We’re Still Here!

 

Yes we are still here!! We have been alerted to rumours being spread throughout the region that Warwick Wildlife are no longer providing rescue and care services. We can assure Southern Downs residents that this is not true and we continue to operate in the region, albeit with a different format. Our rescue number is the same: 0447-108-108

Our volunteers are fully equipped and trained in rescuing a variety of wildlife and providing emergency and ongoing care services including bats, but excluding snakes.

Don’t hesitate to call us if you find an animal in need!

Warwick Easter Fair 2018

What a day we had on Saturday! We were run off our feet with interested members of the public chatting to us about the group, wanting to join, wanting to help in some way, giving us donations. It was an awesome day!

The balloons ordered from Rolly’s Party & Lolly Shop were a HUGE hit with the kids! Some even coming back for seconds and thirds when they lost or popped them!

Martin from GeckoesMartin from Geckoes Wildlife Presentations did an amazing job entertaining the crowd from 11.00am – that kept visitors at the stall for longer, asking questions about the animals, what they might see here, what they should do if they found something. Highlight of his presentation was definitely his aging spotted tailed quoll … though for me it had to be the squirrel glider!

Our thanks must also go to Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland, Quoll Seekers Network, and Bats Qld who provided us with loads of information, brochures and merchandise for the stall!

And the staff of Warwick Tourism & Events who really got behind us and promoted our attendance at the fair before and during the event!

We should also make mention of local business TC’s Embroidery who very kindly got our shirts finished in time for the fair! Thanks TC!

Echidnas on the Move

It’s echidna breeding season and we’ll be seeing a few more wandering about the streets of Alpine Habitats over the coming months. We tend to see an increase in calls to the rescue number from concerned residents who either find an echidna in their yard or are worried about one wandering up the footpath.

The primary danger posed to echidnas in Alpine Habitats comes from traffic. Please, during the next few months when they are mobile SLOW DOWN on our streets and if you see an echidna stop and allow it to cross the road. They aren’t fast movers and need time to cross. Often as a car approaches they’ll ball up so you’ll need to go around or wait till they move off. Or if you feel disposed and have appropriate protection, you can pick them up and move them off the road.

If you find your dog harassing an echidna in the yard the very best thing to do is move the dog away. Chain it up or put it inside until the echidna has a chance to get away. If you are concerned, give us a ring on the hotline and we can come and assess the situation. But we are only permitted to move the echidna a short distance away from your property.

Remember echidnas have been here a long time – just because you don’t always see them in your yard doesn’t mean they’ve not always been there! Relocating an echidna because you are concerned your dog may kill it is actually very detrimental to the echidna who has probably grown up in your location, knows where food, water and danger is, and won’t know the same information in a different location. In addition, during breeding season, if the echidna is female the chances are she has left young in a den and relocating her means a death sentence for the young. Cats and dingos are listed as threats to echidnas, but dogs rarely cause them significant problems.

If you are wanting to remove an echidna from your yard to a ‘safer’ location do not ever use a shovel to do so. Damage can easily be caused to the feet and/or beak. Give us a call. We have rescuers trained in echidna handling.

An echidna will only need to be taken to a vet and/or brought into care if it has been hit by a car or has damage to the beak (which is incredibly sensitive). Echidnas will blow clear bubbles from their nostrils – this is a natural behaviour and helps clean the nose. It is only of concern if there is obvious damage, or the bubbles are pink or blood-stained. This can indicate a break in the beak. Unilateral breaks can sometimes be repaired but bilateral breaks to the beak are a death sentence and the echidna will most likely be euthanised as an alternative to it suffocating or starving to death. The RSPCA wildlife hospital at Wacol is best equipped to handle injured echidnas.

Note that whilst we have trained echidna rescuers, a special certification is required for rehabilitation of echidnas and (according to the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection) no Warwick-based carers have this special certification at this time. Our closest certified carer is in Murphys Creek and we can facilitate transport should an injured echidna require prolonged rehabilitation.

PLEASE. SLOW. DOWN!

As we all know, much of our wildlife is endangered. Travelling the highway to and from work every day my heart breaks at the new road kill each day… in just a 30km stretch of bitumen. I’m sad to say you do become a bit desensitised by all the roos and wallabies you see – only really having that gut-wrenching feeling when you see a Euro.

When you see people with clear vision for a few kilometres ahead not even bother to lift their foot for a split second to allow a sulphur crested cockatoo sitting in their lane sufficient time to take off, you marvel at the inhumanity of man.

But when you see three echidnas in the space of a 24 hour period, or what I came across this morning – a beautiful young male koala cut down in his prime – it almost does you in.

It really isn’t hard. I get we’re all in a hurry, but these animals didn’t ask for highways to cut through their ranges. If we put these things in to cut the time of our journeys to work and home then we have a responsibility to the other inhabitants to look out for them. These animals are slow-moving. Some (like koalas) are quite awkward on the ground. But they need to cross our paths to continue their journey around their ranges – we can’t expect them to simply accept their range is cut in half and turn back. It doesn’t work that way.

You wouldn’t leave a dog like this – or a kid – so why a critically endangered animal?

SLOW DOWN!

Snake Catcher Number

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We were notified by a member of the public this week that our local snake catcher advised they no longer attend to calls if the snake is outside.

We went on the hunt to find our next closest provider and have updated our home page with their number. Based in Toowoomba they service a wide area and you can see a list of localities at their site here.

You can contact them directly on 0428 116 116

Remember these tips from the RSPCA if you find a snake in your yard:

  • Don’t panic!
  • Don’t approach it.
  • Keep pets away – put them inside until it passes.
  • Usually they are just passing through so leave them alone as they move on to where they’re going.

Deter snakes from coming into your yard by:

  • Reducing snake feed sources. Keep animal feed in rodent-proof storage areas, keep the rodent population down, dispose of rubbish, and keep areas uncluttered.
  • Keep chickens in a snake-proof enclosure.
  • Reduce hiding places for snakes around your yard like wood piles and rubbish.
  • Keep grass short – snakes don’t like to be exposed and will avoid crossing large areas of uncovered ground.

There are further tips on what to do if you find a snake in your house here.

Remember it is illegal to catch (unless licensed) or kill a snake.

Quiet = Problem

It’s important to remember our wildlife is just that: wild! As a high order predator we are viewed as dangerous by the animals we share our environment with. Their natural instinct when we approach is to fight or flee. Armed with sharp claws and teeth, they will use them if approached and if they are fit to do so.

Remember: if you can pick up an animal (possum, bird, koala, wallaby)* and there is little to no fight back from them, there is something wrong with the animal, even if it looks okay. We have unfortunately been conditioned by images we see in the media that all animals are like the ones you find at Australia Zoo. Friendly, docile, able to be handled. This is not the case with a truly wild animal. Even a squirrel glider, which is so beautiful and soft, can inflict a nasty wound with its sharp teeth.

Unless you have the right equipment or training, you should never attempt to handle the animal yourself. More damage can be done with incorrect handling and housing. And if you can approach and pick the animal up, that is a dead giveaway the animal is not okay and you need to contact us ASAP.

Give us a ring and we can come and assess the situation before determining the best course of action for the animal.

 

*NEVER handle a bat, flying fox or snake!