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Carers stories archive

Carers stories 2020

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.

January 8

This story sadly does not have a happy ending; it is a reminder of how our discarded rubbish can and does impact our wildlife on a daily basis.

While Mark was camping at the caravan park by the Richmond River at Coraki yesterday he noticed a Little Corella hanging from a branch approx. 6 meters high in a tree. It had fishing line caught around one leg and was desperately trying to free itself.



With the entangled bird were other members of its flock, it was as though they wanted to help free the bird and comfort it.
Mark phoned WIRES to report the entangled Corella as it was much too high for him to reach.




A rescue was co-ordinated involving Steve Cubis Tree Services who frequently volunteer their time and equipment to help with rescues such as these. A WIRES volunteer also needed to be on the scene to assess the Corella once freed.


Jake from Steve Cubis Tree Sevices operated the cherry picker maneuvering it expertly to reach the Little Corella. Jake was able to remove the nylon line from its leg, and it was handed down to a waiting WIRES volunteer.



The bird was obviously exhausted and dehydrated; sadly one leg was severely injured caused by being continually twisted and bearing the weight of the bird at an unnatural angle as it had tried to free itself, whilst hanging upside down in the tree.
The Little Corella was gently wrapped and given a much needed drink, then taken to Vet Love Goonellabah where it was examined. The injured leg was completely shattered, the damage was irreparable.

We all have a responsibility to ensure we dispose of rubbish, including netting and fishing line, in bins provided or take our rubbish home with us.

Whilst we do everything possible to save injured animals, sadly there are times when this in not possible due to the severity of the injury. As you would appreciate, those times can be very hard for our volunteers.

If you do see a native animal in distress please call the WIRES hotline for assistance on 66281898.
If you would like to join us and be fully trained in wildlife rescue and care please email us on

Thank you Steve Cubis Tree Services for your time and effort, we value your help and support.





Wildlife need help now more than ever before.

Do you want to help wildlife but don’t know how? You want to make a difference but feel you may not be able due to a variety of reasons.

Some answers to questions you may have:
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, Mullumbimby are all super busy rescue areas and WIRES always needs more volunteers in those areas.

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.

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.

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.

I don’t have a car or transport –
WIRES often need locations for people to drop animals in to – particularly in our busy towns.

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 our next workshop will be held in Lismore on February 22nd. 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.

Or click on link below:



January 4

With fires, drought and high temperatures continuing here are some practical things you can do to help our precious wildlife:
Put water out for wildlife, shallow dishes in the shade with a rock within so a small animal can escape should it fall in.

In fire areas keep a box in your vehicle with a cotton pillowcase and a shallow dish and water bottle to offer water to animals who may have been impacted by or fled the fires.

Keep dogs and cats secure, displaced wildlife will be seeking water and shelter.

If you find an animal with burns or other injuries please call WIRES on 66281898 immediately. Wrap loosely in 100% cotton fabric, handle as little as possible.

Many flying-fox colonies over recent weeks are being severely impacted by a combination of starvation and heat. Please remember to NEVER touch a bat. If you see a bat or flying-fox on the ground please do not approach but provide shade ☂gently mist intermittently and call WIRES 66281898.

Consider joining WIRES, send us an email for more information on how to join.




2 January

The Australian Brush-turkey is known to most of us, they are a common sight in our local area as they move about looking for food.
Did you know that Brush turkeys are the most ancient member of a family that dates back 30 million years and includes chickens, quails, peacocks and pheasants.
Right now you may be lucky enough to see a Brush-turkey chick. They look very different to the adult bird and WIRES is called frequently to pick up an orphaned chick, which turns out to be a little Brush-turkey.


Unless the chick is injured, our advice is to let it go as they are independent and quite able to fend for themselves right from when they hatch from the egg.








The Australian Brush-turkey is an interesting bird; the male is often seen in spring scratching leaf matter and soil together creating a huge mound, measuring up to 4 meters across and 1 meter high which can take up to a month to build. Once the nest is finished, several females will lay their eggs in tiers in a deep hole in the mound's top. The heat generated by the decomposing leaf matter, combined with the sun’s heat incubates the eggs, whilst the male maintains a constant temperature of 33 - 38°C. He tests the temperature by sticking his beak into the mound, and material is either added or removed to achieve the right temperature. Interesting to note the males do all the work, builds the nest and tends to the eggs, the female just lays the eggs and leave the rest to the male.
When the eggs hatch the fully feathered chicks dig their own way out, quite a rough start to life as they can spend considerable time scrambling vertically through a meter of dirt and compost to reach the surface. Once free of the nest life becomes even harder, no parents to protect them or teach them about dangers or how and where to find food, they have to use their instincts to learn how to forage for fruit, insects and seeds, plus stay safe from predators.

We can help these amazing birds by being tolerant when they build their nest, it may be an inconvenient spot he has chosen, but did he have a choice??? Competition for nesting sites is fierce these days as they compete with human kind. He will in turn help you, the leftover mound is a great source of compost to spread out over your garden when the chicks have left the nest , once you see seedlings growing on top you will know it’s empty. 

A few quick tips on living with brush turkeys
To discourage brush turkeys in places you don't want them, dismantle any sign of a nest before it gets established. Clean up leaf litter regularly as these birds are encouraged to gardens with lots of leaf litter used for the building of their nest.
Don't feed the birds.
Build fences around your garden beds.
Enjoy watching them and be tolerant please.

Images by Nic Hine & Sharon McGrigor






Baby Blue-tongue lizards are on the move having to disperse at birth. The babies are born independent, and eat the placenta and membrane upon birth; this gives them their first nourishment. A few days later, they will shed for the first time. Babies are generally born 10 - 13cm in length, and there may be up to 19 young in a litter. Few will survive for long in our suburban environment as predators are many, such as cats, dogs, cars and lawn mowers. They do not run away when danger threatens, but puff up and stick out their tongues, not a good defence against a lawn mower.
To protect your lizards, keep your cats locked up; take great care when mowing long grass.
An opportunistic feeder, the blue tongue will eat anything slow enough for it to catch. They will eat a variety of plants, and a large range of insects. No Blue-tongue can go past a snail; these are like ice cream to them. Please don’t use chemicals such as snail bait, let the lizard do the job for you.
An adaptable lizard, all species of Blue-tongue are able to adapt to living in suburbia. They are common in the gardens of home owners, and are considered an asset as they keep the bug numbers down.

Providing somewhere to hide will help these little critters survive the perilous journey they face as they grow. You can create hiding tunnels in your garden by using small lengths of drain pipe hidden under leaf mulch. Also rocks and logs on the ground, piles of leaves and low shrubby bushes. Old ceramic and poly pipes around your yard will also provide good hiding places and escape routes for your lizards. Shallow water dishes placed on the ground under a bush will also assist, please change the water daily.

Blue-tongue lizards can live as long as 30 years, and will become quite used to you and your family. They are a wonderful native animal to share your garden.








































































































































































Updated January 1 2020  

Webmaster: Susanne Ulyatt

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