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.
By Danielle Davis
This unusual Albino Tawney Frogmouth sits next to a normal Tawny Frogmouth
he has made friends with in the aviary. He
was found on the ground in a caravan park in Byron Bay with people
shooing him aside to get by!
UPDATE: Both Tawny's have been released
By Lib Ruytenberg
Spring is the maternity
time for flying foxes. Orphaned flying foxes generally come into care
in October and November.
Their mothers may have died because of barbed wire or netting entanglement,
or electrocution on power lines. Sometimes pups are found alone on power
lines or on the ground. In the Northern Rivers we get black flying foxes
and grey headed flying foxes.
When they come into care,
they are fed cows milk 4 or 5 times a day and gradually introduced to
fruit. They bond quite strongly with their human carers. At 10-12 weeks
of age, they become fully weaned and enjoy a fruit diet. This is also
when they start to fly. They are then sent to bat creche for a few weeks
before being transferred to a release aviary. They do not miss their
human careJanuary 19, 2014 are released from the aviary after a few weeks and are support fed there
for a few months after their release.
This picture shows a black flying fox pup, Robby, on the left and a
grey headed flying fox pup, Francie, on the right. Robby was found alone
on the ground in Casino and Francie came from Legume where her mum was
Spring is the time when
most birds are breeding, unfortunately many juvenile birds become
orphaned for a variety of reasons, from parent birds being killed, juveniles
falling out of nests due to high winds, or simply just falling out,
the nest being too high for us to get them back up, the reason can be
as varied as the species we deal with.
In all cases WIRES try to
locate the juveniles in groups, as seen here a group of juvenile Tawny
Frogmouth birds growing up together in WIRES carer Alicia's aviary.
All will be released back
to the wild when ready to take care of them selves.
This little Bandicoot
came in to care after being found by pupils from St Johns school in
Mullumbimby. 2 Bandicoots were found alive another dead from unknown
cause. The one seen here has done well in care, her sister unfortunately
did not fare as well and died after only a few days in care.
They were rescued by WIRES
carer Georgie, spent their next stage in care with carer Margi before
finally this little female has gone to her release site where she will
learn all about foraging for food, finding the right hiding places and
being a wild Bandicoot.
Thank you to the pupils
of St Johns, it is due to your vigilance this little female will have
a second chance at life in the wild.
juvenile Ringtail possums arrived in to care only a week
apart in May, both were victims of tree felling on private properties.
They are seen here 9 weeks later still in care with WIRES carer Julia.
They are now fairly independent,
and the time for release is getting closer.
WIRES receive regular rescue calls for
Wedge-tailed Eagles .
The Wedge-tailed Eagle is Australia’s
largest bird of prey, with a wingspan of up to 2.5 meters, and 1metre
long from beak to tail.
Eagle numbers have plummeted since white
settlement due to the mistaken belief they preyed on lambs. Until recently
they were shot, poisoned and trapped in the hundreds of thousands. During
the 1960’s, 30,000 eagles were killed each year.
Intensive studies have proven that eagles
actually kill very few lambs, and those lambs taken were usually sick
and dying or in fact dead already. Carrion makes up a large part of
the eagles’ diet, and preferred live food is wallabies, rabbits
and foxes. (Foxes are the greatest killers of healthy lambs.)
Thankfully, Wedge-tailed Eagles are now
protected and it is illegal to harm them in any way. Unfortunately they
still have an uphill battle for survival. The problems facing them today
are habitat destruction, poisoning from baits, reduced numbers of rabbits,
and road accidents.
Some people still attempt to shoot them, and recently lead shot was
revealed in an x-ray of an eagle with a broken wing.
As eagles are carrion feeders, they are
drawn to road-kills. If you ever see an eagle feeding on the side of
the road, slow down! The eagles are heavy birds and it is surprising
how slow they are to take flight. Often they fly across the traffic
and into the path of a car.
Another way to help reduce accidents is to remove dead animals from
the roadside, but only if it is safe to do so. Remember to always check
the pouches of marsupials for live young.
If you do ever find an injured eagle, or any other native wildlife in
distress, calls WIRES immediately on 66281898 and if possible stay with
the bird/ animal until a trained rescuer arrives. Do not attempt rescue
of eagles on your own, as they can be dangerous, especially their impressive
It would be a tragedy to lose these magnificent
birds from our skies.
For images of these magnificent birds click
Native animals can
get in to trouble for many different reasons.
This Northern Brown Bandicoot was
injured when a member of the public was mowing the lawn. Bandicoots
will hide under a mulch pile, so having a quick check before
mowing may prevent such an injury.
WIRES carer Roger rescued and cared for this juvenile
male Bandicoot, after veterinary treatment and a few days in Rogers
care, he was once again released back to where he was found at Lennox
carer Katy received this Swamp wallaby
joey in to care in February 2006 from Rebecca of Brunswick Heads, she
found this joey having been injured in a car accident. The joey was
very small when she arrived in to care, she did not even have fur. First
image taken the day of her arrival, and second image after 4 months
in Katy's care.
Thank you Rebecca for rescuing
this tiny wallaby.
Update October 2006
you Rebecca for rescuing this tiny wallaby, Kangaroocia as she was named
is now almost ready for release back to the wild.
receive a number of calls regarding birds injured by being
tangled in fishing line. This is rather sad, considering it is a preventable
injury. If you do go fishing, please be responsible and pick up discarded
line from the beach.
frogmouth had a rusty fishing hook embedded in its leg. WIRES carer
Alicia was fortunately able to save this bird, seen here just before
having the hook removed from its leg.
Yet another victim
of discarded fishing line. This Magpie did not fare as well as the Tawny
Frogmouth, both of its legs were tied together and broken due to discarded
Brushtail joey was found in his dead mothers pouch by Robyn on her
morning walk at Alstonville. How lucky can a little possum be when he
finds himself in the unfortunate situation of being orphaned, to be
found by the partner of a veterinary surgeon.
Dee as he was named
( due to being found in Dee's Lane) was taken to Alstonville Veterinary
Clinic, where he was examined and found to be in excellent health considering
his ordeal. He was put on a heat mat to keep him warm till WIRES rescuer
Jessica arrived to take him to WIRES possum carer Kristin. Here he has
thrived and grown, and he is now almost ready to be paired up with yet
another orphaned Mountain Brushtail possum, same age as Dee. They will
grow up together and as long as all goes well, will be released together
Thank you to Robyn
and the Lennox Head Veterinary clinic.
is for Geoff.
Thank you Geoff for stopping
and checking the pouch of the dead mother of this very young Pademelon
He is doing well in care,
and after 3 weeks in care is starting to grow some fur. He was about
3.5 months old when found, and he will stay in care untill he is mature
enough to survive in the wild at about 10 months old.
Four Magpie Lark chicks
were found on the ground by four boys. Being the perfect number they
Amazingly, all chicks survived the night, but by morning they were cold
and hungry. Common sense prevailed and the chicks were taken to an adult
who called WIRES. (One even survived a bicycle ride in a boy’s
The youngest chick did not survive long term, but the other 3 were successfully
released with a group of other Magpie Larks.
See them grow here.
Moorhen chick is lucky to be alive after it was taken from its family
by some boys who unfortunately threw it around for a while before abandoning
in the main street in Casino. A member of the public, Sarah, rescued
the little chick and called WIRES.
Gordon and Monica of Wyreema Animal Nursery kindly donated a Bantam
chick as a buddy, and the two became firm friends.
The Moorhen grew well, and after 6 weeks in care was released at the
Richmond River in Casino. The bantam was returned to its family at Wyreema.
To see this little chick
grow, click here.
chicks are reunited with their parents.
A member of the public brought me the first of 3 Kookaburra
nestling after he had fallen from his nest hollow near the racecourse
at Casino. The tree was tall, spindly and full of white ants. He weighed
278 grams and was covered in the largest pin feathers I had ever seen!
Three days later his sibling also fell (288 grams) and then a third
who unfortunately didn't’t survive the fall.
I kept them in a substitute nest hollow made from a cardboard box and
once they felt safe started to feed voraciously. The larger kookaburra
was always more aggressive and ate more than his brother.
After two weeks both left the nest and were perching well, even grabbing
and banging their food.
Then began the process of reuniting them with their parents. I took
them to the racecourse in a large cage and hung it in a tree, then returned
throughout the day to feed them. I brought them home at night for fear
of predators trying to get them. The parents were around at times. After
the forth day the parents were sitting on the cage and feeding the chicks
through the wire, so I opened the cage.
They were observed over the next few days sitting together high in a
tree, with the parents around.
We are having a nest box made and will attach it to a more suitable
tree, so hopefully next breeding season their young will be safe.
here to see them grow.
a young Ringtail possum in to care quite some
time ago, he was only little on arrival, but has thrived in care.
He is seen here
in the last stages in care.
you Carla for being vigilant and realising this animal was in
trouble, without you he would not have had the chance of growing
up, and return to the wild.
by Alicia Carter
4 month old female juvenile Platypus was
washed from her home after the recent floods in Northern NSW last week.
Thanks to the keen eyes of Jonathan & Nathan canoeing down the creek,
the Platypus was rescued when they spotted her washed up on the bank.
The boys immediately contacted WIRES and the intensive and specialised
care of the Platypus ensued.
After a trip to the
Currumbin Sanctuary Veterinary hospital where the Platypus was placed
in intensive care and monitored by an expert in this species from Fleays
Fauna Park, it was found that she was suffering from exhaustion. After
4 days it was time for her to go back to the wild, and she was brought
back home by WIRES to the Northern Rivers.
There were several crucial
factors for WIRES to consider to ensure a successful release. A suitable
location with a plentiful food supply and adequate protection needed
to be found, and secondly this young female platypus was too young to
dig her own burrow. An artificial burrow was constructed and she was
released post haste into a cool creek pool where she can be closely
monitored over the next month.
attacks unfortunately account for most Sugar
Gliders coming in to care, this little male Glider is no exception.
Fortunately WIRES was
contacted as soon as possible by the owner of the cat, and we were
able to treat him immediately on arrival. Time lost in cases like
this is often detrimental to the Sugar Glider's chances of survival
in cases of cat attacks due to the infection caused by the
claws and teeth. Even if we may not be able to see the penetration
marks on the animal, it is almost certain to have been injured, and
unless treated as fast as possible, has the potential to be a sad
In this case we hope
to have a good outcome, and our little male received a companion 5 days
after arrival, a female Sugar Glider.
13 January 06
by Lib Ruytenberg, Image by Alicia Carter
Months can go by without
any ducks coming into care. So it was surprising and fortunate to have
recently received 3 separate duck calls within 24 hours. Firstly I collected
a single day old Pacific Black duckling which WIRES carers Emma and
Betsy picked up from Pimlico. I was just about to go out to collect
a day old domestic duckling to buddy up with it, and a call came from
carer Nicki in Byron Bay that she had just picked up a little duckling.
Great. A native instead of a domestic buddy for the Pimlico duckling.
I was just about to go and collect Nicki’s duckling when WIRES
carer Danielle called to say there was a mother duck with 8 ducklings
at Byron Bay Vet.
Could we be lucky enough for these 3 situations to merge successfully?
The vet said that the mother duck was unable to use her legs but couldn’t
determine the cause. I put mother duck and all 10 ducklings into care.
Mum immediately ushered all 10 under her body. The ducklings were all
day old, all Pacific Blacks. Within another 24 hours, the duck was using
her legs normally. I guessed that she had probably just been exhausted
from prolonged nest sitting.
After six days, I released mum and the 10 ducklings onto a large, vegetation
lined dam in Ewingsdale. It was wonderful indeed to see mum step out
of the cage and swim away to explore their new home, with the 10 little
balls of fluff paddling behind her.
The landowner will keep an eye on their progress.