Page 1

R

E

S

C

U

E

N

E

W

S

AUSTRALIAN

WILDLIFE NEWS A MONTHLY NEWSLETTER

ISSUE 6 SEPTEMBER 2012

Photo: C. Smith

THE MUCH MALIGNED MAGPIE


R

THE AUSTRALIAN MAGPIE

E

S

C

U

E

N

E

W

wide and almost four high and is really suitable for maggies.

Of all the birds in Australia, for me, I get really angry when I hear all the the Magpie has to be one of the most bad press that Magpies get this time of year. And I really dislike the way iconic. the media jumps on board and blows I remember the first time I heard a things out of proportion to get a good real Maggie sing, as opposed to the front page story about viscious ones on Neighbours and Home & magpies stalking local residents. Away!. I had just arrived at Brisbane When are people going to wake up to airport for my first ever visit here. I the fact that magpies are only doing came out of the exit doors, was hit by what we all do...protecting our what felt like 10,000 hairdryers set families! on extra hot and up in a tree was a magpie, singing its’ heart out. I was listening to the news on the Suddenly the hairdryers no longer radio a couple of weeks ago whilst seemed to matter - I knew I had on my way to work...an item about magpies came on advising residents arrived! about magpie relocation! Apparently As romantic and cringeworthy as that this is all quite legal..providing it is might sound, it’s all true and the done through the correct channels. magpie has to be one of my favourite Now, as wildlife rehabilitators we are birds to care for. required to release rehabilitated They are birds of ‘personality’ - fauna back where it came from. This cheeky, clever, opportunistic, fast is a legal requirement, correct me if learners and highly entertaining to I’m wrong! So, can someone explain to me how it can possibly be OK to watch. remove a magpie from its’ territory, This morning I spent about an hour away from its’ partner and possible sitting outside my magpie flight young and dump it in another area? watching these amazing birds How does that work? digging for grubs, worms and beetles after I had given them all a really Wouldn’t it be better to ‘educate’ the good shower with the garden hose. public about the magpie instead of Magpies love the rain! They carry on ‘breaking’ the ethical codes of like pork chops with their wings out, practice by removing a healthy bird fluffing themselves up and looking going about it’s natural behaviour? more like fairy penguins. I have one bird in my care at the moment who loves to get in the bathing pool (it’s a really huge pot saucer) and behave like a duck whilst being showered. She ‘swims’ and ruffles, hops out, hops back in again and so this carries on until she’s had enough. This is when you see how valuable a big aviary or flight can be to aide natural behaviours.

S

Unfortunately, for the time being, the poor old magpie is going to have to put up with moaning minnies and screeching children as opponents, not to mention the gutter press who love to blow stories out of proportion and turn our wildlife into our worst nightmare. I am always heartened to see cyclists with antennae on their helmets - I assume it’s to prevent magpie ‘attack’ but of course they might also be in touch with some inter-galactic spaceship and are waiting to be beamed up to a planet free of magpies! So, my message is - Educate the public. We need to talk to people and help them understand what the behaviour of swooping means and why magpies do it. The alternative is that councils will continue to allow the public to have magpies moved from their territories. Personally, I have never been ‘attacked’ by a magpie in the wild plenty of ‘in-care’ magpies have had a go though! I always speak to wild magpies and people probably think, there’s another nutter! But hey, I’ve never been swooped at and I don’t have to ride a bike with cable tie magpie resistors on! Ed

I use my flight for long and short term care. It’s six meters long, three 2

RESCUE NEWS


R

E

S

C

U

E

N

E

W

S

The Southern Hairy Nosed Wombats are in trouble! These beautiful creatures are dying - starving to death and that’s only the latest struggle they face. For years, these magnificent animals have been killed by farmers. They’ve been shot, poisoned, burrows churned over by ploughs with the wombats still inside and now they are starving due to a desperate lack of natural food. The natural foraging grounds of the Southern Hairy Nose Wombats have become barren, noxious weed infested places. It is suspected that because the wombats are eating whatever they can, mainly the toxic weeds, that they are presenting symptoms including acute hair loss and emaciation. They simply are not getting enough to eat. The Wombat Awareness Organisation have taken direct action to try and save the wombats. Supplement feeding has helped enormously in the wild to prevent the chronic conditions these animals develop if left to fend for themselves. Those wombats that are too sick to stay in the wild are taken into care for rehabilitation. It was in 2010 the WAO first identified the disease and started to trap sick wombats, carry out blood work and look for an answer. Whilst in care, the wombats responded really well to a healthy, nutritious diet. Within a few days new hair started to grow and the wombats demeanor improved beyond expectation. Whilst this was a wonderful revelation it was obvious that all wombats could not be brought into care and rehabilitated wombats could not be released without some form of on-going supplement feeding. So, a plan started to come together. However, despite the fact that the SHN Wombats are suffering this awful condition the Department of the Environment, Water and Natural resources still issues destruction permits to farmers. So, what can we do? Support the WAO by going to their web site at www.wombatawareness.com send them an email at info@wombatawareness.com . Raise some money to keep help keep the supplement feeding program running and write to the South Australian Department of the Environment and request that they stop issuing destruction permits. PLEASE HELP IF YOU CAN. Ed

RESCUE NEWS

3


R

E

S

C

U

E

N

E

W

S

The Wombat Mitigation Program - WOMBAT AWARENESS ORGANISATION The Wombat Mitigation Program has been established to assist the farming community to coexist with wombats by developing and implementing viable alternatives to wombat culling. WAO is hoping to eliminate the need for destruction permits by providing this free service with ongoing support to the farming community, developing a better understanding of needs and concerns and how they can be overcome in a positive nature. WAO has already undertaken a trial on this project on 72 properties within the Murraylands. A questionnaire completed by participants is providing much needed information to better assess what is happening to the Southern Hairy Nosed Wombat and what is required to overcome these problems. The findings of the WMP questionnaire regarding the landowners concerns of wombats inhabiting their property found that the main concern was damage caused to fence by wombats and the most commonly utilised method of wombat eradication was burrow destruction. To combat other concerns such as damage to machinery, WAO began cleaning debris and farming materials from disused burrows in negotiated wombat friendly zones to encourage wombats to use them. By creating a clean entrance to the burrows, turning soil around the burrow and placing faeces collected from other areas, the movement of the wombats changed. Wombats in single burrows in undesirable areas evacuated these burrows and relocated to safety burrows within a three week period, wombats in small warrens took a little longer with a relocation taking up to but not over twelve weeks. WAO then placed small sticks within the entrance of burrows in undesirable locations and monitored daily for 28 days. WAO then began collapsing the front of the burrows and left small holes for easy exit of any inhabitants. Gradually over a three week period, more and more soil was collapsed around the burrow. After no evidence of any animal movement for a further 28 days, a plumbing camera was placed down the burrow to confirm no residents, the burrows were then deemed inactive and the landowners could collapse the burrows. This may be a lengthy process but is conducted during the non cropping season (November – March) where productivity is least affected. Education of landowners regarding the importance of wombats in the region: the vital role they play in soil aeration; habitat their burrows provide to other native animals and the general preference of native and nut grasses generally curb current opinions. Rabbits inhabiting wombat warrens are more of a concern for a competition of resources. To combat this, WAO located rabbit eradicators in the form of ferret controllers. This process involves highly trained ferrets chasing the rabbits out of burrows where they are pushed into a cage placed at the burrow entrance. The rabbits are then killed quickly and humanely. This service is free as the operators make an income by selling the rabbit meat to restaurants and butchers. By utilising this simple method, the landowners have an added benefit of utilising the Mitigation Program, the rabbits are eradicated providing less competition of resources for both the landowners and the wombats, the rabbits are killed humanely and further employment is created in the region. According to the survey, wombats inhabit lees then 1% of effected properties. Economic viability of low land and crop value versus damage to machinery is easily determined. In fact, during WAO’s investigations into the landowner’s claims of massive income loss discovered that a single burrow in marginal country (wombat habitat) may cost between $3 and $19 per year, dependant on the conditions of the season. Negotiations of Wombat friendly zones are then sought and chosen by determining the highest population of burrows, vicinity to boundaries, vegetation and native food. Erosion of creek banks caused by wombat burrows was of high concern yet research has shown that the erosion caused by farming practices, rabbits and sheep is of far greater significance. To combat these concerns the areas are fenced off to prevent further damage from sheep and a revegetation program propagated by local schools offers stabilisation. St John & Saunders found that burrowripping and fumigation aimed at rabbit eradication may have possibly led to the extinction of numerous populations of Bare-nosed (or Common) Wombats and foresaw the likelihood of the Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats being confronted with similar issues (Mallett & Cooke in St John & Saunders 1989). In a report complicated by St John and Saunders for the National Parks and Wildlife Department of Environment and Planning in 1989 it was stated that the distribution of Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats at that time (1989) was delineated by land use and loss of habitat in areas utilised for agricultural purposes (St John & Saunders 1989). WAO is working tirelessly within the farming community to establish and provide viable, non lethal methods of co-existence and is striving to make illegal culling socially unaccepted in the community hence securing the conservation status of this unique species. 4

RESCUE NEWS


R

Conclusion WAO strongly believes that the Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats of South Australia can not sustain and flourish in the current environment. WA O a l s o b e l i e v e s t h a t t h e population is dispersing rather than increasing, as research cannot prove either, we base our claim on assessing dwindling numbers of neighbouring populations to highly affected areas. WAO believes that there will be a time when destruction permits can no longer be issued due to insufficient numbers within the population and subsequently wishes to investigate all viable alternatives now rather than wait until the species is at a critical level. Overall, this is a genuine product with tremendously positive o u t c o m e s . WA O h a s f o r m e d friendships with participants and hopes that by creating this supportive coalition, social acceptance and protection of the species will occur whilst providing much needed relief t o t h e f a r m i n g c o m m u n i t y. Researchers and landowners claim culling is ineffective unless all wombats in the region are eliminated, they take up less than 1% of most properties and simple, financially viable alternatives are available, current populations are not yet known, WAO believes the issuing of destruction permits for wombats should be eliminated.

E

S

C

U

E

N

E

W

S

requested to attend properties FREE SERVICES OFFERED BY throughout the state. The Wombat WAO FOR THE WOMBAT Awareness Organisation through the MITIGATION PROGRAM Wombat Mitigation Program is striving to make the practice of illegal culling socially unacceptable • F i x i n g f e n c e s d a m a g e d b y wombats and installing wombat and thus abolished in the very near walkways using recycled materials future. such as tyres and concrete pipes. Brigitte Stevens • Revegetation of creek banks where erosion is a concern • Negotiating areas safe for wombats; fencing and maintenance; • Education on how to undertake e ff e c t i v e i d e n t i f i c a t i o n a n d removal of potential new burrows in highly undesirable locations; • Ongoing support; • Free rabbit control via a ferreting team; providing further employment; and • A 24 hour call line As this is a new project, never undertaken before on this species, full evaluation of its affectivity is not yet known however the program has had tremendous results within the first three months – eliminating the desire from landowners to remove wombats from their property and region and diminishing any damages inflicted by wombats.

WA O i s a v o l u n t e e r b a s e d organisation and relies on the support from like minded people to assist WAO’s devoted cause to free wombats of traditional opinions and increase their value in communities. The Wombat Mitigation Program although in its infancy has been readily accepted by the wider community and is becoming RESCUE NEWS

5


R

E

S

C

U

E

N

E

W

S

TRAFFIC..... !

Combatting the illegal trade of animals in S.E Asia

I recently attended one of the Conservation Conversations held by and run at AZWH. The guest speaker was Dr Chris Shepherd from TRAFFIC SE Asia. He has spent many years monitoring illegal wildlife trade all over the world but is now based in Malaysia.

MEDICINE

Part of his role, and that of his small team, is to monitor & write reports on illegal trade, assist with enforcement of the laws regarding illegal trade, gathering intel reports and liaising with ‘informants’. They also check the markets and shops on a regular basis.

ZOOS

Countries within SE Asia are used not only as areas to trap wildlife for trade but also ‘trade routes’. Over a nine year period, between Singapore to the Solomons, 68,000 birds, animals and reptiles were intercepted....staggering isn’t it.

50% of all birds die after capture or during transportation. And it’s not just SE Asia that’s doing a big trade in exotic birds - Australia is too!

There are six main reasons for illegal trade of exotic fauna: 6

FOOD PETS TROPHIES

TIMBER (illegal flora trade) It has now been noted that lions are starting to be used in the traditional medicine trade as well as tigers, snakes etc.

Pangolins are a delicacy in China. They are cooked whole and used to impress the diner, maybe to clinch a deal. This animal is caught, transported and eaten for the singular purpose of prestige. Pangolins are the most heavily traded mammal in SE Asia. Pangolins are RESCUE NEWS


R

E

S

C

U

E

N

E

W

protected under Cities Appendix II. However, there is corruption within China is draining the world of the authorities which of course Pangolins. makes the work of TRAFFIC that much harder. Sumatra has been catching and shipping 25 tonnes of turtles...per As a crime, illegal trading in exotic week. Yes, you read that correctly - wildlife is fairly low risk and the per week. rewards are very high. It’s far less risky than drug dealing and the Poaching in the Northern Peninsula penalties don’t include the death has seen the Bantang disappear sentence for the criminal. Ed altogether and who knows what the fate of the Rhino will be. The following information is directly from the TRAFFIC website: In Vietnam, 28,000 pieces of jewelry were identified by TRAFFIC in a Regional overview two week period and was made Southeast Asia is a major centre for from the Hawkesbill Turtle. the wildlife trade, both as a supplier and consumer of wildlife products. Pignose turtles - ground up and used The region includes some of the to make turtle jelly in China. world’s poorest countries, where the Tiger cubs are taken for trade and in rich biodiversity is exploited by some instances sedated and put into communities to eke out an existence. large suitcases and flown to Elsewhere, greater affluence in wherever the buyer is. If caught rapidly developing areas has led to trying to trade tigers the perpetrators increased demand and purchasing power for wildlife products. Most face a five year jail term. major taxonomic groups of plants RESCUE NEWS

S

and animals found are traded, both within and outside the region, particularly timber, reptile skins, plant extracts and live birds. As a result of high levels of wildlife consumerism, unsustainable rates of harvesting are threatening species that were once plentiful and bringing already endangered species closer to extinction. Major markets supplying illegal products still operate openly in many countries.

Pangolin Fetus served up in China

7


R

E

S

C

U

E

N

E

W

S

About the TRAFFIC Network

TRAFFIC’s global network is research-driven, action-oriented, and committed to delivering innovative and practical solutions to wildlife trade issues based on the latest information. TRAFFIC operates through a network of eight regional programmes, co-ordinated by the TRAFFIC International headquarters in Cambridge, UK: ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

TRAFFIC TRAFFIC TRAFFIC TRAFFIC TRAFFIC TRAFFIC TRAFFIC TRAFFIC TRAFFIC TRAFFIC

International Central Africa East Asia East/southern Africa Europe North America Oceania (no longer operating as a regional programme) South America South Asia Southeast Asia

WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP? OK, first up, if you click on the headings above it will take you straight to that regions TRAFFIC web page. From there you will be able to find out exactly how you can help. Whether it’s fund raising, adding TRAFFIC to your facebook page, donating a few bucks, it all helps. One of the best things we can do is try and spread the message and the awareness of what is happening to our planets’ wildlife. ED 8

RESCUE NEWS


R

E

S

C

U

E

N

E

W

S

THE RED NECK WALLABY The Red Neck Wallaby has grey fur with reddish shoulders, upper back and back of the neck. Snout and paws are black. There is a pale facial stripe but the pronounced back-stripe or white hip stripe of the Black-striped Wallaby is lacking. Common names include Red Neck Wallaby, Brush Wallaby, Red Wallaby. Lives in eucalyptus forest with shrub cover and open grassy areas nearby for grazing. Eats grasses and herbaceous plants. Generally solitary but may graze in groups. Feeds from late afternoon. Male head and body are up to 82 cm long, tail 80 cm long. Female head and body to 77 cm with a 72 cm long tail. Breeding takes place all year with a slight peak in summer; there is a 30 day gestation period and the joey lives in the pouch for 9 months, weaned at 12 to 17 months. The range of the Red Neck Wallaby extends from central Queensland to western Victoria and into Tasmania. Tasmanian animals are a different subspecies commonly known as Bennett's Wallaby which has longer, darker fur and brown neck.

RESCUE NEWS

9


R

WHAT TO LOOK FOR BEFORE CONSIDERING THE RELEASE OF BIRDS IN CARE 1. Is the bird imprinted? Human

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

10

imprinted birds are unable to mate. They do not recognize their own species as their own. They can become a nuisance to other people or they may become injured or killed by people who think its fun to torment wild creatures. Does the bird know how to fend for itself in the wild? Does it recognize natural food. Does it have the skills to survive without you feeding it? Does the bird have any type of physical problem which could effect it’s ability to survive and thrive? If your bird is not 100% healthy and fit it runs a very high risk of dying from either starvation or predation. Is your bird disease free? No diseased bird should be released back into the wild unless it is 100% free of whatever disease it had. It is not fair on our native populations to release diseased fauna. It is also highly unethical. Birds should be released when food is plentiful so for nectar eaters and insectivorous birds the spring and summer are optimal. Migrating birds who miss the migration period MUST be held over and released once their species has returned. If your bird cannot be released would it be kinder to consider euthanasia? How would we feel if we had an

E

S

C

U

E

N

E

W

injury that would make us vulnerable in the wild and we were locked up, for the rest of our lives, possibly in pain, not able to fly free, no contact with our family… it’s kinder to end what could become a life of suffering and misery and put the welfare of the bird first and not our fragile feelings. Our role is as rehabilitators and if a bird simply cannot be rehabilitated to return to the wild then we have to take the decision to do the right thing for that bird, as hard as that might be. And yes, you will cry. And yes, you will feel guilty. But you will get over it and you will have done the right thing. HOW TO AVOID HUMAN IMPRINTING

S

• Avoid any contact whatsoever with domestic family pets. Birds need to be afraid of cats and dogs not start to see them as harmless friends. • Provide leaf litter for birds to forage though. Release some insects into it for them to hunt. • Offer native browse to nectivores so they become accustomed to. It will also attract insects. • For meat eaters like kookaburras it is possible to tie the tail of a dead mouse with a long length of fine string and drag it in the enclosure to teach weaned birds how to hunt. (use only mice that have been specifically farmed and humanely killed for this – available from pet stores frozen)

Imprinting can and does occur when th e b ir d b eliev es , b y h u man conditioning, that humans are their natural parents. This can have a devastating impact on any baby you are planning to release into the wild. It will form a dependency on humans for food, not everyone likes wild birds squarking to be fed at 6am on a Sunday morning. Baby birds need to learn to find their own food by hunting and scratching around.

• Do not ‘mother’ the baby. Birds do not like being picked up and cuddled anyway and it is not necessary. • Try not to make too much eye contact while feeding. Use a sock over your feeding hand, sew a couple of button like eyes on it to resemble a bird. • Buddying up really helps avoid dependency on humans forming. RESCUE NEWS


R

E

S

C

U

E

N

E

W

S

WHEN’S A STICK NOT A STICK? The stick insects are also commonly known as Walking Sticks. The insects within this order are large to very large. This order includes the stick insects and leaf insects. They tend to resemble sticks, twigs or leaves. Usually they are green or brown in colour. They spend much of their time hanging motionless in plants, shrubs or trees. Even if they move, they sway slightly, as if caught by the movement of the wind. They are not easily seen for their camouflage. Stick insects have powerful mandibles. They are herbivorous, they eat plant leaves only, usually feed on broad-leaved plants. In general, females are much larger than males. The male can fly, but the female can only glide. Stick insects prefer a humid environment, remember to mist the leaves constantly with a spray bottle if you keep them. The stick insect egg or ova has a very characteristic form. It has a very hard and tough shell. There is a cap at one end, called a capitulum, which the baby insect pushes off when it comes out of the egg case. In general, most stick insect eggs look like seeds. Some ants will even pick them up and keep them as if they are real seeds. Most stick insects just drop their eggs onto the ground. The stick insects will undergo various moulting stages. After each moult, they will usually eat their shedded skin, as this contains protein. They are amongst a small number of insects that can regenerate lost appendages. Usually they are active at night. During the day they lay still on on the tree or shrub.

I managed to get a photo of this magnificent wee beastie (above left) the other weekend in my garden...it looks like a Macleays Spectre Leaf insect but I am prepared to be corrected! It’s amazing what we can find in our back yards, if we just take a really close look! Ed

RESCUE NEWS

11


R

E

S

C

U

E

N

E

W

S

BUILDING A FLIGHT AVIARY ON A BUDGET One of the things I really wanted to do as a rehabilitator was build a big flight aviary. The bigger the better! My goal is 15m long so that my birds can build up their flight muscles after recovering from whatever brought them into care. Large flight aviaries are expensive undertakings and when I was researching prices I was looking at thousands of dollars - it just wasn’t going to happen. Then I had a brain wave - temporary car shelters! Bingo! They are constructed of tubular steel and are really easy to erect. So off to Supacheap Auto and purchase one at cost of around $140. Stage 1. Assemble frame where it’s going to finally end up. Stage 2. Purchase Shade cloth - as high UV protection as you can afford. Stretch over roof area and stitch into place. We used 20lb fishing line and an upholstery needle. Stage 3. Purchase more shade cloth for the walls and ends. Temporarily attach to frame with cable ties. Stitch into place keeping tension on the shade cloth at all times . Remove ties afterwards. Stage 4. For the base of the walls I used old hardwood timbers I had saved from somewhere or other (knew they would come in handy one day). Dig a trench and bury at least half of the timber in the soil. Make timber pegs at least twice as long as the remaining height of the timber boards and hammer into the ground like tent pegs. You need to do this front and back. Tension the shade cloth as you secure it to the timber using shade cloth staples (available at bunnings). 12

RESCUE NEWS


R

E

S

C

U

E

N

E

W

S

Stage 5. Construct a simple door frame from recycled timber. Stage 6. Make a simple timber frame door and cover with shade cloth. Either using sliding bolts back and front of door or hasp and staple securing latches. (see opposite) Stage 7. Tension and secure a high UV tarp over 1/3 of the roof. Use Cable ties. Stage 8. Bury large dead branches in an upright position to create perching areas. Here I have also used dead branches horizontally too. Stage 9. At the sheltered end I created a bit more shelter by using recycled polycarbonate sheeting on the back walls and attached using cable ties. Stage 10. Plant a couple of native trees. Stage 10. Ensure that there is some leaf litter on the floor. Birds like magpies, butcher birds, kookaburras love to go through it and it also encourages bug life. All that remains now is to check the perimeter and ensure that everything is safe and secure. Provide shallow, large water containers for drinking and bathing. I have also put in some stumps to create lower perching areas. Because I used shade cloth this aviary is obviously not suitable for parrots. However, it will suit most other birds and because it’s shade cloth Kookaburras would fair well in it. The whole project cost approx. $700 from start to finish. Its dimensions are 6 x 3 x 3.97m. With basic tools, and a friend to help, this project requires minimal knowledge of construction. It is easy to take down and re-assemble if necessary and it can be built in a weekend...if you put your mind to it! The rewards are fantastic and your birds will have a great space to recoup in. (suitable for bats, gliders etc too) Ed. RESCUE NEWS

13


R

Jardín de las Águilas – Eagle Gardens Anyone who knows me really well, knows that I have a passion for raptors, and if I could work with any species of bird it would be the hawks, eagles and owls that I would choose.

E

S

C

U

E

N

E

W

S

free flies every day, like all the birds in Jurgen’s care. On one occasion, Willy just didn’t come home. Jurgen was quite worried about Willy but just when he was almost given up on seeing him again in flies Willy, along with six other griffon vultures! Willy had obviously made the flight across the Mediteranean to North Africa and convinced these six birds to come and see where he lived! They stayed for a few days and then the six flew back to their home and Willy stayed with Jurgen.

To keep his work going, Jurgen puts on daily falconry shows for the tourists that flock to this part of Spain. He is a dedicated, passionate person and if you are every in Southern Spain call in and see him. Ed

In 2000-2001 I did a European Tour and in Southern Spain I came across the most wonderful raptor sanctuary, tucked away on top of Mt. Calamorro, Quite by accident I stumbled across the Jardin de las Aguilas and what was more extraordinary was the fact that friend of mine, Mike the bird man, was sitting at the entrance painting a new welcome sign! Mike is a highly accomplished bird artist and he had fallen in love with this place many years before and had got to know In November 2007, the centre achieved a unique hatching in the Jurgen and the work he does . world when a couple of Buzzard Eagles, Geranoaetus melanoleucus, deviated away from their usual breeding season and hatched an egg in November. The Buzzard Eagle, a native of South America, is also Unfortunately, Spain has a pretty sometimes known as the Chilean poor track record when it comes to Blue Eagle. wildlife and Jurgen has spent many years rescuing and rehabilitating The centre has also provided a number of Red Kites to South Wales birds of prey. and southern England as part of efforts to reintroduce the species into During my visit I met a very special the UK. Griffon Vulture named Willy. Willy 14

RESCUE NEWS


R

E

S

C

U

E

N

E

W

S

LEGENDS OF OUR TIME In my life, from my childhood right through to this present day, there are three ‘Legends of Wildlife’ that have made an impact on me and my love of the world around me. There’s also a fourth person who wasn’t a wildlife legend but who gave up his family inheritance (infact he was dis-owned by his wealthy family) because he wanted to work with animals and not become a ‘professional’. He worked with horses all his life and was passionate about the countryside and that person was my father.

My second WILDLIFE LEGEND is Dr David Bellamy! What can I say about this giant of a man who made exploring the world of wildlife absolutely fun! He was always ‘in the under-growth’, but as anyone who knows of David will also know he has a voice which has been impersonated over the years because of his somewhat inability to pronouce ‘th’! He was always fun, energetic and enthusing his absolute passion for wildlife.

My first WILDLIFE LEGEND is Sir David Attenborough. He is probably responsible, more than any other person, for bringing the world around us into our homes.

I remember loving his programmes through the 1970’s as a kid and I still love them today in 2012. Back in the 70s he was making the world accessible to the ordinary person and revealing secrets that astounded us. Today, his documentaries are still revealing a world we know so little about and technology and the advances in cinematography allow us to experience ever more of our great blue planet.

He was responsible for children everywhere wanting to explore their world, their backyard and find out what lived ‘in the under-growth’.

I was once sitting on a flight across from David Bellamy. It was a long flight from from London to Dubai..I had every opportunity of telling him what an impact he made on me....but I didn’t and I truly regret it now. Through the late 70s and the 80s he made a difference to the education of ordinary people and he made a difference to the world around us. Both of these men deserve the title Legend.

RESCUE NEWS

15


R

E

S

C

U

E

N

E

W

S

My third WILDLIFE LEGEND is undoubtedly Steve Irwin. My first visit to the Zoo was in 2000. At that stage it still had the little entrance at the front, there was no Crocoseaum , no Elaphantasia or tigers, but it was the home of the crocodile hunter and I was really excited to be there. I had not heard of Steve until I came to Australia on that holiday but I heard a lot about this wild man and wanted to see him. That day in May 2000 I did indeed see one of his croc shows and my first impression of him was how passionate he was. My second impression was where does all that energy come from?

Steve really has changed the world through his conservation work, work that was started off by his father Bob and mother Lyn. Since those early days the Irwin name has become synonymous with education for conservation, for protecting the environment and the habitat within it, whether at home or overseas. SAVE ONE, SAVE THE SPECIES. How many children the world over do not know the name Steve Irwin? This is the global impact this powerhouse of a man generated and his legacy is being carried on through the continuing work of his wife Terri and children Bindi and Robert. There will never be another Steve Irwin but he started a huge ball rolling that has touched the hearts and minds of people throughout the world about the importance of taking care of our wildlife and HE has inspired us to take action. What an extraordinary human being he was - what an infectious character. He was who he was, a passionate man who put his money where his mouth was and got out there and did something about the dangers our wildlife faces - and he got our attention! He got the world’s attention. Ed 16

RESCUE NEWS


R

E

S

C

U

E

N

E

W

S

REMEMBERING THE LIFE OF RUSSELL E. TRAIN 1920-2012 Russell E. Train was founder and chairman emeritus of World Wildlife Fund. One of the most influential and well-known leaders in American conservation, Train served as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under Presidents Nixon and Ford, before becoming president and chairman of World Wildlife Fund from 1978 to 1990. He had been a founding director of WWF in 1961. He became chairman of the Board of Directors of World Wildlife Fund and of The Conservation Foundation in 1985, continuing in that position when the two institutions merged formally as WWF in 1990. Train was elected WWF chairman emeritus in September 1994 and served as chairman of the WWF National Council from 1994 to 2001. Under his guidance, World Wildlife FundUS grew from a small, primarily grant-making organization into a global conservation force with over 1 million members.

Department of the Interior from 1969 He passed away on September 19th. to 1970. This article has been sourced from Train was the first chairman of the the WWF website. Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) in the Executive Office of the President from 1970 to 1973, before becoming Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from 1973 to 1977. While at the CEQ and EPA, Train oversaw the creation and implementation of much of the legislation that would become the basis for environmental policy in the United States, from clean air and water laws to the Toxic Substance Control Act. His visionary leadership brought new attention to land use concerns, delivered innovative international agreements on endangered species and pollution control, and helped bring the issue of the environment to the broad attention of the American public. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1991 in recognition of his work in conservation. His commitment to conservation actively continues through the Russell E. Train Education for Nature Program, an endowment established in his honor by WWF to provide financial support and educational training to the next generation of international conservation leaders.

Earlier, following service in World War II, he served the Congress as attorney on the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation, as chief of staff of the House Ways and Means Committee and later as Minority Advisor of the committee, as Assistant to the Secretary and Head of the Legal Advisory Staff of the Treasury Department and as a judge Vi e w t r i b u t e s i n h o n o r a n d of the U.S. Tax Court. remembrance of Russell E. Train from people around the world whose Travels to Africa strengthened a lives have been impacted by him and passion and respect for wildlife, and his work in conservation. We invite Train founded the African Wildlife you to contribute and share your own Leadership Foundation in 1961. He thoughts too. became President of The Conservation Foundation from 1965 Memorial contributions may be made to 1969 and Under Secretary of the to the Russell E. Train Education for Nature Program. RESCUE NEWS

17


R

E

S

C

U

E

N

E

W

S

I wonder if anyone remembers the them, mum and dad did it all, and days, or at least I hear them if I don’t front page cover of issue 3? what an amazing job they did. see them. Some people asked me was I going to keep them - that was never my intention. I had always hoped I would be able to release them and that they would become ‘wild’ birds and join the flock of sulphur crested cockatoos that live very close to my home.

It proved to me that given the right environment, nutrition and faith that nature knows exactly what to do, captive born birds and animals can be successfully released into the wild and live fulfilled lives as they should, completely wild.

I can only wonder at how it must feel The photo above is the proof I was to raise tiger cubs, elephants, apes Does this picture ring any bells? waiting for. I took this picture a and then be able to release them These are two baby cockatoos that I couple of days after I soft released knowing that they are free. raised in captivity. Mum and Dad are them. My little triumph is really in long term care with me and quite They have an incredible bond, as you insignificant in the great scheme of accidentally...she laid two eggs and things but it has taught me so much before I had a chance to take them can see. away two very ‘ugly’ babies hatched. They have been living wild now for and I am always so heartened when I They were all beak but so delightful. almost three months and sure enough see these two young birds fly I didn’t interfere with the raising of they have hooked up with the local overhead - free. Ed cockies. I see Pinky & Perky most 18

RESCUE NEWS

Austraian Wildlife News  

Issue 6 Australian Wildlife News by Claire Smith. Originally an email newsletter called Rescue News, it is evolving into a magazine.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you