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April 2013

FEATURE! Plovers in care FEATURE! Zoodoo A curious Adult Plover. Photographed by Robyn Gates

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• Small Carnivore Food for insectivorous species, made as a moist crumbly mix. • Lorikeet & Honeyeater Food for nectivorous species (eg gliders, pygmy possums) made up as a liquid nectar.


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About the Artist... Mel Hills is a locally grown artist who grew up in Orford and went to school at Triabunna. She has persistently lurked about the East Coast ever since. Mel specialises in wildlife art, scientific illustration and watercolour landscapes. Murals are also a sideline. A need to explore, discover and understand led Mel to link studies in both art and science. She says “For me there is no boundary between the two disciplines; both require observation, analysis and experimentation. They’re very complementary.”

The Inspiration “I love to share my joy in the landscape and the wonders that surround us. I get a bit caught up in the detail of pieces sometimes, wanting to get it just right. I love the challenge of trying to capture the essence of something and show that to others.

I’m just a kid who likes to say “hey, look at how cool THIS is” all the time. ”

The Creation Mels' favourite tools are her sketchbook, camera and her microscope. (Although the microscope is a little less portable.) Of her images she says, “Each image comes together differently. Some are achieved on the spot, when I have a close encounter with a creature that captures my attention. My landscapes are increasingly influenced by the plein-air sketching I love to do. Generally though, things are a little slower. Often I have an idea for an image and it will take me months or years to gather enough information to create the painting. I do a lot of field sketching, where I gather information about habits and behaviours. I also take lots of photos and use museum specimens to ensure

details are correct. Once I have all the information, the finished image is roughed out and then built up in successive layers in order to get the complexity, depth and detail required. ”

What’s next? In the future I’d love to explore a total landscape more fully. – It would be fun to do an Antarctic study, or study an island such as Macquarie, or Maatsuyker – in all weathers, with all their occupants. Exploring the Desert and the Kimberley are also ideas that have been growing in my mind for some years. Then there are also those bugs I keep drawing, I might have to do something with them..

For more information about Mel, her product range or to just check out some images please visit her web site: www.melhillswildart.com.au


Publisher’s words Our magazine has a whole lot of information to share. Some of our readers experienced difficulties downloading the full version of the magazine. So, we have made a decision to take this magazine from bi-monthly to monthly and in addition, offer two versions of the magazine. We intend to keep on offering a free magazine and keep its size close to 10mb. As a result it will not be as large to download. The good news is the larger magazine is going to be available for our subscribers inside our 'Subscribers Only Area'. Where we are going to add extra articles, detailed plans on how to build enclosures, wombat doors for fences, updates on stories that were previously in the magazine and so much more. We hope that many of our readers will support us by subscribing with us. Since our magazine is provided for free, it may seem subscribing isn't all that important. Nothing could be further from the truth. As a subscriber, you're going to get weekly emails from us with handy tips, updates about the latest issue release, you get to choose the latest front cover and receive the magazine days before everybody else does, in addition, we will highlight some of the better Wildlife Rescue Magazine

postings on our website, subscribers get access to the bonus downloads for each issue, which can include some exciting issue extras (like detailed plans for making a wombat enclosure, exciting photos e.g. an echidna train etc...). We intend to reduce the magazines large size and put articles within the bonus content for the issue to prevent the magazine itself from getting too large. Plus, becoming a subscriber includes the opportunity to win more prizes. If you value the magazine each issue and desire there was more, then you should become a subscriber and visit our website off and on throughout the month. Many of the blog articles on our website rival the magazine as to quality and helpful insight! Finally, there's great value to Wildlife Rescue Magazine through a reader that subscribes. Although the magazine is free and subscribing is a small fee, a larger subscriber number helps draw more advertisers to us. So if you've ever considered you like Wildlife Rescue Magazine well enough you'd even pay for it, then here's your chance to do something that's just as good: Become a subscriber. Click HERE to subscribe? TODAY! (link: http://wildliferescuemagazine.com/ subscribe-today.html) we have still on offer a chance for you to win an amazing Koala giclee print just for subscribing with us! In our last issue we had a lovely prize of a stunning set of earrings of the 'Tasmanian Devil

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April 2013

v1n6 Part B

Andrea Devos

Pawprint' offered by Rocklily Wombats (see ad on page 4). We are proud to announce the winner is: Bronwyn Hillhouse Did you know? All story writers in our magazine receive a free book prize? This issue 'Puggle in a Pocket' by Kevin Baker was the prize and we are delighted to be posting a copy to the following authors: Sue Holman, Stef Randall, Lynda Staker, Nora Preston and Linda Dennis. Further we offer a book prize to the story which is liked best in the magazine - so if you love a story that you have read in Part A or Part B please vote for them on page 79. The offer this issue is the gorgeous hard cover book by Jill Morris from Greater Glider Productions name: The Mahogany Glider, illustrated by Sharon Dye in pencil and watercolour on coffee-stained paper. Winner of Issue 5 - Readers’ Choice Story was 'Lynda Staker' with her lovely story and photos - "Kooky's New Beak" - we will be sending you the great childrens book by Jill Morris - 'Kookaburra School' Next issue story writers will be receiving an adorable children's book by Jill Morris called: Silly Baby Magpie - a comical adventure of a magpie fledgling who has to learn the skills to survive, Colourfully illustrated throughout by Heather Gall - so send your stories with photos into us today - wildliferescuemagazine@gmail.com

Wildlife Rescue Magazine Publisher/Advertising 0413 587 613 Email info@wildliferescuemagazine.com Website www.wildliferescuemagazine.com Wildlife Rescue Magazine is published six times per year. Publisher Wildlife Rescue Magazine Phone: 0413 587 613 Website: www.wildliferescuemagazine.com Editor andrea@wildliferescuemagazine.com Andrea Devos Production Artizen Image Design, Brisbane, Queensland Advertising Wildlife Rescue Magazine Phone: 0413 587 613 Email advertising@wildliferescuemagazine.com Website: www.wildliferescuemagazine.com © 2013 The materials in this publication constitute Wildlife Rescue Magazine copyright. Unless otherwise indicated, you MAY download the full magazine, store in cache, distribute, display, print and reproduce materials from this magazine in an unaltered form only (retaining this notice and any headers and footers that appear with the original materials) for your personal, noncommercial use or use within your organisation. No part of this publication may be reproduced or reprinted in any form or by any means for Commercial Use without the prior written permission of the publisher. Copyright Act 1968 ©Wildlife Rescue Magazine 2013 If you have questions about the use of this magazine or would like to apply for permission to use articles from this magazine for commercial use, please contact: info@wildliferescuemagazine.com The intellectual rights in all new material vests in the author or creator of such material. Apart from any use permitted under the Copyright Act, no part of this publication may be reproduced by any process, or any exclusive right exercised, without the written permission of Wildlife Rescue Magazine. Authors warrant that they are the owner of all intellectual property rights relating to all material supplied by them, their officers, servants and agents to Wildlife Rescue Magazine. Authors hereby indemnify Wildlife Rescue Magazine in respect of all actions, proceedings, claims and demands made against Wildlife Rescue Magazine by any person arising from the use by Wildlife Rescue Magazine of any material submitted to Wildlife Rescue Magazine by the authors, their officers, servants and agents for publication in Wildlife Rescue Magazine. The articles represent the view of the authors and the editorial represents the view of the editor. Other opinions expressed in this journal are not necessarily those of the Editor or Wildlife Rescue Magazine. Please note that the material presented in this online magazine has been prepared for the general information of the reader and should not be used or relied upon for specific applications without first securing competent advice. Wildlife Rescue Magazine, its members, authors, staff and consultants, do not represent or warrant its suitability for any general or specific use and assume no responsibility of any kind in connection with the information here in. WARRANTY & INDEMNITY – Authors, advertisers and/or advertising agencies upon and by lodging material with the Publisher for publication or authorising or approving of the publication of any material INDEMNIFY the Publisher, its servants and agents, against all liability claims or proceedings whatsoever arising from the publication and without limiting the generality of the foregoing to indemnify each of them in relation to defamation, slander of title, breach of copyright, infringement of trademarks or names of publication titles, unfair competition or trade practices, royalties or violation of right to privacy AND WARRANTY that the material complies with all relevant laws and regulations and that its publication will not give rise to any rights against or liabilities in the Publisher, its servants or agents and in particular that nothing therein is capable of being misleading or deceptive or otherwise in breach of Part V of the Trade Practices Act 1974. ADVERTISING CONDITIONS - See advertising rates available at www.wildliferescuemagazine.com

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Contents

v1n6 Part B

Articles

Feature stories COVER STORY

27 A writing life for wildlife

12 Rescue, rehabilitation and release of the plover

Jill Morris

Readers’ stories 34 Brushtails Popcorn and Bob Amelie Doram

Andrea Devos

COVER STORY

66 RFID in wildlife

39 Zoodoo

Dr Doug Black

Andrea Devos

WIN  A  PRIZE!

65 Win a Koala giclee print WIN  A  PRIZE!

38 $100 worth of Burston Blue Teats

Wildlife Rescue Magazine

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Teat Size and Description Price A Teat 2 Coats $ 3.50 B Teat 2 Coats $ 3.50 B Teat 3 Coats $ 5.00 C Teat 2 Coats $ 3.50 E Teat 3 Coats $ 5.00 F Teat 3 Coats $ 5.00 2 Coats are suitable for Young Animals Only Teat Size and Description Price #1 Teat 2 Coats $ 3.50 #2 Teat 2 Coats $ 3.50 #2 Teat 3 Coats $ 5.00 #3 Teat 2 Coats $ 3.50 #3 Teat 3 Coats $ 5.00 #4 Teat 3 Coats $ 5.00 #5 Teat 3 Coats $ 5.00 2 Coats are suitable for Young Animals Only Comforts Small Medium Large

Comforts Extra Soft $ 3.00 $ 3.00 Small $ 4.00 $ 4.00 Medium $ 5.00 $ 5.00 Large

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A conference focusing on all aspects of wildlife rehabilitation Research findings, translocation and conservation of wild koalas http://www.koalahospital.org.au/

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Rescue, rehabilitation and release of the plover

Andrea Devos

An adult plover. Photographed by Robyn Gates

Wildlife Rescue Magazine

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April 2013

v1n6 Part B

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P

lovers and dotterels are a widely distributed group of wading birds belonging to the subfamily Charadriinae, they make up about 40 species and the closely related lapwing subfamily, Vanellinae, comprises another 20-odd species, these all come from the bird family Charadriidae which includes the plovers, dotterels, and lapwings, about 64 to 66 species in all. The Rescue, Rehabilitation and Release information in this article can be used for ALL species of plovers, dotterels and lapwings. Plovers are found throughout the world, and are characterised by

The Hooded Plover

Hooded plover (Thinornis rubicollis) Photographed by Jeremy Ringma

T

A Masked Lapwing in care. Photographed by Liz Nathan Wildlife Rescue Magazine

he Hooded Plover was once also known as the Hooded Dotterel. The Hooded Plover (eastern) forages near the shoreline in coastal areas, eg on beaches, rock or reef platforms, amongst boulders and dunes, and at lakes close to the coast. It captures its prey by running across the surface of a foraging substrate and intermittently stopping to peck or probe at prey items. The Hooded Plover (eastern) is capable of foraging during the day or at night.

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April 2013

v1n6 Part B

The diet of the Hooded plover (Thinornis rubicollis) (eastern) mainly consists of marine invertebrates (eg polychaete worms, molluscs and crustaceans). It also feeds on insects (eg beetles, flies, dragonflies) and vegetable material (mostly seeds). There are considered to be only 3000 breeding pairs left of the Hooded plover however their territory ranges on the South East shorelines â&#x20AC;&#x201C; from NSW right around to South Australia, including Tasmania. Their lifespan is as long as 16

years in the wild. The Hooded Plover (eastern) spends much of its time in a sitting position, but some birds undertake movements during the nonbreeding season, eg when congregating together into winter flocks. Pairs defend territories from other Hooded Plovers (eastern) during the breeding season. These territories, which consist of a small area near the shoreline (eg a section of beach and adjacent dunes), are multi-purpose and are used for foraging, roosting and breeding. The occupancy and, therefore, maintenance of territories declines during the non-breeding season as some birds congregate into winter flocks. Pairs that remain intact generally maintain territories and construct their nests in the same area. Many thanks to the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities website on Threatened Species for this up-todate information.

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relatively short bills. They hunt by sight, rather than by feel as longerbilled waders do. They feed mainly on insects, worms or other invertebrates, depending on habitat, which are obtained by a run-and-pause technique, rather than the steady probing of some other wader groups. The plover group of birds has a distraction display subcategorised as false brooding, pretending to change position, to sit on an imaginary nest site. A group of plovers may be referred to as a stand, wing, or congregation. A group of dotterels may be referred to as a trip. DESCRIPTION They are small to medium-sized birds with compact bodies, short, thick necks and long, usually pointed, wings, but most species of lapwing may have more rounded wings. Their bill are usually straight and short, their toes are short, hind toe could be reduced or absent, depending on species. Most Charadriidae also have relatively short tails. In most genera, the sexes are similar, very little sexual dimorphism occurs between sexes. They range in size from the Collared Plover, at 26g and 14cm (5.5in), to the Masked Lapwing, at 368g (13oz) and 35cm (14in). DISTRIBUTION AND HABITAT They are distributed through open country worldwide, mostly in Wildlife Rescue Magazine

Plover eggs. Photographed by Dean Wiles

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April 2013

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terms which were not applied with any habitats near water, although there are great consistency in the past. In some exceptions: the Inland Dotterel, general, larger species have often been for example, prefers stony ground in called lapwings, smaller species plovers the deserts of central and western or dotterels and there are in fact two Australia. clear taxonomic sub-groups: most They hunt by sight, rather than by lapwings belong to the subfamily feel. Foods eaten include aquatic and Vanellinae, most plovers and dotterels terrestrial invertebrates such as insects, to Charadriinae. worms, molluscs and crustaceans The trend in recent years has been depending on habitat, and are usually to rationalise the common names of obtained by a run-and-pause the Charadriidae. For example, the technique, rather than the steady large and very probing of some common Australian other wader bird traditionally groups. They Generally the plover parent known as the ‘Spuralso feed on plant will pick up edible morsels winged Plover’, is material. While and drop them in front of the now the Masked Lapwing; the breeding, they chick and this method of former ‘Sociable defend their feeding should be imitated Plover’ is now the territories with while in care. Sociable Lapwing. highly visible Precocial aerial displays. chicks will in time Charadriidae are feed themselves, but will need to be protective over their eggs and shown how initially. Because most offspring. The parents protect their species need a high protein starter diet young by uttering an alarm call, and have a preference to peck at red, performing distraction display and green and yellow objects. they may even attack the predator or An aquarium or cardboard box is intruder. Both parents take care of ideal as it can be heated and kept their offspring. The chicks are covered. Temperature is important, precocial; their parents do not feed and initially it should be about 32oC them. Most species are monogamous, in part of the enclosed aquarium or while less are polygamous. box. This temperature can gradually Most members of the family are be lowered, as the feathers grow, until known as plovers, lapwings or it is equivalent to the outside dotterels. These were rather vague

R8R R8R

Wildlife Rescue Magazine

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April 2013

v1n6 Part B

Beware the spur on the Spur-winged Plover (Masked Lapwing). To protect their eggs and chicks from intruders they will use this spur to attack. Photographed by Robyn Gates

temperature. A desk lamp with a 40 watt globe can be suspended over one end of the box or aquarium and a heat pad can also be placed under the warmed section. They must have enough room to get away from the heat if they become too hot. The little birds themselves will tell you how they feel. Their behaviour indicates the correctness of the temperature: if vigorously pursuing their routine activities, they are perfectly comfortable; if huddled under the light and peeping distressfully, they are too cold; if pressed as far as possible from the source of the heat and panting they are too hot.

Precocial birds are stressed by alien sights and noises and are best caged in quiet areas, away from other animals and work areas. A visual barrier, such as a towel, should be placed over the front of the cage, and a feather duster taped to the corner of the box is a fantastic de-stresser.. Flooring cleanliness is extremely important in order to keep the birds’ feet in good condition as they tend to walk through the food. Young plovers do well with a somewhat rough substrate such as astroturf. If their substrate is smooth, such as newspaper, they have difficulty standing and may develop splayed legs. Page 15


A setup for a Lapwing chick in care can include thermostat, heat pad, fluff for hiding, lamp, mirror, etc... Photographed by Liz Nathan

If you are able to bring them up in a group (more than one) this will help them to learn to feed faster and give much needed comfort. Photographed by Almosta Farm

Precocial chicks can also be housed on polystyrene foam (such as that sold by hardware shops for ironing boards), it is absorbent, it is not slippery, and it is easy to wash and dries very quickly. Long-legged waders such as herons also do well on astroturf. Water should be in a non-slippery shallow dish. We have asked Wildlife Carers from around Australia to give us some tips on what they do when they get a Plover, Lapwing or Dotterel in care: Here are some tips from New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria... Baby Plovers don't seem to come in Wildlife Rescue Magazine

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April 2013

v1n6 Part B

all that frequently, usually some well meaning member of the public has rescued them from being on the ground, when all the while that is exactly where they are supposed to be. If you can put them back in the spot they came from, then please do. Just wait for their parents to show and let them run off. If however that is not an option, then you will need to provide them with shelter and heat. I found large wooden boxes to be best for little plovers, but you could use an aquarium or cardboard box. They are easy to keep warm, and out of draughts. Beware though, they can jump really high for their small size, so the box needs high sides and a Page 16


Plovers have a tendency of walking through their food.

secure top. I found a thick mosquito net draped over the top with a loop of elastic securing it works well. Part of the top can be covered with a towel and moved back or forward to regulate heat and light etc. Heat can be in the form of an overhead lamp that they can huddle under, or a heat pad up one end (they must be able to get away from the heat if they need to), or even an old earthenware flower pot with holes drilled in the bottom and a light fitting inserted into it is also great (beware cheap plastic light fittings â&#x20AC;&#x201C; they will melt and cause a fire â&#x20AC;&#x201C; old bakelite ones are great). They need a pie plate under Wildlife Rescue Magazine

Photograph by Amanda Hall

them. If the plover is too hot it will be as far from the heat as it can be (reduce heat), or if it is cold it will be huddled up close to the heat and peeping distressfully. The plover will also need a surrogate mum, like an old feather duster. Plovers look after themselves pretty much from the day they hatch (precocial). They learn to fend for themselves by copying their parents. The parents do not feed them. To teach them to hunt and chase is not too difficult. I usually have their box lined with newspaper, a towel or similar up the warm end, and a shallow (not slippery) dish of water up the other. White paper

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April 2013

v1n6 Part B

Banded Plover chicks hatching.

(butchers or computer paper) with some finely chopped up grass placed on it (sparsely at first), then sprinkle some Insectivore, turkey crumbles and chopped up meal worms on the paper and tap the paper (finger or tweezers). After a few minutes they will get interested and usually start pecking straight away. Sprinkle a small amount of Insectivore on their back as well, and when they preen themselves they are getting the taste and goodness of the Insectivore. They also do well on a mix of egg and biscuit, parrot rearing mix and insectivore. Within a few days small live

Photographed by John Dart

As seen here in this pic the chick blends in well with the undergrowth. Photograph courtesy of Gladstone & District Wildlife Carers Assoc. Page 17


mealworms replace the chopped up ones. Any live insects can be introduced, including crickets and earthworms, usually avoiding slaters and coloured beatles. Keep the floor clean to protect their feet. Within a few weeks (about 4 weeks old) they can go into an aviary through the day, the mealworms can be thrown on the ground and they will search them out. Place plenty of leaf litter in the aviary and a cardboard box at the back with one end open so they have a place to hide. They can now have a larger shallow pond. As soon as they can fly and feed themselves they can be released, preferably in an area where there are others, as they will and do adopt youngsters. They can be released from around 8 weeks old. Trish Mathers, wildlife carer, Qld I have successfully raised plovers from one day old. I started off feeding them mealworms, if they won't eat by themselves I force feed them mealworms, they soon get the hint and start feeding themselves. Usually when they first come in they are very distressed and constantly call for their parents, I have solved this problem by wrapping them up next to a hot water bottle to comfort them. I had great luck placing quail in with one of mine, if you don't have quail (small king quail) day old chicks can be used, they taught him Wildlife Rescue Magazine

I have raised many lapwings from tiny chicks. They are totally independent from the moment they hatch and are quite ferocious little hunters. I use guinea pig hutches with a heat lamp at one end with a feather duster propped up so they can nuzzle into it and a shallow dish of water at the other end. I have tried lining the hutch with several different materials but I find a bit of dirt and mulch from my garden is the best as they find tiny organisms that we can't see in the mulch. At first they need live food to stimulate them to hunt (mini meal worms and small earth worms and pin head crickets). They also eat seeds and can be taught to eat mince and insectivore mix once they settle into a routine and regard me as their food source. They are hardy little birds and I find them quite easy to raise. Heather Frankcom, bird carer, Wildcare Australia, Qld

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April 2013

v1n6 Part B

Ideal box for plovers, with water-bed heater on one side, you can also line with paper, soft cloth and surrogate mum (feather duster) near heater, water on opposite side. Photographed by Trish Mathers

Plovers 10 minutes old.

Photo courtesy of Gladstone & District Wildlife Carers Assoc. Page 18


One day old Plover. Photographed by Ebony Pitman

Here is a picture of one I raised with 3 curlews and when I released them in my yard, he thought he was a curlew for quite a long time. Photographed by Ebony Pitman

Plover chick. Photographed by Ebony Pitman Wildlife Rescue Magazine

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to peck at chick crumbles which I also place in the brooder so they have something to snack on in between the livefoods I feed 3 times a day. Once they have grown some feathers I place them in an outdoor aviary, they soon learn to forage more for food. I give them limited contact at this stage, only feeding livefoods twice a day (morning and night) with chick crumbles available at all times. Ebony Pitman, South Australia

Three eggs were rescued from a school by Von from Fauna Rescue and brought to me to hatch and raise. I raise plovers on garden worms and other insects in a shallow dish of water, they like to eat in shallow water and the moving of the bugs attracts their attention. I also give them chick starter which is what is in the dish that looks alot like sand/dirt/mud in the photos. If raising a single plover its a good idea to give them a stuffed toy - they like to snuggle. Amanda Hall, Fauna Rescue of South Australia Inc.

A shallow water dish is ideal. Photographed by Amanda Hall

Masked Lapwing chicks getting some sun. Photo by Liz Nathan

A bird vet told me: chicken starter, finch seed, and greens should comprise less than 20% of the ration - these beautiful birds are predominantly insectivores. Crickets are heaps better than mealworms. Earthworms are good as well. Like most insectivores that are rapidly growing, calcium supplementation and exposure to sunlight is critically important. May be some help. Jeannette Porritt, NSW Wildlife Rescue Magazine

I have not done a large number of these little guys, however we have had great success with the ones we have raised – at least 3 pairs now. It is easier if I just put what I know in point form for you! • you can attempt to raise one chick on its own but they are more successful in pairs • they require warmth and often like to snuggle up to a feather duster • they go crazy over meal worms – often if you are struggling to get them to eat when they first come in (which is usually the case) then break the meal worm in half and let the chick taste the gooey insides – that helps them to

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learn that it is food. • we used towels and papertowel for substrate when young – in a heat box is ideal – but will do fine in a box with a lamp as long as they can get away from the heat. • they don’t mind a bit of comfort for the first couple of days – a nurse never goes astray – however, they become very independent very quickly • as they grow we offer the meal worms in a bowl with a watery insectivore mix – they love finding the worms in the bowl and it gives them access to extra nutrients and minerals • they are mainly insectivorous so a

variety of insects is always satisfying for these guys • though predominately you will see them on land – they do like to have access to water to forage in – but we never worried if they weren’t that interested • they will need a big aviary to learn to fly in – we used sand as our substrate and had no problem with bumble foot • release site needs to be chosen wisely, ensure no other nesting plovers dominate the area. Release as close to their home range as possible – open grasslands with neighboring bushland is ideal. Often you only get Page 20


A Plover chick. Photographed by Daniel Coon

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As they grow we offer the meal worms in a bowl with a watery insectivore mix. Photographed by Daniel Coon

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Plover chick.Photographed by Robyn Gates

Head and damaged beak on pic - this is deadly to the bird. Pecking birds can not grip a worm and will starve if the beak is damaged. It does not grow back. Photographed by Robyn Gates

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to choose between paddocks and houses • if mother has laid eggs in unsafe place, do not relocate chicks or eggs to safer area as the mother will abandon. There will be cases where you will have no choice – the eggs and chicks would need to come into care in this instance. There are cases where the plovers have accepted chicks back – so it is always worth a try if safe to do so. - Melissa Zabinskas & Daniel Coon, Membership/Fundraising/ Training Co-ordinators, BADGAR Wildlife Rescue, Victoria If these chicks come in to care running and pecking they have a very good chance but if they are cold or not feeding or kept by the public at the wrong temperature and not fed correctly they will die very quickly. I make a big effort to get them back with the parent even after a day or two if at all possible. They cost a lot to feed with mealworms and time digging worms and they are a long time getting flight feathers and learning to fly. Cheers Robyn Gates We would like to thank Trish Mathers for making this article possible with her research, also Norma Henderson and her ebook – “Care of Chicks”. Also all the photographers and contributors mentioned throughout the article. Wikipedia.com was also a source of information for this article. Page 23


A Kanga A Day

Day 1311 September 2012: The glorious Tiffy - released in early 2009, her now somewhat irregular visits are typically after sunset when it's hard to get a good photo, but this week she surprised me in broad daylight. Photo by Brett Clifton

RECEIVE DAILY PICS AND STORIES LIKE THIS ONE Sign up to receive a free daily picture of Brett Clifton’s beautiful Eastern Grey Kangaroos also known as Forester Kangaroos in Tasmania. Email to brett@brettclifton.com


Elizabeth Cogley Australian Wildlife Artist ‘Kookaburras’ CLICK  HERE  to see more! www.ozwildart.com


Trowunna Wildlife Park

Trowunna has been conserving and rehabilitating native Tasmanian wildlife since 1979 and we have successfully rehabilitated countless orphaned native wildlife such as wombats, Tasmanian devils, quolls and a variety of birds to name a few. Trowunna has been operating successful breeding programs, specifically Tasmanian Devils and quolls for over the past 25 years. Trowunnaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Devil population is of highest priority due to the breeding success since 1985 and is recognised as one of the longest continuous breeding programs of any species in the world under studbook conditions. 1892 Mole Creek Road, Mole Creek, Tasmania 7304

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Telephone: +61 3 6363 6162 Fax: +61 3 6367 6213 E-mail: info@trowunna.com.au Page 26


A writing life for wildlife

Jill Morris

I have devoted my writing life to Australian wildlife and their natural habitats, which are so threatened by civilisation and ‘progress’. Most of my more than 100 published books focus on native Australian species, and especially those that are sadly extinct and those that are critically endangered or threatened. I have written stories and information books with a scientific background on wombats, koalas, kangaroos, bats, owls, frogs, numbats, gliders, possums, dugongs, Argonauts, nautiluses and many other native species. Especially wombats! My first picture storybook in 1970 was Harry the Hairy-nosed Wombat, which has now been rewritten and republished in an anthology of six stories, entitled Harry the Hairy-nosed Wombat and Other Australian Animal Tales. Since 1996 my husband and I have spent one month each year as caretakers of Epping Forest National Park (scientific), the home of the remaining Northern Hairy-nosed Wombats. When we began that work, there were 65 animals remaining; now there are 150. Thirteen have been successfully translocated to Yarran Downs, outside St George in southwestern Queensland (one of the original habitats) and three joeys have been born there – so the population is now much more secure. The Wombat Who Talked to the Stars, ‘told’ by one of those endangered wombats, has received a number of awards, including the Australian Award for Excellence in Educational Publishing (twice) and a Whitley award. Wildlife Rescue Magazine

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I have spent much of my writing life not at my desk but out in the field, studying the chosen animals in their own homes, or searching their known habitats for clues towards their survival; then working out innovative formats to entice children to read about them and share my passion. My four large format books on Australian Bats, Owls, Frogs & Kangaroos are used as major reference works in school libraries, brilliantly designed and illustrated by Lynne Muir. Golden Wombats, about the special family of Common (Barenosed) Wombats found on Flinders Island in Bass Strait, took nine years of research and arose from my discovery, while on holiday on the island, of a dead wombat beside a fence. There were intriguing details: the animal had been shot and its fur was a light golden colour, like that of a golden Labrador. Jane Burrell illustrated that book, and created a haunting double-page spread on scraper board for my poem which is told in two voices: the conservationist and the farmer: Who killed the wombat? Who shot the wombat with the golden fur Wildlife Rescue Magazine

Who fed on open fields beside the sea Who shared the world with echidna, possum, wallaby? Who lifted a rifle to the shoulder, Sighted, took aim? Who shot this marsupial trundler? Who killed this grass-nibbling

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burrower? Who forgot? And shot? I killed the wombat. So what? I shot the wombat. Why not?...... Mahogany the Mystery Glider, a

beautiful hardback book which also combines non fiction in a range of genres, relates my odyssey in North Queensland tracking down the owner of a glider skin found in a vat in the Queensland Museum: following in the footsteps of zoologist Steve Van Dyck, the scientist responsible for the solving of a modern mystery. I connected strongly to that one, as my publishing company is named after the larger Greater Glider. Illustrated by Sharon Dye, that book won an Environment Award from the Tasmanian-based Wilderness Scoiety. Four recent picture storybooks, collaborations with artist/illustrator Heather Gall, look at environmental issues closer to home. Koala Number One, Silly Baby Magpie! and Kookaburra School are all based on actual observations of mammals and birds on my 50-acre property outside Maleny, in the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast. I am constantly Page 28


working on the conservation, revegetation and regeneration of the largest remnant rainforest in the upper reaches of Obi Obi Creek. The fourth book with Heather, Platypus Deep, arose from an extremely local issue, a fiery battle between local conservationists and a well-known supermarket chain which, despite desperate community protest, built into a bend of the Obi Obi Creek known to be a major habitat of platypuses. Green Air, an innovative work illustrated with clay sculptures, celebrates my rainforest, our creek, and the Southern Platypus Frog Rheobatrachus silus which gave birth through the mouth and was found in our area but has been missing since 1981. I made Silus the

central character of a junior novel Frog Thunder (with my home as the setting), with dramatic black and white drawings by Heather Gall. My most recent picture storybooks on the ‘paper nautilus’ and the ‘real’ nautilus kept me busy for years with travel on dive boats and aquarium research to produce Argonauta Octopus Navigator and Nautilus, Pearl of the Deep. They are both beautiful books, as scientifically correct as I could make them, and opulently illustrated by Lynne Muir. In the USA, Nautilus won a Nautilus award! I am very proud of all these works, and trust that my books have raised awareness in young readers of the need to preserve our wildlife and its special habitats.

Over the past 25 years thousands of students have visited my home, The Book Farm, seeking inspiration for their own writing and their own journey as wildlife preservers and rescuers. I hope they all become as passionate about the environment as I am. All the books mentioned above are available from: Greater Glider Productions www.greaterglider.com.au PH 07 5494 3000 Email jill@greaterglider.com.au

Silly Baby Magpie Jill Morris

This is an amazing children’s book by Jill Morris – Silly Baby Magpie – a comical adventure of a magpie fledgling who has to learn the skills to survive. Colourfully illustrated throughout by Heather Gall – thank you to 'Greater Glider Productions' for once again donating to us this wonderful prize. To receive a FREE copy of this book – email us a wildlife rescue story complete with photos to andrea@wildliferescuemagazine.com and if your story is chosen to be published you will receive a copy of this book – FREE! Wildlife Rescue Magazine

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20% OFF subscriptions a n d yo u r c h a n c e t o WIN a g icle e print by Geraldine Simmons • Get the magazine before anyone else! • Exclusive competitions and prizes for subscribers only! • Choose the next front cover of the magazine! • Secret subscribers-only area!

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Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary TA S M A N I A Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary’s passion and work centres around helping our native wildlife survive. We thrive on educating as many people as possible about how we can all help save, rehabilitate and release injured animals. All of Bonorong’s ‘residents’ undergo meticulous assessments to ensure they are healthy and happy in our care.

Are you passionate about wildlife?

Would you like to become a wildlife rescuer?

Central to our work is Bonorong’s volunteer FOC Wildlife Program. (Friends of Carers, Friends of Critters, Free of Charge.) This is Tasmania’s first community run wildlife assistance service, designed to help our devoted volunteer carers and the many native animals in need. We are always looking for new volunteers to help nurse our wildlife back to health. Once trained for Bonorong’s FOC program, participants can register to become part of Bonorong’s rescue team, spread across Hobart and beyond so that when Bonorong receives a call about an injured creature on its wildlife hotline can look through the database of rescuers and find the closest person to the incident. Being a rescuer is very non-invasive. When an animal is reported orphaned or injured a group text is sent to all the volunteers in that area and people can choose to do the rescue or ignore it if they are busy. From that point animals are either taken to a vet or cared for by the rescuer for less than 24 hours, while Greg arranges for their transport to Bonorong where they are assigned to another group of local heroes, the wildlife carers! Find out more at www.bonorong.com.au/foc_program.html

Come and experience the ultimate Tasmanian wildlife evening! The ULTIMATE experience for any wildlife lover who thrives on the up close and personal experience! This two and a half hour fully guided feeding tour of the park has been a massive success this year and has received the most incredible feedback. You will be inside the enclosures with animals such as tawny frogmouths, golden possum, wombats, bettongs, sugar gliders and many more. Hand feed a Tasmanian devil! Most of our animals in Tasmania are nocturnal or awake at dusk and dawn. We time your exclusive tour to catch perfect viewing of all the animals. All across the park animals emerge from their daytime slumber and reclaim the night. Find out more at www.bonorong.com.au/night_tours.html


Brushtails – Popcorn and Bob

Amelie Doram

I

received a phone call from the local pub at Dunally Tasmania, about a brushtail possum who was clinging to their firebox chimney. She had all the fur stripped off the majority of her tail and all the long fur pulled out from the waist down, as you can see in the pics there was also a section where the muscles had been stripped down on the tail. It was very swollen when I got her. I commenced physio on her and was very pleased to see it worked. She has now been successfully released with a male who lost all his claws in a bushfire (yes they grew back and sharpened up with time and tender love and care). Then there was Bob, this poor fella was found clinging to his dead mother’s back – apparently he was so traumatised it took a while for him to settle into care, he used to scream in his sleep... BUT he is now a fully grown successful release. I have also added a funny pic of a female brushie who I soft released, she figured out how to open the back door, we had to put a stop to that … Here is a photo of her wondering why its not opening when she did it all right!!!!)

Bob now older and doing well. Wildlife Rescue Magazine

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Brushtail Possum with a very imaged tail. Photographed by Amelie Doram

A Female brushtail possum wondering why she cannot get into the house any longer. Photographed by Amelie Doram Wildlife Rescue Magazine

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VO TE Did you love this story - vote for your favourite story in Issue 6 part B. The winner will receive a wonderful book called "The Mahogany Glider" by Jill Morris. Wildlife Rescue Magazine

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Nutritionally complete. Just add water. Oxbowâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Critical Care for Herbivores, the world standard, grass-based recovery food, can be fed to herbivores with poor nutritional status resulting from illness or injury. This specially-formulated product contains all of the essential nutrients of a complete diet as well as high-fibre timothy hay to support proper gut physiology and digestion. Key Features: Powdered formula mixes easily to desired consistency; high in fibre and low in carbohydrates; high digestibility and palatability; easily flows through syringe; stabilised vitamin C and no added fat or sugar.

New Competition!!

Ideal for: Possums, Wombats, Koalas, Macropods, other Herbivorous Mammals and Reptiles. Please visit our website for more information and related wildlife articles: http://www.oxbowaustralia.com

Changing the way we feed our herbivores

Available from your veterinarian or directly from SAN with pre-approval from your vet.

Specialised Animal Nutrition Pty Ltd 2 Baraka Court, Mudgeeraba, Queensland 4213 Phone 07 5525 1014 Fax 07 5530 3817 Email us on enquiries@oxbowaustralia.com

$100 worth of "Burston Blue Teats" on offer. To enter, send in your cutest photo with a great caption!! Email: wildliferescuemagazine@gmail.com


Zoodoo â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a photo essay

Andrea Devos

Stephan Devos and Ruby at the Zoodoo Entrance. Photographed by Cameron Marriage

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I

f you want to see Australian animals AND Exotic animals while visiting Tasmania then the place to go is Zoodoo. A safari bus tour will take you around 80 acres of delight (included in entry fee) allowing you to get up close and personal to camels, ostriches, emus, ponies, sheep, goats and loads more... This park offers our beautiful Australian animals such as emus, kangaroos, wallabies, Tasmanian devils, quolls, possums, koalas, wombats etc... And they also offer exotic animals such as White African Lions, Bengal Tigers, Marmosets, Black-capped capuchins, crab-eating macques, ostrichs and you can even feed a lion cub for FREE. Tasmania is known for its rain â&#x20AC;&#x201C; so it is a delight to go to a place that thinks of the people and has covered areas. You can view the animals and stay dry. They have an undercover area for viewing the white African lions, the Bengal Tigers,spotted tailed quoll (also called the Tiger Quoll), eastern quolls, Tasmanian Devils. Plus their nocturnal house is fully enclosed which houses possums, gliders, snakes and lizards, my favourite was a gorgeous lace monitor they did a presentation on and we could pat and take photos of. They are very child friendly

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Indoor Playland with a merry-go-round, jumping castle and toddlers ball pit. Photographed by Cameron Marriage

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providing a HUGE undercover area with a FREE Indoor Playland which includes a merry-go-round, jumping castle and a toddlers ball pit, under the same roof is a delightful animal nursery where the kids can get close and personal to baby farm animals such as guinea pigs, rabbits, chickens, coloured chooks, roosters and there is bottle feeding of lambs too and so much more. The adults are not forgotten as they can enjoy a good selection at the cafe with their choice of beverage and food all undercover, with a gift shop, picnic and BBQ areas, daily keeper presentations, safari bus tours and free rides for the kids â&#x20AC;&#x201C; this place has it all. The bird avairies house macaws, canaries, masked african lovebirds, Australian king parrots, rainbow lorikeets, indian ringnecks, budgerigars, sulpher crested cockatoos, corellas, galahs, eastern rosellas and so many more. View the roaming magpie geese, cape barren geese, golden pheasants, peacocks, roosters and many more. Feed the fallow deer, eastern grey kangaroos, wallabies. We hope you enjoy the following photos and their captions will tell the story.

Stephan Devos having his fingers sucked by lambs at the indoor animal nursery. Photographed by Andrea Devos

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Little lambs sucking fingers while they wait for their milk bottles. Photographed by Andrea Devos

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A curious young goat - indoor animal nursery. Photographed by Andrea Devos

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A mother hen with her chicks - indoor animal nursery.

Guinea pigs - indoor animal nursery. Wildlife Rescue Magazine

Photo by Cameron Marriage

Photographed by Cameron Marriage

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Coloured chooks and Rooster - indoor animal nursery.

Rabbits - indoor animal nursery.

Photo by Cameron Marriage

Photographed by Cameron Marriage Page 44


David Joyce and Ruby having a bite to eat at the undercover cafe. Photographed by Andrea Devos

Enjoy the roaming Albino Peacock.

Peacocks roam the grounds.

Take the safari bus tour.

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Photographed by Andrea Devos

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Photographed by Cameron Marriage

Photographed by Andrea Devos Page 45


Get up close and personal to camels. Photographed by Cameron Marriage

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More camels.

Photographed by Cameron Marriage

An ostrich at Zoodoo. Wildlife Rescue Magazine

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Get close and personal with ostriches.

Photographed by Cameron Marriage

See farm animals in the great outdoors on your safari tour.

Photo by Cameron Marriage Page 47


Cameron feeding the kangaroo and fallow deer. Photographed by Andrea Devos Wildlife Rescue Magazine

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Ruby feeding the fallow deer. Photographed by Andrea Devos Wildlife Rescue Magazine

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Andrea feeding the fallow deer.

Photographed by Andrea Devos

See the wombats. Wildlife Rescue Magazine

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A wallaby.

Get up close and personal with a macaw.

Photographed by Morgan

Photographed by Stephan Devos Page 50


Cameron getting to pat of a large lace monitor after enjoying a great presentation at the reptile enclosure. Photographed by Andrea Devos Wildlife Rescue Magazine

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A lace monitorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tongue. Photographed by Andrea Devos Wildlife Rescue Magazine

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Feed the lion cub FREE.

Photographed by Cameron Marriage

Together since cubs - a beautiful pair of rare white African lions. Photo by Andrea Devos Wildlife Rescue Magazine

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Meet Bakari and Kiara â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the rare white African lions.

The female white African lion. v1n6 Part B

Photo by Andrea Devos

Photographed by Andrea Devos Page 53


The beautiful lion cub. Photographed by Andrea Devos Wildlife Rescue Magazine

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A big stretch. A male white African lion. Photographed by Andrea Devos Wildlife Rescue Magazine

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The stunning beauty of the large male white African lion. Photographed by Andrea Devos Wildlife Rescue Magazine

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Cameron in front of Tigerland at Zoodoo.

Photographed by Andrea Devos

Cameron taking photos in one of the covered viewing areas.

A large bengal tiger having a yawn.

Photographed by Andrea Devos

A large Bengal tiger. Tiger stripes are individually unique as the human finger print. Photographed by Andrea Devos

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Photo by Andrea Devos

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A bengal tiger enjoying a roll. Photographed by Sacha Wildlife Rescue Magazine

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Welcome to Monkeyland where you will see marmosets, Black-capped capuchins and crab-eating macques.

Marmoset.

Photographed by Cameron Marriage

Marmoset.

Eyes!

Photographed by Cameron Marriage

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An adorable black-capped capuchin so happy to have captured my finger. Photographed by Cameron Marriage Wildlife Rescue Magazine

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A Tasmanian devil showing us his powerful jaws and sharp teeth. Photographed by Andrea Devos Wildlife Rescue Magazine

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Young Tasmanian devils enjoying each other and the sun. Photographed by Andrea Devos Wildlife Rescue Magazine

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Magpie Goose

(Anseranas Semipalmata) Origin: native to Australia and New Guinea Lifespan: 30 years Diet: Consists mostly of aquatic plants as well as some small invertebrates, grains and foliage. Reproduction: Breeding season is usually from March to April but may vary according to rainfall. Males will usually pair with two females. Each laying 5 to 8 yellowish white eggs. Incubation lasts for 24-25 days. *The Magpie-goose is a waterbird usually found in large flocks in tropical wetlands, wading in shallow waters where they graze. All breeding takes place in Northern Australia but outside this time they wander further south, as far as northern New South Wales. *Huge flocks congregate to feed on flood plains. They prefer open country where approaching predators, such as dingoes, can be easily seen.

Magpie Goose. Photographed by Cameron Marriage

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RESCUED!

Rescued is the first book of its kind in describing and bringing attention to the unsung heroes of wild animal care – the wide range of wildlife rehabilitators throughout Australia and beyond who dedicate their lives to caring for wild animals who become orphaned, injured or sick. Many people don’t realise how emotionally and financially draining this work can be, or that wildlife rehabilitators generally receive no government support.

“Rescued! enthralls readers with true stories of sick, injured and orphaned Australian native animals and the unsung heroes who are prepared to step in to help them in their time of need. These stories combine to not only demonstrate the magnificence of Australia‛s wildlife but they carry a powerful message too – that every individua animal is unique and precious and that saving one animal is the stepping stone to saving an entire species. I encourage every Australian to read this book.” Gail Gipp, Manager – Australian Wildlife Hospital Rescued! is in a soft back format, with a collection of 43 true stories about the work of wildlife rehabilitators. The book has colour illustrations and includes contributions from wildlife rehabilitators, veterinarians and veterinary nurses who have a professional working role in animal care.

“This beautiful book is rich with wisdom, inspiration, and sound advice. It is education with a smile and an invitation to open your heart to the unique animals all around us. It is a tribute to those brave and compassionate people all over this country who give their time, money and love so selflessly to help those creatures whose suffering would otherwise go unnoticed and whose cause would go unchampioned. Their stories are pure joy.” Tania Duratovic - International Fund for Animal Welfare

This book is available NOW to purchase online for only $9.95 R.R.P. If you are a wildlife carer or organisation and are interested in purchasing copies to sell as a fundraising idea. This fantastic discounted price, allows you to sell the book at normal R.R.P of $15.95 or $19.95 at your Wildlife Centre.

“The book is based on true stories from wildlife rehabilitators and what they have faced while helping our native wildlife to recover from injury or raising orphans to be released back into the wild. Their stories will make you laugh, make you cry, break your heart, make you angry and help you to believe in miracles again. And at the same time educating the public about wildlife and wildlife rescue.” Jodie Blackney.


Go into the draw to WIN this amazing Koala giclee print by Geraldine Simmons Simply sign up as a subscriber and enter as many times as you like... Subscription is only $25 for a year’s worth of magazines – get your magazine before everyone else – yep that is right – as a subscriber you get to have the Wildlife Rescue Magazine before anyone else can read it - PLUS – pick the next front cover of our magazine – prizes, gifts and loads of tips and hints available in our exclusive ‘Subscriber Only’ newsletter. Want more – click here http://wildliferescuemagazine.com/subscribe-today.html and not only will you be able to enter into the draw and possibly WIN this amazing picture – BUT – receive 20% off the official price. Normally $25 – for a short time only – PAY ONLY $20


RFID in wildlife

Dr Doug Black BVSc(Hons) MANZCVSc (Avian Health)

H

ow do we easily and positively identify wildlife such that there is no question as to the identity of the animal, bird, reptile, fish or amphibian but in a way that does not jeopardise the chances of survival for that animal after release? The answer is RFID! WHAT IS RFID? The answer is radio-frequency identification or the use of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields to transfer data from an identification device (implanted or external) to a reader. Most people commonly refer to the identification devices as “microchips”. This is the same system that is used today for the identification of dogs and cats and many horses and it can be readily applied to wildlife to help monitor movements, breeding, feeding, some aspects of health and survivability. My two veterinary partners and I introduced microchip identification for animals into Australia in the 1980’s and, after forming Microchips

A Lace Monitor being microchipped

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Unlike other identification systems that rely on line of sight or visual examination, the RFID microchip can be implanted under the skin or into the body of the animal and is there for life ....well in most animals... but more of that later!

Close up picture of the Microchip (Trovan Unique ID100), the size of a Microchip (Trovan Unique Nanotransponder) on a 1cm scale

Australia, we have been involved with supplying microchip identification systems for the companion animal industry, zoos, wildlife researchers, fisheries and many other applications ever since. HOW DOES RFID WORK? Although microchip identification is now an accepted form of identification of animals, exactly how the system works is not well known. The overall explanation is that a microchip or transponder or PIT tag is a passive transponder (no battery involved) that relies on radiofrequency electromagnetic fields produced from the reader to excite and then transmit the unique transponder code from the transponder back to the reader. Wildlife Rescue Magazine

1. The reader is triggered 2. The reader transmits radiofrequency energy to the transponder (microchip) 3. The energy from the reader is converted to an electrical charge in the transponder 4. The transponder then sends its uniquely coded low energy transmission back to the reader 5. The reader receives and processes the received signal from the transponder and then displays the unique code as a numeric or alphanumeric code on the LCD screen

COMPONENTS The transponder or microchip contains a microscopic integrated circuit board, a coil inductor that acts as a radio antenna and a capacitor and these are all contained in a capsule that is generally made of glass or biocompatible glass in the case of Trovan microchips. This capsule is either heat sealed or preferably laser sealed to ensure no connection between the animal tissue and the internal components of the transponder. There are many types of

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microchip readers and reading systems on the market, from • small pocket-sized hand-held readers • larger hand-held readers with better read range • pole readers • remote monitoring reading systems WHY USE RFID IN WILDLIFE? Once an animal is permanently identified, a tremendous amount of information can be generated for research to help us understand more about the animal and hopefully help ensure the survival of both the individual and the species into the future. Of course this is not restricted to identification via RFID – the animal may have some form of external identification such as external tag, leg band/ring, tattoo, ear punch or tail or toe clipping. Most of these identification methods can be easily removed, difficult or impossible to read or interpret or have some negative animal welfare issues associated with them. Animals that are externally tagged can be at greater risk to predation, injury from peers, injury due to the tag being caught or ripped out or, with respect to leg bands/rings, causing constriction to the lower leg and possible loss of that limb. Implanted transponders pose little to no risk to the health of the animal apart from a small amount of pain

Encased in a heat-sealed or laser-sealed glass capsule, ensures no connection between the animal tissue and internal components of the micropchip (transponder).

associated with the initial implantation. Information can be gained from simply scanning an animal when it is captured or found injured or dead. How many of us have released an animal, bird or reptile back into the wild after extensive care and rehabilitation and then wished we had a way of knowing where that individual ends up and for how long it survives. This information is only achievable if the animal is permanently identified. Of course, this is also dependent on an accurate and easily accessible database. Much more information can be achieved in using a remote monitoring Page 67


Small pocket-sized hand-held reader being checked out by a â&#x20AC;&#x153;Meerkatâ&#x20AC;?. This reader is a Trovan.

A Trovan Pole reader being used to scan a captured saltwater crocodile.

Larger hand-held readers with better read range. (Koalas having their microchips read)

Solar powered wombat burrow monitoring system.

Wildlife Rescue Magazine

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system where a strategically located RFID antenna (e.g at a nest entrance, feed station, water point or burrow etc) is linked to a decoder and any movement of a microchipped animal over, next to or through the antenna is automatically recorded and stored for later transfer to a computer. These systems can be linked to optical beam sensors, weigh scales and other devices to gain information on frequency of visits, direction of movement, length of stay in a nest, burrow or feed/water station, weight of the animal and even the amount of food eaten! RFID VS GPS/VHF TRACKING Tracking the movements of animals can also be achieved by using GPS or VHF tracking technology. This is fantastic technology providing vital real-time information

of the movements and behaviours of animals, birds, fish etc. and is a very useful tool in wildlife research. However, there are some disadvantages with GPS and VHF technology: • virtually all GPS/VHF tracking devices are externally attached to the animal via bands, collars, gluing or surgery • the tracking devices are active devices relying on batteries with a finite life • the devices are generally much bigger than implanted RFID transponders (although they are getting smaller as time goes by!) and • the devices are significantly more expensive than RFID transponders. The obvious major advantage of the implanted RFID transponders is that the transponders remain as a

An example of a more complex remote monitoring system used in a Bridled Nail-Tail Wallaby research project in NSW. L to R: weigh scale platform, 500mm square RFID antenna, weigh scale indicator, RFID decoder, 20W solar panel, 12V batteries Wildlife Rescue Magazine

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A koala and a brushtail possum with a GPS/VHF tracking device collar, these devices are attached to wildlife as bands, collars, gluing or surgery. Photos courtesy of Sirtrack www.sirtrack.com

permanent identification of the animal for the entire life of that animal...long after the batteries of the active GPS or VHF tracking device have died and/or the collar or device has fallen off the animal. Ideally the combination of both technologies provides the greatest amount of data and information for wildlife research. NEW ADVANCES IN RFID TECHNOLOGY Although everyone would like us to produce a microchip that could be read from tens of metres away (“I wonder if that falcon perched 25 metres up in that tree is the one I released last year?”) this is still not achievable. And, given the size of the transponders and the nature of the low frequency RFID technology, it is unfortunately not likely to ever be achievable. However, we have made many

advances in the last few years that make RFID an even more useful tool than it already is! 1. Transponder Size The standard implantable RFID transponders such as those that are commonly used in companion animals are approximately 11mm long and 2 to 2.5mm diameter. In 2011, we released the Trovan Unique Nanotransponder which is only 7mm long and 1.25mm diameter.... nearly half the size of the standard transponders! The implanting needle is obviously also substantially smaller than the needle used to implant the standard-sized transponders and this makes the Nanotransponder ideal for the identification of very small birds, reptiles, microbats, frogs and small or young mammals....animals that we weren’t previously able to identify by microchip. It also allows us to implant Page 69


microchips in some of these very small animals without the need for anaesthesia.

The Nanotransponder to scale (under 1cm)

The three Trovan transponders (microchips), Just Released: the ISO MidiChip (top), Standard ID100 transponder (middle), the nanotransponder (bottom)

The Nanotransponder implanting device

This month (December 2012) we are releasing another new transponder – the Trovan ISO Midi-Chip. This transponder is nearly the same size as the Nanotransponder at 8mm long and 1.4mm diameter but has a superior read range and can be read by ISO only readers making it more likely to be found by vet clinics, rangers and animal welfare shelters. Not all transponders can be read by all readers and it is important to consider this before making a choice of which transponder to use. Wildlife Rescue Magazine

2. Hand Held Reader Features Hand held RFID readers have become smaller and lighter over the years and many are now powered by standard AA or 9v alkaline batteries. Some readers are read-only readers with no capacity for storing scanned identification codes whereas others have RS232, USB, Bluetooth or WiFi connectivity allowing you to connect to a computer and transfer stored read data from the reader to your laptop or desktop or computer or PDA. Some of the Trovan hand-held readers have a unique feature .... a Custom Coding function! This allows you to assign custom codes for each transponder so that when your reader scans the

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transponder it will display a code that allows you to better identify the animal without going to a computer. It does nothing to the code of the transponder and the standard RFID code will be displayed in the normal format if scanned by another reader. The custom coding is limited to a 30 alpha-numeric code. So, instead of 000876D6G, it could display a code that either matches your current i/d system or use something like: LCH012MFT1009ZLC0911XCFRE E – Litoria chloris (Red-eyed Tree Frog), No.012, Male, First tagged & released October 2009 Area Z, Last caught September 2011 in Area X and was Chytrid free. You just change the codes and transfer them to the reader while the computer is “connected” to the reader and then go into the field and read each animal to verify its identity, correct location, current status etc!!

An example of a custom code used in aged care industry for identifying dentures

3. New Remote Monitoring System Features Optical Beam Sensors a) Single Optical Beam Sensor (transmit and receive units) - This sensor is used to conserve battery power. When sensors are used the antenna always stays in “sleep” mode until the beam between the sensors is broken. When the beam is broken the antenna turns on for a fixed amount of time and then turns off (can be changed via the software). This is very useful in applications where the batteries cannot be charged on a regular basis, in areas where solar panels cannot be used effectively or in high power consumption units.

b) Double Optical Beam Sensors (two pairs of transmit and receive units) - Two sets of sensors can be used to determine the direction of animals generating In/Out data. The sensors are positioned on each side of the antenna and, depending on which sensor beam Page 70


is broken first, the corresponding direction is then added to the identification/day date/time record. This method also helps in conserving battery power since the antenna is only turned on when either the sensor beam is broken. Modems Identification, day, date and time data recorded and stored in the decoder can be transmitted from remote locations to the researcher via GPRS or 3G mobile phone network modems. The modems can be programmed to transmit data whenever a "read" is detected or at set times each day, week or month. Wildlife Rescue Magazine

Weigh Scales The Trovan LID608 decoder can be linked to weigh scales with serial output capability to then allow recording of not only the identification code of the animal, the day, date and time that the animal passed over, next to or through the antenna, but also the weight of the animal at that time! To allow the decoder to communicate with the weigh scales requires a significant amount of software programming but Microchips Australia have now established a large range of weigh scales where this communication has been already established.

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3G mobile network modems are used to transmit data from these rope bridge monitoring systems on the Hume Highway in NSW to the researchers in Melbourne.

These scales range from 500g maximum (with 0.1g resolution) up to 500kg maximum! Relay Systems It is now possible to provide systems that provide linkage software for the decoder to communicate with a relay system. This allows certain mechanical actions such as the closing of a door or gate, the opening of a feeder, the turning on of a light etc to occur when a particular microchip number/animal is detected. So, after entering in the microchip number of an animal that you want to capture and examine, if the antenna detects that animal passing through, then the relay can be triggered and the â&#x20AC;&#x153;doorâ&#x20AC;? is closed behind it! Scheduler Software Software is also now available to allow the user to program in the times on each day that the remote

A Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat approaching a Trovan 500mm square antenna linked to a weigh scale platform in Queensland. Page 71


A rather large male Stick Nest Rat about to walk through a Trovan circular 100mm diameter antenna and onto a weigh scale linked to a feed station in WA.

monitoring system is to be turned on. This can be a great power-saving feature especially for monitoring diurnal or nocturnal species. EXAMPLES OF PROJECTS Along with the number of projects referred to in the photos above, Microchips Australia have supplied RFID transponders, hand-held readers and remote monitoring systems to a large number of projects involving a wide range of species including many threatened and endangered species.

To list all of these would be very difficult but they include Northern and Southern Hairy-Nosed Wombats, Tasmanian Devils, Saltwater Crocodiles, Leadbeaterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Possums, native Frogs, Skinks, Turtles and Snakes, a wide range of Macropods (from Red Kangaroos to Bettongs) and Marsupials (from Koalas to Antechinus), various fish species, sharks, dugongs and a huge range of birds (from Ostriches and Emus, Birds of Prey, Penguins to Helmeted Honeyeaters). Here are some more photos of these RFID systems in action:

Another rope bridge equipped with Trovan flat panel Antenna over the Hume Highway

Microchipping of a Green Tree Frog. Photo courtesy Dr Robert Johnson.

Blue Penguin monitoring in New Zealand

Software allows the user to program in the times on each day that the remote monitoring system MCs to be turned on.

Wildlife Rescue Magazine

www.wildliferescuemagazine.com

Leadbeater's Possum feed station equipped with rectangular RFID antenna to monitor feeding frequency, timing and behaviour. April 2013

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Road underpass monitoring of Woylies (Brush-tailed bettongs) and Bush StoneCurlews in WA

POINTS OF CAUTION In recent years there has been an influx of cheap imported microchips into Australia. Unfortunately the quality of these microchips is highly variable leading to an unacceptable level of chip failures and breakages in recent times and even a massive “recall” of one brand of microchips that had been implanted into companion animals across Australia as well as in other countries across the globe. Chip failures and breakages are EXTREMELY RARE in proven, high

Bush Stone Curlew in a sitting position.

Wildlife Rescue Magazine

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quality transponders/microchips such as German-manufactured Trovan microchips. Like many other things, it is very much a case of “Buyer Beware”! Although it is an expectation that all stray or injured dogs or cats are scanned for the presence of a microchip, this is still not the case for native wildlife. As an avian veterinarian, I have been promoting the routine scanning of all native wildlife presented to veterinary clinics and animal welfare and wildlife rescue shelters for several years but this is still to become a routine procedure. It makes perfect sense to microchip wildlife prior to release to enable us to start gathering data on survivability, movement and behaviour patterns in these released animals. However, in most States of Australia legislation controls who is authorised to implant microchips into companion animals and horses and, in some States, this is also true for the microchipping of wildlife. It is therefore advisable to check this out fully before embarking on a microchipping program of released wildlife. Finally, microchips in wildlife are absolutely useless unless they are supported by current and accurate data located on a readily accessible, authorised, incorruptible National registry.

Monitoring of black-headed weaver nests in South Africa

Black-Headed Weaver. Photo Courtesy Green Adventure Page 73


There is a growing need for the establishment of such a Registry in Australia. How it would be funded and administered are challenges to be addressed. In the meantime, at a fee, wildlife can be registered on one of the national animal registries such as Central Animal Records www.car.com.au . Central Animal Records even have bird and reptile specific subscription forms for this purpose. Although wildlife researchers generally administer their own databases, some microchip suppliers such as Microchips Australia, do keep skeleton records to at least be able to identify to whom a microchip has been sold. This measure could help in determining the identity details of some injured wildlife that had been subject to monitoring in a wildlife research project. I have been involved in the treatment and care of wildlife for over 30 years and have been lucky enough to work closely with many skilled and dedicated wildlife carers during that time. The one consistent issue facing wildlife carers is a lack of funds, support and resources. Although microchips offer another potential drain on funds, they are relatively inexpensive and could help us establish vitally needed data on the survivability of released wildlife as Wildlife Rescue Magazine

well as offering the potential to gather other much more useful information. The establishment of a National wildlife registry also has the potential to increase communication and awareness between wildlife carers, researchers and the public. Ultimately microchip identification can contribute to the one thing we are all striving for â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the survival of our precious native wildlife.

All wildlife should be checked for microchips when they come into care. This is a Lace Monitor.

Although dogs and cats are microchipped, this is the not the case for our native wildlife.

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All wildlife should be microchipped before being released back into the wild. Here a Lace Monitor is being microchipped.

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NOONIES DOG WALKING & PET CARE Dog Walking, Pet Care/Minding & Boarding (dogs, cats, horses, small caged animals), Pet Taxi. Operating in Sydney’s Inner West Mobile: 0411398395 Website: www.noonies.org Email: Darrin@noonies.org TAGS 'N TAILS~ PET & HORSE SITTING: offers pet owners of Penrith NSW & surrounds, exp. & trained mobile carers. Visiting ALL pets/horses daily; PH: 0404 630 904 email: tagsntails@live.com.au web: www.tagsntailspetminders.com KANGAROO FOOTPRINTS A 72 page information and activity book for children aged 7 to 12. Web: www.kangaroofootprints.com.au PICTURE PRODUCTS Offering a fundraising product with a 60% margin, which captures the creative images of childhood. Contact: Tel: (02) 4572 1625 Email: info@pictureproducts.com.au Web: www.pictureproducts.com.au PICTURE STORE Picture Store is Australia’s first and largest online poster, print and framing retailer offering over 150,000 prints and posters. We have art for everyone. Tel: 1300 137 670 Email: info@picturestore.com.au Web: www. picturestore.com.au PINE RIVERS KOALA CARE ASSOC. INC. We rescue & rehabilitate Koalas & all Native Wildlife North Brisbane including Pine Rivers & Redcliffe. We also pick up deceased koalas. Contact 24/7 rescue No. 0401 350 799 Web: www.prkoalacare.com.au Email: prkcai@prkoalacare.com.au

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Classifieds QUEENSLAND AGATE We sell 2 books “fossicking for Queensland Agate” and “Queensland fossicking Guide” Also Agates from Agate Creek Qld Tel: 0755243044 Mob:0429896703 Email: mazandy@live.com Web: www.queenslandagate.com.au QUEENSLAND WILDLIFE ARTISTS SOCIETY 30th Anniversary Art Exhibition, The Old Schoolhouse Gallery, Cleveland January 18 - February 10th Open daily 9.30am - 4.30pm www.qwasi-wildlife.com 0407 126 908 for more details QUOLL SEEKERS NETWORK Wildlife Preservation Society of Qld Adopt a Quoll program: $60.00 Great Christmas Gift Contact: (07) 3221 0194 Email: quoll@wildlife.org.au Web: www.wildlife.org.au SIRTRACK LTD Sirtrack specialise in the design & manufacture of wildlife tracking systems for Avian, Marine & Terrestrial species. Contact: Tel: +64 6 877 7736 Email: sirtrack@sirtrack.com Web: www.sirtrack.com ROBIN WINGRAVE NATURAL HISTORY ARTIST Finely detailed graphite pencil drawings or watercolour and oil paintings depicting the natural world of Australia. Tel: 03 6334 9261 Email: winart26@gmail.com Web: www.robinwingrave.com SHUCKER'S COTTAGES self contained private accommodation centrally situated,adjacent to Pelican Bay on the FREYCINET PENINSULA contact: tel. 0418579980 email: shuckerscottages@iprimus.com.au photos: shuckerscottages@blogspot.com SILVERY GIBBON PROJECT INC. Raising funds and awareness to assist with the conservation of gibbons; especially the critically endangered Silvery (Javan) Gibbon. Mob : 0438 992 325 Email : silverygibbon@live.com.au Website : http://www.silvery.org.au

Wildlife Rescue Magazine

RAPTOR SNAKE HANDLING EQUIPMENT Endorsed by RSPCA and DPIPWE Check out our website or ring us www.snakehandlingequipment.com Phone: Ian Norton 0407 951 437

SOUTHERN BIRDING SERVICES Offering scheduled and private bird tours and expert bird guiding throughout Southern Australia Contact: Tel: (0409) 763172 Email: info@sabirding.com Web: www.sabirding.com STOP LIVE EXPORTS A Fremantle-based grassroots organisation campaigning against cruel and unnecessary live animal exports since 1995. Please join us! Tel: 08 9430 8839 Email: info@stopliveexports.org Web: www.stopliveexports .org TERRA-FIRMA Ecological Consulting & Landscape Design. Providing professional Ecological Assessments, Ecological Restoration Plans, Landscape Designs and Project Management on the Sunshine Coast and throughout SE Qld. PO Box 9522 Pacific Paradise Qld 4564 Tel: 0431 462 828 Web: terrafirma@flexinet.com.au THE HERBAL TEAPOT ONLINE SHOP Patrick Obrien, HH(Dip)MH, Herbalist Organic Herbal Teas Ph: 0408 711344 Email: patrick@netaccess.com.au Web1: www.home-herb-garden.com Web2: www.herbalteapot.com.au blogspot: http://patrickobrienseasyweightloss.blogspot.com/ THRIFTY CAR RENTAL Huge range of vehicles to suit every ones needs. 03 63 330911 emma.tubb@thrifty.com.au www.thrifty.com.au

VETERINARY ADVANCES LTD Foal CPR, free App available for all horse owners and veterinarians. Available through Apple iTunes store or see our website for more information: www.veterinaryadvances.com ZOODOO WILDLIFE PARK Australian Wildlife and Exotic Animals on display Ph: 03 6260 2444 Web: www.zoodoo.com.au

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April 2013

v1n6 Part B

WESTERN AUSTRALIAN WILDLIFE REHABILITATION COUNCIL (WAWRC) Please visit our website Marketplace pages for Basik Syringes, Wildlife Rescue Vests, Mikki-style silicone teats, and much more http://www.wawrc.org.au WILDLIFE AUSTRALIA MAGAZINE Published quarterly by Wildlife Queensland, we aim to educate, entertain and engage you in understanding and protecting all Australian wildlife. Proceeds fund wildlife projects. Tel: 07 3221 0194 Email: wpsq@wildlife.org.au Web: www.wildlife.org.au Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/WildlifeQueensland

WILDLIFE CARERS GROUP Offering rehabilitation of sick, injured, orphaned native wildlife, lobbying, running campaigns fighting to save and protect all native wildlife and their habitat under the wildlife protection laws , animal welfare and rights run solely by volunteers. Membership Available- please email us only. Email: wildlife_carers_group@yahoo.com.au Website: http://wcg.awardspace.com/ Wordpress: http://wildlifecarersgroup.wordpress.com/?sn=l Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1649024860&v=info Twitter: http://twitter.com/wildlifecarersg/ and please sign our 3 petitions. ELIZABETH COGLEY Australian Wildlife Artist Web: www.ozwildart.com

FOURTH CROSSING WILDLIFE Fauna First Aid Program - wombat and macropod training available Email: linda@fourthcrossingwildlife.com Web: www.fourthcrossingwildlife.com ROCKLILY WOMBATS Online shop of unique wildlife gifts Web: www.rocklilywombats.com

BURSTON BLUE TEATS Silicone Wildlife Teats Enquiries to Jo. Ph: 0409 086 973 Email: dollar.downs@bigpond.com

NATIONAL KOALA CONFERENCE 17-19 May 2013 at Westport Conference Centre, Buller Street, Port Macquarie NSW Australia Web: http://www.koalahospital.org.au/ GERALDINE SIMMONS Wildlife Artist Web: www.geraldineswildlifeart.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/geraldineswildlifeart ADVANCED ASBESTOS COATING We are the only product/coating system made specifically for encapsulating and /or coating asbestos Tel: 1800 200 444 Mob: 0418 711 945 Email: adv_asbestos.@iprimus.com.au Web: advancedasbestoscoating.com

LATROBE WILDLIFE SANCTUARY NESTBOXES Huge variety of nestboxes Ph: 03 9479 1206 Email: nestboxes@latrobe.edu.au Web: www.latrobe.edu.au/wildlife WILDLIFE FRIENDLY FENCING & NETTING Protect the wildlife today! Web: www.wildlifefriendlyfencing.com F.O.C. WILDLFIE PROGRAM Friends of Carers - 24hr volunteer wildlife assistance service for Tasmania For more information contact Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary Ph: 03 6268 1184 Email: petra@bonorong.com.au

WOMBAROO Specialised milk replacers for marsupials plus, Impact - Colostrum Supplement, Insectivore rearing mix, high protein supplement, small carnivore food, Ph: 08 8391 1713 Email: wombaroo@adelaide.on.net Web: www.wombaroo.com.au

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Winner! Congratulations to the winner of the Readers’ Choice Story in issue 5 Lynda Staker won with her great story and pics “Kooka” story. She wins the Kookaburra School book.

Vote for your favourite story In issue 6 we have five stories that you can choose to vote for: Part A Page 11 – Milton the Microbat – author Mary Crichton Part A Page 66 – Pelican & Gannetts – author Helen Burrell Part A Page 70 – Galah Hit & Run – author Nora Preston Part A Page 73 – Tully & Wilma – author Michelle Thomas Part B Page 34 – Brushtails Popcorn & Bob – author Amelie Doram Every published story author has an opportunity to WIN a book (this issue – ‘Kookaburra School’ by Jill Morris). Vote today and pick your favourite story – the most votes WINS! Vote for your favourite story, email vote@wildliferescuemagazine.com

Wildlife Rescue Magazine

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November 2012

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We invite you to support us with your wildlife stories – send them to me at andrea@wildliferescuemagazine.com Advertise with us today – your ad is linked directly to your website – people can access you directly. Reach thousands of people. Please email me for advertising rates: andrea@wildliferescuemagazine.com From all of us here at Wildlife Rescue Magazine we say goodbye and thank you for reading the sixth issue of our exciting new wildlife magazine!

Issue 6B Wildlife Rescue Magazine  

Rescue, rehabilitation and release of the plover. Did you say RFID in wildlife? Amazing children books from Jill Morris

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