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Carers stories archive

Carers stories 2019

On this page we will keep you informed about animals that you have brought in to care with WIRES Northern Rivers branch. If you would like to know about a particular animal, please email us, and we will do what we can to keep you up to date.

 

March 19

WIRES celebrates World Frog Day

Listen, can you hear it? There’s a joyous chorus of song ringing out all throughout the region. The frogs of Northern Rivers are singing, and it’s not just the recent rain that they’re celebrating. The 20th of March is World Frog Day, a day to celebrate all things froggy and to raise awareness about these amazing creatures, the challenges they face and their ecological importance. 

Australia is home to 230 species of frogs, they occupy a huge range of habitats and environmental niches. The diversity among them is quite incredible, but one thing they all share is their sensitivity to the quality of their environment. This attribute is what makes frogs such vital environmental indicators, the “canaries in the coal mine” so to speak. If the places they inhabit become degraded and polluted, or are altered by a rapidly changing climate, frogs are among the first to be impacted. 

Indeed, in recent decades frog species have faced alarming extinction rates. Habitat destruction, the spread of the deadly chytrid fungus, and a fast changing climate are all major factors that have contributed to the devastating mass extinctions. Many remaining species are vulnerable and endangered, occurring only in tiny patches of remnant habitat and are dangerously close to being lost forever like so many others who have disappeared before them.

Now more than ever frogs and the environment they depend on need protecting, so, what can we do to help?

  1. Be mindful of what you use around the home and garden: many of the chemicals we use make their way into our waterways and can be deadly to frogs and tadpoles. Forgoing the use of nasty chemicals or using environmentally friendly alternatives helps frogs and the environment.
  2. Create and restore habitat: planting locally native plants in your own backyard is a great way to help your local frogs and other wildlife will thank you for it too. Get involved with a local frog club or landcare project to help restore critical habitat in your local area.
  3. Frogs are brown and bumpy too: did you know? There are 44 species of native frogs found throughout the Northern Rivers region, only 8 of these species are green and the remaining 36 are brown, mixed coloured and/or bumpy. Among these 36 native species are many of our most vulnerable frogs, so it’s important to know your native frogs and be sure not to mistake them for cane toads. Check out the key features that identify cane toads and how to humanely euthanise and dispose of them on the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage website 
  4. Make like a frog and get vocal! Stand up for frogs and the environment they depend on. Write to your local member of parliament to let them know that you want to see changes in policy and law that ensures better protection for our environment. Join a group that campaigns to protect your local wetlands and waterways. Most importantly, share your love of frogs and nature with your friends, family and anyone who will listen! 

Happy world frog day!

Fleay's Barred Frog native to Northern Rivers

Tusked Frog, endangered species and native to Northern Rivers

If you are keen to make a difference for the wildlife in our area, consider joining WIRES. For more information about how you can join and contribute call 66281898.

By Hannah Coffey

Images by Marion Nel, Kathy Grieveson & Sue Ulyatt

 

 

 

March 12

Goannas find their food by searching widely across the landscape, and that is probably what this 6.5 kg Lace Monitor was doing on the 20th January at McLeans Ridges when he tried to cross the road and was hit by a car.

Being carrion eaters he may also have been looking for an easy meal such as a dead animal in the middle of the road. If safe to do so please stop and remove any dead animals off the road, as other animals are easily injured as they feed on carrion.

A passing motorist saw him lying in the road and called WIRES. Volunteers Marion and Merryn attended the rescue; sadly the Goanna was in a bad way. He was driven straight to Currumbin Wildlife Hospital by reptile handler Marion where he was treated primarily for jaw fracture and brain trauma.

He was named Dr McLean at CWH after he left his mark on a staff member whilst being treated for injuries.... It was a close call for this magnificent animal and he stayed in hospital till 11th February.

He was collected with an ongoing medication plan by Marion. A very strong and fierce animal, administering his meds and handling is a two person job and Marion is assisted by WIRES Northern Rivers volunteer reptile team.

Soft foods were gradually introduced and his appetite has now returned. He is undergoing more tests back at CWH in the next few days to monitor his progress.

Goannas primarily prey on birds, snakes and seek the eggs of both. They will also opt for an easy meal and feed on carrion. Using their long forked tongues which they flick in and out, they pick up scent in the air and on the ground. Goannas then "read" these scents with a special organ in the roof of the mouth, much like a snake does.

Found in all regions of Australia, the Goanna is an excellent climber, and a strong swimmer. Goannas are largely terrestrial and digs its own burrow system but will readily take refuge in a tree if a burrow is not nearby.

Dr McLean will likely remain in care over winter and will hopefully return to his home teritory at McLeans Ridges come spring.

Here he is in his enclosure, showing major improvement

By Marion Nel

 

 

 

WIRES Celebrates World Wildlife Day 

Sunday 3rd March is World Wildlife Day – a day when the United Nationals encourages us to celebrate the extraordinary diversity of fauna and flora and to remind us of the urgent need to fight against wildlife crime and human induced reduction of species.

WIRES know all too well the impact that our activities as humans are having on wildlife. WIRES volunteers give their time 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to help sick, injured and orphaned wildlife.

With around 200 active local volunteers, WIRES members perform daily miracles, rescuing animals that are entangled in fences and rubbish, those that have fallen in pools, those that are hit by cars, and those that collide with windows. Daily they see the injuries sustained by dogs and cats. Working closely with local vets they nurse animals back to health after disease and illness. They feed young orphaned joeys – possums, wallabies, pademelons, gliders, bandicoots and many other creatures around the clock. And they reunite many, many chicks that have become separated from their parents or fallen from their nests.

On World Wildlife Day, take the opportunity to come and meet and chat to WIRES members about what they do and how you can help!

WIRES will have a display and information table in the Lismore Quadrangle on Sunday 3rd January from 11-1pm as part of wider celebrations (hosted by Nature NSW). This is a family friendly day with stall speakers and live music.

DID YOU KNOW

  • WIRES is a State-wide organisation with Branches throughout NSW
  • The Northern Rivers Branch of WIRES operates from Crabbes Creek in the North East, to New Italy in the South East and Drake in the West. It covers the local government areas of Byron, Ballina, Lismore, Kyogle and Richmond Valley shires.
  • In 2017-18 WIRES Northern Rivers received more than 7,600 calls - up 2% on the previous year.
  • Around 50% of calls related to birds that are either sick, injured or separated from their parents
  • One third of calls are from the Lismore Local Government area
  • Most animals come into care from urban areas.
  • A call to the LOCAL WIRES Hotline 66281898 is answered 24/7 by a local WIRES volunteer
  • WIRES relies heavily on the generosity of caring people for support. All donations $2 and over are tax deductible.

 

 

 

February 28

A very special joey comes into care with WIRES

Being a wildlife carer can be full of surprises. New arrivals can happen at any time of the day or night. Every now and then an extraordinary creature comes into care, emphasising just how important looking after orphaned animals is.

Last week WIRES received a call from the Tabulam area from a MOP who had been handed a very tiny joey. The mother had been caught in a possum trap, and when she was released she quickly disappeared, leaving her joey behind. Not sure what the animal was, she phoned WIRES, thinking it was a Potoroo. Initial photos were blurry and identification was difficult… but once the little joey arrived in care it was clear what it was – a little female Rufous Bettong.

Listed as a vulnerable species in NSW, it is thought that their numbers are decreasing rapidly due to fox and feral cat predation and habitat loss. WIRES Northern Rivers has had only six bettongs in care since 2014, with none for the last 3 years.  This little joey is furred but weighs only 240g.

Looking a little like a cross between a mouse or rat, a bandicoot, a possum and a wallaby, the Rufous Bettong is part of the Rat kangaroo family or Potoroids, which also include Potoroos and Musky rat kangaroos. Adult weight is just 1- 3.5kg.

The Rufous Bettong sleeps during the day in conical grass nests built on a shallow depression at the base of a grass tussock or a fallen log in relatively open forest with dense grassy cover.

Their long nails allow them to dig for their preferred diet of roots and tubers. They feed on grasses such as Blady Grass (Imperata cylindrica) and various species of native herbs, tubers, roots, fungi and some insects.

An important part of their diet is truffles, which are the spore-bearing bodies of underground fungi. Those fungi (called ectomycorhizal fungi) associate with the rootlets of trees such as eucalypts, helping the tree to take up minerals from the soil. By digging up and eating the truffles, bettongs disperse those spores in their dung, helping the fungi to spread to new hosts. In that way bettongs play an important role in ecosystems.

Apart from mothers with young, they nest solitary in the wild. They have a prehensile tail which they use to carry grasses gathered for their multiple nest sites built by individual animals enabling them to flee to a new site should a predator approach.

Due to European settlement, clearing of agricultural land and introduction of foxes, rabbits, hares, cats and dogs the Potoroids have not done well. They have much reduced ranges and two of the 10 species are now extinct.

Just 250 gram and already spending time out of pouch, rushing back as soon as there is a disturbance.

By Renata Phelps

 

 

 

February 27

On the 2nd Feb WIRES received a call that a very large strange looking chick had been rescued.  The chick sitting in the middle of a rural road at Casino had just avoided being run over by a large truck when a motorist stopped to rescue it.

The bird was identified as a Channel-Billed Cuckoo, the largest brood parasite bird in the world. As a fully grown adult the cuckoo has a wingspan of approx. 1 metre in flight.
The WIRES volunteer went to the site of rescue in search of the chicks surrogate parents or nest; sadly there was no sign of either, so the chick was not able to be reunited with its host parent’s.

The Channel-billed Cuckoo lays its eggs in the nests of the Australian Magpie, the Pied Currawong, and members of the crow family.  As an adult the Channel-billed Cuckoo is mainly a fruit eater but as a chick the Currawong and Crow diet is perfect for this large bird.

The Channel-Billed Cuckoos arrive in northern and eastern Australia in spring from New Guinea and Indonesia flying as far south as Sydney. In autumn they leave Australia flying the thousands of kilometres back as far north as Celebes and eastward to Bismarck Archipelago.

The chick has done well in WIRES care and doubled its weight in the first 8 days, shortly after it was perching and less than 4 weeks in care it is self-feeding and in a large flight aviary building up flight strength before release and finally flying thousands of kilometres back north.

By Julie Marsh

 

 

 

February 13

Shooting to save a life! WIRES, RSPCA and Vet collaborate to help tangled magpie.

Even small pieces of rubbish can cause untold suffering for our native wildlife. This poor juvenile magpie had its leg entangled in twine and wire which then became snared in a branch high in a tree in Casino.

In its panic to escape, the magpie ended up helplessly hanging upside down, flapping desperately. It was in this predicament, all the while suspended by one leg, for at least 18 hours.

The parent magpie was worriedly keeping a close eye on her entangled chick. WIRES bird specialist, Melanie, had grave fears that the magpie would have suffered severe injuries to its leg.

The magpie was approximately two stories high in the tree, way too high to reach. After many phone calls to various organisations, unfortunately no local cherry pickers were available to assist. But all was not lost. Casino police made contact with Alistair from the RSPCA, who fortunately was able to come to assist.

 As a licensed shooter, Alistair carefully assessed the situation and decided it might be possible to bring down both the branch and the bird with a shot. It took incredible skill and three shots to get through the branch, before both the limb and magpie tumbled to the ground. There was a moment of panic when the magpie became free while still attached to the rubbish and flew off, but it was caught again by WIRES volunteer, Melanie.

Elizabeth at Central Vet Care Clinic, Casino, conducted an examination and fortunately there were no fractures to the magpie’s leg. It appeared to have a normal range of movements, despite being extremely sore. After some subcutaneous fluids to rehydrate, the magpie is now slowly recovering in WIRES care.

Where there is a will there is a way, and rescues such as this illustrate how important collaboration is in solving complicated rescue situations. They also illustrate just how important it is to dispose of rubbish thoughtfully.

If you are keen to make a difference for the wildlife in our area, consider joining WIRES. Now is a great time to join since our next workshop will be held in Lismore on February 23rd and there is time beforehand to complete the online part of the course. For more information about how you can join and contribute call 66281898.

By Melanie Barsony

 

 

 

February 8

Last Saturday WIRES NR Hotline  66281898 received a phone call from Lismore Vet Clinic that a bird had been brought into the clinic and was ready to be taken into care, it was suffering from concussion. The WIRES volunteer that took the bird into care was very excited to find it was a Black-faced Monarch, a bird that rarely comes into care.

Black-faced Monarch’s fly across Torres Strait from their wintering grounds in southern New Guinea to their breeding areas in eastern Australia where they can be found in rainforests, eucalypt woodlands, coastal scrub and damp gullies. Only the female builds the nest which is  deep and cup shaped made up of casuarina needles, bark, roots, moss and spider web. The nest is usually located in the fork of a tree, 3 m to 6 m above the ground where both sexes incubate the eggs, feed and raise their young.

After 24 hours in care the monarch was very spritely so was given a flight test. Sadly the little bird could not sustain flight, it needed more time.
After two days and still no improvement in flight the bird was returned to Lismore Vet Clinic where x-rays were taken and sent to Currumbin Wildlife Hospital for assessment. The x-rays revealed a slight displacement of one shoulder. The monarch needed more rest.
Each day the monarch became more active and it certainly had an appetite, devouring lots of specialised food daily.

After 5 days in care it was finally able to sustain normal flight and the following day it was released  where it had been found at Caniaba.
Thank you to the unknown person for rescuing this bird and taking it to Lismore vet clinic thus giving this beautiful bird a second chance.

If you come across an injured bird/ critter on the road contain it in a box with a soft cloth and phone Wires Northern Rivers hotline 02 66281898.
It's handy to carry a box with a soft cloth and a towel in the car just in case you come across an injured animal.

By Julie Marsh

 

 

 

February 2

Cattle Egret Disaster Update:

You may have seen our earlier post from 9 January regarding the severe storms that ripped across north eastern NSW just before Christmas causing havoc within a Cattle Egret breeding colony at Lawrence near Grafton. WIRES volunteers from Clarence Valley,Mid North Coast and Northern Rivers joined local resident Elizabeth in the huge task of saving the 300 chicks in trouble.


Due to the ongoing drought, the water level in the lake at Lawrence has dropped, but is still supporting many species of birds and egrets both young and old.

The oldest of the chicks rescued and taken into care with volunteers has now been released at the Lawrence colony. Some egrets flew straight out of the transport cages, others walked out and then one flew into the trees. Three just wandered around, looking for insects on the ground, then flew into a nearby tree with a group of other egrets and nesting cormorants and settled in quietly.

 


There are many egrets still in care, the next oldest chicks are now in a large aviary 'finishing school' honing their flying and foraging skills getting ready for release back at Lawrence in the next couple of weeks.

 

 

 

January 31

Fishing line and hooks harm wildlife

WIRES volunteers responded to two separate calls on the same day this week from people who had spotted flying-foxes entangled in fishing line over water. One was over a canal in Ballina; the other over a creek in Wollongbar.  By chance, our volunteers still had a canoe on their roof racks after returning from holidays, and were able to respond immediately.

By the time they arrived on the scene of the first flying-fox it had freed itself from the line, despite having been partially submerged and having a lure sill embedded in her wing. The injured flying-fox sought refuge in a mass of spiky vines on the bank of the canal, presenting quite a challenge for the WIRES volunteers. However they soon managed to contain the injured animal.

 

The flying-fox at the second scene was about 4 metres above the water and the canoe was needed.

 

 

 

 

Two WIRES volunteers in the canoe were assisted by a member of the public who steadied the canoe against the buffeting wind

 

 

 

 

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After some manipulation of long handled rescue tools, the young flying-fox was cut from her entanglement and gently placed into a rescue bag. Both flying-foxes required urgent medical attention.

At both locations, carelessly discarded fishing line and hooks were abundant, particularly in the branches of a large Figtree with abundant ripe fruit overhanging the Wollongbar swimming hole.  Figs are among the favourite fruits for flying-foxes, so the fishing line was an accident waiting to happen.  The WIRES volunteers and their teenage son revisited the site the next day to remove some of the fishing tackle to minimise the chance of further injury to wildlife.

Veterinary attention was sought for the two Flying-foxes at Currumbin Wildlife Hospital. Staff there reported that they have at least one case per week of flying-foxed caught in fishing line, and two waterbirds (on average) a day which have become entangled in fishing line or hooks. 

WIRES Northern Rivers is frequently called upon to rescue wildlife which has become entangled in fishing line. These rescues are usually quite challenging for our volunteers and can be fatal for our wildlife due to injuries sustained or if not rescued in time. 

Fishing is a relaxing sport for many. Please ensure this sport does not turn deadly for our wildlife by leaving rubbish behind. If you see any discarded or entangled line or hooks while out swimming or boating, do take the time to help collect and remove it. You may just save a little life.

Images by Ema Purcell and Sharon McGrigor

 

 

 

I’ve always wanted to help wildlife but...

It is something we hear all the time in WIRES... Many people have rescued a native animal and have felt the joy of providing care and compassion to an injured, sick or orphaned animal. They know they would like to be involved; they want to make a difference but feel they may not be able due to a variety of reasons.

With their February workshop fast approaching, WIRES would like to prompt keen future wildlife wildlife carers to re-think some of their misconceptions about wildlife caring and consider joining...

I live in town – there wouldn’t be many wildlife rescues around my home. Not so. Most of our rescues happen in suburban areas where wildlife has to coexist with cars, domestic pets and people. Lismore, Ballina, Byron Bay, Casino, Brunswick Heads, Murwillumbah are all super busy rescue areas and WIRES always needs more volunteers in those areas.

  1. I don’t have a back yard or much room to keep animals  – Initially animals that are sick or injured just need a small rescue tub or basket for short term care.
  2. I live in a rental house and am not allowed to have animals here – You can still be involved. When a call is received for an animal in trouble our first priority is to collect the animal. As a volunteer with WIRES you can provide valuable help by transporting it to a vet or to another carer.
  3. I work full time so I’m not available every day – WIRES volunteers outline what days and times they are available and are only called for rescues at those times. Every contribution helps.
  4. I don’t have a car or transport –WIRES often need locations for people to drop animals in to – particularly in our busy towns.
  5. I have dogs or cats at home – It is important to keep pets and wildlife separate but many WIRES members have domestic pets. The important thing is to organise your home so wildlife are kept in a room or area where the pets aren’t allowed to go.

I don’t think I want to handle animals, but I still would like to help - There is a role in WIRES for everyone! You can contribute to WIRES by helping with our 24/7 Hotline (66281898), fundraising, public education, working bees, catering for workshops and so on.

Now is a great time to join WIRES since their next workshop will be held in Lismore on February 23rd. You do need to allow time beforehand to complete the online part of the course, if you do not have access to a computer a workbook can be sent to you. Act now!

For more information about how you can join and contribute call 66281898.

 

 

 

January 15

As the heat continues; please remember that our wildlife is also feeling the heat.

Shallow bird baths are a lifesaver for many creatures – place it near a low tree branch or a bushy shrub to give the birds a quick escape if a predator comes near. Larger bird baths with deeper water can be made safe for small critters by placing pebbles or rocks within, creating a small island.


 Larger containers of water can be placed farther away from your home for other wildlife - remember to include a large stick so if a creature falls in there is a way out again! Keeping water away from the house also deters snakes and other animals from seeking water from your pet bowls or dripping taps. Change the water daily to stop mosquitos breeding in your garden and ensuring the water is fresh for a thirsty critter in need.

 

If you own a swimming pool there are some simple things you can do to assist wildlife seeking a drink of water. Always drape something over the edge of your pool so that animals have a surface to grab hold of and climb out. Shadecloth or a thick rope, secured at one end to something heavy outside the pool, is ideal. Check your pool regularly (twice daily) including in the skimmer box. If you do find any animal trapped in a pool, call WIRES immediately on 66281898 for advice.

 

Flying-foxes are especially susceptible to a run of days with high temperatures. Flying-foxes suffering heat stress may come to the ground or move lower down roosts closer to the ground during daylight hours.
 If you see this please call WIRES immediately. In Northern Rivers area please call 66281898, for other areas please call 1300 094 737.

 It is important NEVER TO TOUCH OR HANDLE a flying-fox under any circumstance as a very small number may present a risk of contracting Australian Bat Lyssavirus, a disease transmitted through bites and scratches.
 If you are waiting for a WIRES rescuer to arrive and you are able to safely provide some form of shade over the flying-fox (without touching it) to keep it out of the direct sun, please do so.
 If the flying-fox is on the ground and it’s a hot day, you can place a cool towel or umbrella above it until the rescuer arrives to protect it from the worst of the heat.

 

 

 

January 11

Magpie family seeks human help for distressed chick

Whether it be plastic in the ocean, bale yarn in paddocks or rubbish in landfill, everything we discard has a consequence for the environment and the animals with whom we share the planet. So it was for this young magpie whose inquisitiveness landed it in a life-threatening predicament. Luckily for the bird he/she turned up in the backyard of a caring Goonellabah couple’s home and appeared to seek assistance.

The couple are avid bird-watchers and this magpie family were regular visitors to their place proudly showing them this year’s offspring. There was obviously an element of trust built between the birds and their human friends because the parents allowed the couple to capture their chick that was in distress.

The young bird had found a discarded ring of PVC drainage pipe and had managed to get it over its head and between its beak. WIRES were called to assist and rescuer Rowan went to help. Due to the fragility of a bird’s neck and bones any attempt at removing the ring had to be done very gently. Rowan had some previous experience with PVC pipe having extricated a python from gutter pipe so he used wire-cutters again to split the ring and then remove it from the now much-relieved magpie.

 

The magpie was checked for injuries and then released to join its appreciative family.

This serves as a reminder to us to be vigilant with everything we discard or recycle as anything has the potential to do harm to the environment or wildlife.

If you are keen to make a difference for the wildlife in our area, consider joining WIRES. Now is a great time to join since our next workshop will be held in Lismore on February 23rd and there is time beforehand to complete the online part of the course. For more information about how you can join and contribute call 66281898.

By Rowan Wigmore

 

 

 

January 8

WIRES Assists in Cattle Egret Disaster

The severe storms that ripped across north eastern NSW just before Christmas caused havoc within a Cattle Egret breeding colony at Lawrence near Grafton.  Local resident Elizabeth checked the colony when the storm had passed and found countless chicks had been blown to the ground.

Cattle Egrets build their nests in large colonies, high in trees near waterways with the parent birds attending their own chicks. Elizabeth soon realised the task was going to monumental and called WIRES Clarence Valley for help. She kindly opened her home to be the main hub of this disaster.

The next morning there were close to 300 chicks rescued. All of differing ages and had been grouped in containers and boxes with labels of which tree they were found near.

Melanie and Julie from Wires Northern Rivers travelled down to Lawrence to help CV members with the huge task of rehydrating and assessing every chick. Throughout the day, badly injured chicks were taken to the vet and the oldest chicks who were perching well where placed back high in their trees. Some chicks were able be reunited in substitute nests.  All chicks were tube fed again and by the end of the day there were still approximately 100 chicks needing to come into care.

WIRES volunteers from Clarence Valley and Mid North Coast, together with Northern Rivers bird carers Melanie, Julie, Katy, Jodie, Artemis, Marion and Hanna all took chicks into care.  Thirty-three (33) chicks came to Northern Rivers - and what smelly, hungry little chicks they are! Sadly, over the next few days and weeks some chicks showed they had underlying injuries, but a total of 26 healthy young chicks have thrived.

The chicks are now of the age where they need more room so have been transferred to Melanie’s aviaries. They are set up in their separate groups on nest platforms. A ‘jungle gym’ of branches has been built to encourage them to clamber about and exercise, just as they would be doing in the wild. When they are about 8 weeks old and flying they will be released back into the colony at Lawrence.

This tragic loss of life this would have been so much worse if not for the coordinated efforts of Elizabeth and our amazing WIRES volunteers.

 

 

 

 

 

January 4

Trapping the trapper

When we set a trap for a rat there is always the possibility we might get more than that. Sadly for two pythons recently brought to WIRES, that was the case.

A member of the public was concerned about rats in his chook run and decided to set a number of traps one evening. To his horror the next day he found a lovely juvenile carpet python struggling to extricate itself from two traps. He immediately released the poor snake, placed it in a bag and called WIRES for assistance.

WIRES rescuer Rowan went to the call but the snake had escaped the bag through a small hole and was found in the garden outhouse. The snake was given a preliminary check which revealed that the spine was intact but that there was likely to be some internal organ damage as well as an external wound and severe pain. Rowan took the snake home and administered some oral pain relief while waiting for another WIRES volunteer, Martin, to transport the snake to Currumbin Wildlife Hospital.

Fortunately, this snake was given the all-clear at Currumbin and is now back in the care of WIRES until it is ready to be released.

A second snake, which suffered the same fate, is still at Currumbin Wildlife Hospital and WIRES is awaiting news of his/her condition.

Spring-type rat traps are an inhumane way of controlling vermin. They are non-discriminatory, and various wildlife can be caught in them. Rat poisons are also not recommended as they also carry a risk of secondary death to predators such as raptors, kookaburras and reptiles that may eat the poisoned rats or mice.

Snakes, and particularly pythons, are our greatest natural rat traps and will happily rid us of these rodents silently and free of charge. WIRES recommend learning to coexist with these beautiful animals, and to be grateful for the service they provide. If you do need to place traps for rats or mice, use live-traps (available at hardware stores and online). And if you do find an animal that has been injured by a trap, please call WIRES immediately on 66281898.

If you are keen to make a difference for the wildlife in our area, consider joining WIRES. Now is a great time to join since their next workshop will be held in Lismore on February 23rd and there is time beforehand to complete the online part of the course. For more information about how you can join and contribute call 66281898.

By Rowan Wigmore

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Updated January 1 2019  

Webmaster: Susanne Ulyatt

© WIRES Northern Rivers 2004-2019