. The aim of the e mag is to bring us together as carers - read about what other people are doingshare information and encourage others to consider contributing to the rescue,care, rehabilitation and release of native wildlife. If you would like to contribute to WILDLIFE NEWS please send your articles to: walkaboutclaire@hotmail.com

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WILDLIFE NEWS.... Would like to thank all contributors and actively supports the work of the AZWH, Koala Rescue and all those who give up their time and use their own money to care for native wildlife.

Meet the Editor..... My name is Claire and I started Wildlife News four months ago. I am a member of WILDCARE and the joint Bird Co-ordinator for the Sunshine Coast and Hinterland. My background is in journalism but these days I look after the finances of a local business. I absolutely love my rehabilitation work and I am currently caring for cockatoos, galahs, magpies, kookaburrras, a dove and a rainbow lorikeet. I am hoping that this e mag, in time, will help bring ALL rehabilitators together, whatever organisation you are from, to share experiences and knowledge. There are so many of us on the coast all doing our bit but so often in isolation despite being part of an organisation. I am hoping this e mag will become a forum for us all. So please, share your stories and your advice with us, it would be really great to hear from you. Until August, have a wonderful month. Ed. 16

rescue news

Australian Wildlife News  

Issue 4 Australian Wildlife News by Claire Smith. Originally an email newsletter called Rescue News, it is evolving into a magazine.

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