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Pheasant Coucal - Animal of the month - April

Last Updated on 12 March 2012

pheasant-and-monitor2.jpgBarry Fitzpatrick's observations.

My animal of the month is (I think) a bird - the Pheasant Coucal. This noisy, clumsy, brash bird has whooped, clicked and hissed around our house for the past six months.

Nothing about this bird makes much survival sense. It spends a lot of its time waddling around on the ground like a lizard (a link, perhaps?), flies clumsily, and crashes into bushes or anything nearby when it wants to (or has to) land. But it must be admired for its alluring black breeding plumage, the intensity of its mating efforts, and the dedication it shows in securing food of all sorts for its young in the nest somewhere deep in grass tussocks on the adjacent Cornubia Wetland Reserve.

My admiration grew even greater as I watched it one day marching a large goanna away from its nest and off its patch. The goanna was clearly in for a feed of easily reached fresh eggs, but was completely intimidated by the strutting, clicking, bristling pheasant coucal and just did as it was told and went.

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Flying Fox Infirmary and ICU at Canungra

Last Updated on 12 March 2012

ff_in_pocket_smweb.jpgTrixie tells of her recent visit to a dedicated team of wildlife carers at Canungra where baby bats rest in shirt pockets where their progress is monitored.

Canungra Camp - 24 November 2008

Cruising south bound towards the Gold Coast Hinterland where Trish's property is located one could not help but notice how the landscape had been transformed. From parched brown to lush green: a  sight  not seen for a very, very long time, thanks to the heavy but welcomed constant rainfalls over the past couple of weeks.

We ascended Trish's steep winding driveway that lead us to her home nestled high in the hills. As Paulette and I emerged from the car I took in the sight of Trish's acreage with its rolling hills and deep valleys. My first visit was filled with images of tall mature trees, water filled dams and the collective sounds of the wildlife. I could hear the distant calls of the currawongs, the crack of the whipbirds echoed in the hills, the familiar sounds of squabbling lorikeets and figbirds raiding fruit bearing trees. The land had a serene feel but within the walls of Trish's home a completely different story was exposed.

ff_head_shot_web.jpgAs I stepped through the front door of Trish's the atmosphere inside was a far cry from what I had witnessed outside only moments before. Slouched in chairs were half a dozen bat carers with a new batch of babies that required their 3-hourly feeds. Babies lay on laps, cradled in arms and smaller ones were tucked into large pocket shirts.
These carers had been feeding throughout the night to meet the demands of their charges. Exhaustion had set in but there were still lots and lots of mouths to feed and the carers knew that only too well.

 A little background history...As a matter of routine the Canungra Flying Fox colony was being checked out when a discovery was made - a drama that no one could have envisaged had unfolded. It is not uncommon to rescue a handful of baby flying foxes during the breeding season but when you are alerted to over three hundred starving, dying and dead babies of the vulnerable listed Grey Headed Flying Fox being abandoned by their mums it raises a grave concern. The Canungra Camp was in serious, serious trouble.

 

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Abandoned baby bats and their rescuers need help - from all of us

Last Updated on 12 March 2012

cm_cutebabyflyingfoxes.jpgAn appeal has recently gone to the general community from Wildcare whose members - registered wildlife carers - are desperate for help after storms caused grey-headed flying foxes to abandon about 300 babies in the Gold Coast hinterland. The Courier Mail published the story explaining that 60 carers from the Gold Coast and volunteer veterinarians are working around the clock, feeding every four hours.

Carer Ms Trish Wimberley said "Normally, female flying foxes will go to the ends of the earth to save their babies so for this to occur, they are really in dire straits."

If you are interested in becoming a registered wildlife carer Wildcare's  website http://www.wildcare.org.au/  has a great deal of information. If you are really keen to help now - today, there are many supporting jobs we can all do to free up the trained carers. Specific information about our native flying foxes is also available here http://www.wildcare.org.au/html/flying_foxes.htm

Don't try to rescue bats though - it's a delicate job that should only be attempted by a trained and vaccinated carer. Contact Wildcare on 5527 2444 for help with rescue of any native animal.

The flying fox or bat is an essential creature of the rainforests. Bats distribute seeds across hundreds of kilometres to ensure our rainforests can regenerate. One wildlife group has the motto 'no bats, no trees, no koalas' and it's true - without bats you would literally have plagues of insects and eventually our rainforests would die. For such a small creature they do a mighty big job.

DROP OFF POINTS in SEQ for fruit, Karicare baby formula and soft cloths

Redlands - Patti Durnin - 0418 883 890

Kooralbyn - Pam Elliott - 5544 6762

Logan - Trixie Benbrook - 3207 3512.

 

 

Flying Fox Babies Crisis Updates

Last Updated on 12 March 2012

youngpeople.gif

FRUIT JUICE - BUT NOT CITRUS OR PINEAPPLE - NOT FRUIT IS CURRENTLY NEEEDED  - Saturday 13 December 2008 update

 

We have been advised that 332 babies are in care at the moment... so we are still asking for help... 

We desperately need non vaccinated volunteers to do general duties like making formula, washing, sterilising bottles, cutting up fruit and more - if you are part of an organisation that can pool together to help out contact Trixie asap on 3208 3512

Still need fruit JUICE, washing powder (environmentally friendly, please) and towels AND non vaccinated volunteers to do general duties

If you can help in any way it would be appreciated... Wildlife carers are a very special dedicated group of people who pay for the care and welfare of all species of our native wildlife as well as feeding round the clock when needed.  Have a look at their OZARK website for more information.

To make a tax deductible donation please use the following information

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Flying Fox Canungra Camp Emergency URGENT APPEAL

Last Updated on 12 March 2012

sbeactivity_hands2.gifExtra hands are desperately needed on site to assist the carers -

NO VACCINATION NEEDED FOR GENERAL HELPING JOBS

- sterilising bottles and making baby formula, cutting up fruit.

PLEASE VOLUNTEER whatever time you can - all assistance is vitally important and much needed. Each minute volunteered - frees up bat carers to give care to our flying fox orphans.

200 - increased to 300 grey bubs from Canugra Camp came into care suffering dehydration, exposure, maggots and various stages of pneumonia. Hundreds of these orphaned baby flying foxes are down due to the aftermath of the violent storms, heavy winds and constant rain. Our grateful thanks go to the many tired and very dedicated carers who lovingly attend to our wildlife.  Our native baby bats need around the clock feeding - taking time and patience.

Thank you for all the donations that have been and are being received including three dryers. The broken washing washing machine has generously replaced. Many thanks to those donors. Updates will be added re large items.

ALWAYS needed are food - boxes of fruit - apples, pears, rock melon, grapes but not citrus please and Kari Care - human baby formula - birth to 1 month.

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The role of the amateur naturalist in science and conservation

Last Updated on 12 March 2012

A Wildlife Workshop on the topic of "the role of the amateur naturalist in science and conservation" was held on 7 June 2008. This event was hosted by Wildlife Tourism Australia  with speakers from both Logan and Albert Conservation Association LACA and WTA.

wildlifews070608tricia.jpgTricia Belcher, a professional nature photographerwildlifews070608ronda.jpg as  first speaker described her interest in nature photography and its importance to document animal and plant life for a number of reasons.

She displayed a number of her photographs in particular their importance in relation to documenting events such as the recent aerial spraying incident in Kerry Valley that has had such devastating effects on the environment.

Local zoologist Ronda Green delivered an informative address. She is particularly keen to establish a local natural history group to encourage and support  wider community observation and recording skills of our sometimes elusive wildlife. More information will be posted soon. You can contact Ronda Green at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 5544 1283 if interested.

 

Kangaroos conservation and blogging

Last Updated on 12 March 2012

The fate of the kangaroos on defence land in the ACT was discussed across the globe in newspapers and blogs. The volume of protests has presently stayed the cull and management of the confined native animals is still a challenge. The Australian Science Media Centre (AusSMC) publishes the thoughts of scientists on its Science Blog page. In the latest series of blogs, two scientists give their views about the vexed issue of the proposed kangaroo cull in the ACT.

Other documentation that can be considered is available from the RSPCA campaign website and their report known as the Kangaroo Shooting Code Compliance Report which is available online at www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/trade-use/publications/kangaroo-report/index.html

 

FaunaNet

Last Updated on 12 March 2012

FaunaNet is an online gateway to resources and expertise in biodiversity and conservation. The Australian Museum's Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Research (CBCR) has coordinated the resources of FaunaNet into five modules.The site is here.

The Australian Museum has unique and extensive collections of natural science and cultural artefacts. The Museum's Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Research (CBCR) is committed to the investigation and conservation of biodiversity. The internet provides a powerful means for the Centre to communicate its research results, and to provide both the scientific and broader communities with access to information on the biodiversity of NSW. To this end CBCR has developed a website dealing specifically with the Fauna of NSW - called FaunaNet. FaunaNet includes the following components:

FaunaNames
FaunaNames provides easy access to the New South Wales Master Names List (MNL). The MNL is a list of the valid scientific names of animals found in New South Wales. It is the ideal tool for taxonomists, systematists, biologists and ecologists to access knowledge of the scientific nomenclature and classification of the fauna of New South Wales. CANRI funding assisted in the development of this site.

FaunaMap
FaunaMap is the Australian Museum's online fauna mapping system. Through FaunaMap the user can: create maps showing the collecting location of specimens held in the Australian Museum fauna collection and obtain a list of the species held in the AM collections, from specific Local Government Areas, Bioregions, National Parks or Mapsheets.

Invertebrate Resources
A database of resources focused on the field of invertebrate research and discovery. The database includes websites, books, CD's, journals and online keys, as well as organisations devoted to invertebrate research and conservation.

FaunaKeys
This site provides access to a range of taxonomic keys for identifying selected invertebrate and vertebrate groups in New South Wales and Australia. The illustrated interactive keys combined with information pages and photo images of taxa provide hands-on education for both beginners and professionals in the field. CANRI funding assisted in the development of these keys.

Wildlife of Sydney
Wildlife of Sydney provides natural history information on a wide variety of animals that might be encountered in and around Sydney. The site allows Sydneysiders and visitors access to information about the great biodiversity that surrounds them. As well as about 400 species profiles the site describes the habitats where the animals and has a number of interactive features including games and a quiz which are based on aspects of the animal's biology or an ecological theme.

 

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