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Australian Wildlife News monthly e-magazine covering rescue, rehabilitation and conservation issues for Australian Wildlife.

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  • A monthly Magazine Issue 10 January 2013

    Australian WILDLIFE NEWS

    HUNTING TO BEGIN IN 79 NSW

    NATIONAL PARKS

  • W I L D L I F E N E W S

    2 WILDLIFE NEWS

    Welcome to issue 10 and Happy New Year to you all.I have to say that the Facebook page has really taken off and I want to thank everyone who has become a part of what we are trying to achieve. Ive been meeting some wonderful people since we started the FB page, people from all over the world who all care about their wildlife.

    Ive been lucky enough to be able to spend a lot of time out and about taking pictures of birds over the last couple of months. I recently got a 14 ft open canoe and an electric motor. This makes getting shots of water birds so much easier and I can get closer without disturbing them.

    HUNTING IN NSW NATIONAL PARKS

    As per my front page, NSW is going to allow shooting in 79 of its National Parks as of March 2013. You still cant have a dog on a leash but you can take a rifle!

    The recently passed bill has been criticised as being a deal with the Shooters and Fishers Party to get support for a bill privatising the state's electricity generators, although the Premier had earlier promised not

    to introduce hunting into National Parks. (ABC SE NSW article).

    The first NSW National Parks to be opened for hunting will likely include South East Forests, Wadbilliga, and Kosciuszko National Parks (excluding ski fields). Only hunters accredited by Game Council NSW will be permitted, and they must register their hunts in advance and adhere to regulations. Opponents say those requirements mean nothing as there is very little policing of hunting in public land. Greens MLC David Shoebridge says Game Council NSW confirmed to the NSW Parliament that it employs only 4.2 full time equivalent staff to police the hunting already allowed in State Forests across NSW. A fierce critic of hunting in public forests and National Parks, Greens MLC David Shoebridge, points out that the two Shooters and Fishers Party members currently in the NSW Parliament are former Chairs of the Game Council.He told Parliament, "For the first time ever shooters will be allowed - amateur shooters, weekend cowboys who are out for nothing other than blood sports - to take their high-powered hunting rifles into national parks and mix amateur hunting, cheek by jowl, with those other users of national parks - the bushwalkers, the picnickers and the hikers - as well as rangers and other national park employees."Many public forests will never see a Game Council inspector and hunters are subject to licence conditions that are hardly worth the paper they are written on."The RSPCA 'is opposed to recreational hunting because of the cruelty involved and believes allowing hunters into our national parks will be detrimental, not only to animal welfare, but to the ongoing management of pest animals and to

    the safety of individuals who access these treasured havens that are home to our native wildlife.'Public Service Association of NSW says it is 'outraged at the backflip and lies by the O'Farrell government with regards to recreational hunting in parks.And the National Parks Association, sharing concern for park staff and visitors, highlights that ' this decision was a deal with the Shooters and Fishers Party so that they would support the government's electricity privatisation bill. It is not about conservation'.During the recent school holidays a horrified family were confronted by a group of hunters driving into a camping ground in a south east National Park randomly shooting kangaroos. In front of the distressed family camped in the remote but popular National Park they shot a number of kangaroos and loaded some onto a vehicle before driving off, leaving dead and maimed animals behind.To oppose this new legislation you can find out more information at www.nohunting.wildwalks.com Dont we already have enough issues in the world with guns? There has already been a fatality in NZ in a National Park where a hiker was mistaken for a deer. I own a rifle. I am not anti gun but theres a place for shooting and its called the rifle range. We dont need to shoot wildlife to have fun and we do not need to be discouraging people from enjoying National Parks and the wildlife that lives there.

    Until next issue, take care.Claire, Editor

  • W I L D L I F E N E W

    WILDLIFE NEWS 3

    Claire Smith Photography

    NATURE DEFICIT DISORDER may sound strange but when you look at the reasoning behind it the name makes a great deal of sense. Although this is not a recognised disorder, some people believe that we are becoming so far removed from our natural world and its inhabitants, that we are becoming detached from nature and this is one of the reasons why theres a serious lack of understanding and knowledge when it comes to the general publics support for conservation and protection of species.

    Children today spend less time out of doors playing than any other time in recorded history. When I was a child we were outdoors as much as we could be, no one wanted to stay in the house. We were either playing in a park, out on bikes, making tree swings or dens and we were surrounded by nature. Now, it seems, a lot of children are spending a lot of time in virtual worlds via computer games. This isnt just applicable to children either. How many internet or computer gamers do you think there are? Statistics show that it is anywhere between 100-300 million. The population of the USA is approx. 300 million - now those statistics start to look pretty scary.

    What is this going to mean for the future of our planet, its wildlife and habitat? At a time when we are really more educated and aware of what we need to do and stop doing to protect the environment are we really encouraging people to take a look outside their window and get aquainted with the natural world. When we experience nature, and wildlife particularly, it can have an amazingly positive effect on us. Children who connect with animals first hand very rarely lose that connection and love. I am a great believer in hands on experience and I admire all the zoos and animal centres who have education programmes in place. The future of our wildlife is in the hands of our children and grandchildren - Nature Deficit Disorder could well become a recognised illness if we dont prevent that disconnection now.Claire Smith, Editor

    Claire Smith Photography

    Claire Smith Photography

    Claire Smith Photography

    Claire Smith Photography

    Claire Smith Photography

    Claire Smith Photography

    Claire Smith Photography

  • W I L D L I F E N E W S

    4 WILDLIFE NEWS

    There is no excuse for committing, allowing or encouraging cruelty to animals or for killing threatened species. We call on each political party to commit to the following:

    1. Permit only humane non-lethal methods of crop protection, as required under Queenslands Nature Conservation Act 1992.

    Expert assessments, including those by the RSPCA and Queenslands Animal Welfare Advisory Committee, have found that electrocution and shooting are inhumane.

    The Queensland Government banned electrocution of flying-foxes in 2001 and shooting of flying-foxes in 2008 in recognition that these methods are inhumane.

    Shooting causes a high rate of wounding, and slow death from injuries, thirst or starvation. Electrocution can cause a slow, agonising death.

    The birth of flying-foxes coincides with the ripening of many orchard fruits. A substantial proportion of flying-foxes killedin orchards have dependent young, who subsequently die from hunger or thirst over several days. The orphaned young issue guarantees that all lethal methods of crop protection are inhumane.

    Full exclusion netting is humane and effective in protecting fruit crops from flying-foxes and birds. 2. Assist fruit growers to adopt effective non-lethal methods of crop protection

    Most fruit growers have now adopted netting, the only consistently effective method of crop protection. For growers yet to take up this option, we recommend that governments provide assistance (eg. with low interest loans) for the installation of nets, ensuring that any assistance is fair to the growers who have already invested in responsible methods of crop protection.

    . Implement measures to recover populations of threatened flying-fox species and sustain all flying- fox species to promote healthy ecosystems

    loss of productive habitats, mortality in orchards and other threats have resulted in decline of flying- fox populations, to the extent that Grey-headed and Spectacled flying-foxes are nationally threatened.

    Flying-foxes face an uncertain, difficult futurewith ongoing habitat loss, climate change, camp harassment and multiple other threats. Their future viability depends on a much stronger conservation focus.

    investment in the future of flying-foxes pays dividends in the health of woodlands and forests that benefit from flying-fox pollination and seed dispersal.

    Much of the community conflict about flying-foxes is based on misunderstandings and unwarranted fears. Community education is a vital component of conservation programs. Find out more at www.dontshootbats.com

    www.dontshootbats.com

  • W I L D L I F E N E W S

    WILDLIFE NEWS 5

    I am on a very interesting journey at the moment. A bat journey!

    I am not an active bat carer, yet. I have all the paper work and I just have to sign and pop it in the post.

    My journey has really started on my Australia Wildlife News Facebook page where I have met some amazing people - not least, the bat community. They are a very special, dedicated, totally focused and in a very positive way, totally batty community!

    I have never met wildlife carers