Australian Wildlife News
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DESCRIPTIONIssue 2 Australian Wildlife News by Claire Smith. Originally an email newsletter called Rescue News, it is evolving into a magazine.
R E S C U E N E W S
Rescue News 1
Sunshine Coast Wildlife Rehabilitators
Welcome to issue 2 of Rescue News. There was a good response to issue 1 so well keep going until someone says stop! At last our native icon, the koala, has been listed as Threatened. Hopefully we will start to see not only greater protection of koala habitat but also land being ear-marked specifically as conservation habitat by councils. If we save the koala we save so many other species. This is welcome news and we must take off our hats to those behind the campaign that got to this stage. Keep up the great work! Ed
A monthly newsletter Issue 2 May 2012
Reptile Education Convention Saturday 2 June 2012
10:00am 4:30pm Venue: The Mansfield Tavern 181 Wecker Road, Mansfield
$59.95 per Pet City Club Member $69.95 per Non Pet City Club Member Registration includes:
Bottomless Tea and Coffee. Roast Beef or Chicken with Roast Vegetables followed by Dessert. Bar is open (at delegates expense) from 12:30pm 1:30pm.
If you wish to stay on for dinner after the convention, a special Delegates price will be available on the day
All proceeds from ticket sales go to Wildcare Australia
Reptile products available for purchase on the day
Some of Troy Kuligowskis collection will be on display
Everyone receives a FREE goodies bag
Speakers include: Dr Danny BrownHusbandry of Geckos
Dr Debra MonksHygiene and Illness of most common diseases Dr Gaven BedfordExperiences found with Oenpelli Pythons
Ben Whittle and Troy KuligowskiJag Genetics Brad WalkerPython Husbandry and
How to Start a Career in the Reptile Industry
Book early by 30 April, 2012 for the Early Bird Lucky Draw
to win a $250 voucher from Reptile One
SNAKES ALIVE!Reptiles and snakes in particular do get a hard time when it comes to their co-habitation with humans. Blue Tongue lizards often get bludgeoned to death in the garden as their heads get mistaken for that of a brown snake or other fear inducing species. By the time realization sets in its too late and a beautiful Blue Tongue dies. Education is the key to living safely with reptiles and snakes and the Reptile conference will be a great opportunity to see first hand how amazing these creatures are.
Little Lia UpdateYou may remember in the last issue a small article about Lia the Galah on a treatment plan at AZWH. Well, shes home and has brought a new buddy with her, Nay Nay. Lia seems to be mimicking symptoms as after extensive treatment, exploration and a lot of hair pulling out she seems to be perfectly healthy. She has always had behavioural problems so we are now working on those hoping Nay Nay will help!
picture courtesy of WILDCARE Koala species information
R E S C U E N E W S
2 rescue news
Pacific golden plover (Image courtesy Robert Inglis)
The Sunshine Coast is a highly significant habitat for feeding, resting and nesting of resident and migratory shorebirds. These fascinat ing species carry out the longest journeys known in the natural world, some travelling tens of thousands of kilometres every year to reach our shores.Shorebirds, also known as waders, are a diverse group that comprise ten p e r c e n t o f A u s t r a l i a ' s b i r d species . Sandpipers , p lovers , oystercatchers and other shorebird species gather in large numbers in intertidal areas (between the low and high tide points) or on the fringes of f reshwater wet lands . On the Sunshine Coast, shorebirds can be seen in the estuaries, on the beaches and around the rocky headlands of N o o s a , M a r o o c h y d o r e a n d the internationally recognised Pumicestone Passage.Shorebird characteristics
Shorebirds generally have long legs in relation to their b o d y s i z e , n o
Pied oystercatchers (Image courtesy
webbing on their feet, most
shorebird species normally don't swim.
Shorebirds feed according to the tide, regardless of whether or not it is day or night, using their long beaks to dig for w o r m s , i n s e c t s a n d crustaceans.
Near the end of summer, many species will molt and change into spectacular b r e e d i n g p l u m a g e - announcing their suitability as potential partners.
W h e n s h o r e b i r d s t a k e flight for the next leg of their journey, some will form a beautiful "V" formation in the sky before heading off like a giant arrow.
About a third of local shorebird species are residents of the Coast, although some may travel to other locations within Australia. Most however are long distance migrants from northern hemisphere breeding grounds, spending only the months between September and April on the Coast.
Double banded plover (Image courtesy Robert Inglis)
Leaving the beginnings of harsh colder months in the north, the birds navigate their way to Australia using memory and instinct, sun, moon, and stars. They may fly for days at a time without rest or food, stopping off at "staging sites" in the Yellow Sea to build up further stores of fat and protein for the next leg of their flight. The birds arrive exhausted,
and some may not make the full journey, succumbing to extreme weather conditions or fatigue.
The time these birds spend on the Coast resting and feeding is crucial to whether or not they wi l l survive their return journey. Many of these species may only be able to feed during the lower end of the tides as mud flats become exposed. Known as intertidal feeding, these low tide times are critical for the birds in rebuilding their stocks before flying north once again. Migrating birds may need to build up 30 to 72% in weight gain, helping to increase their flight muscles before they leave.
TWINNIES SEABIRD & PELICAN RESCUE
Location: 2147 Steve Irwin Way Landsborough Qld 4550
Postal Address: PO Box 173 Beerwah Qld 4519
Telephone: 07 5439 9995
Rescue Hotline 0421 476 561
R E S C U E N E W S
rescue news 3
THE IMPORTANCE OF APPROPRIATE HOUSING FOR BIRDS
Correct housing for birds is vital for good rehabilitation, especially if the bird is to be in care for an extended period.In this issue I am going to look at kookaburras, and in particular, adult kookys.For birds that come into care and require cage rest only a cube cage of 600 mm is about the right size. The internal sides of the cage should have a curtaining of either shade cloth or similar all the way around, this is to help protect the kookaburras feathers as they are prone to flap a great deal and break tail feathers very easily. If too many tail feathers are lost through breakage this causes a secondary problem and can, in turn, cause the bird to stay in care for a much longer period of time whilst feathers grow back. If you do have this experience the bird must be taken to an experienced wildlife vet and have the tail feather shafts cleared to allow tail feathers to re grow rather than wait for a natural molt. All housing, from cages to enclosures must of course be snake proof unless birds are being kept within the home.For kookaburras who are able to be rehabilitated in an enclosure the same type of rules apply as they
did with a cage. Internal walls must be soft sidedThe photos above are of my kookaburra enclosure. The frame is constructed of tubular steel with shade cloth sides and roofing. Timber boards are used along all floor edges and partially buried in the earth. 1/3 of the enclosure has a roofed area which is a tarp and I chose to use one of the silver ones with high UV resistance. The floor remains a natural dirt substrate and I have a small compost heap of leaf litter in one corner. This is designed to provide a breeding ground for insects, beetles, grubs and larvae which the kookaburras enjoy catching. The enclosure is 4x3x3.5 m and does allow the birds to build up strength flying from one end to the other. I provide foliage in poly pipes attached to upright branches which have been buried into the ground. These uprights form the frame work for the perches to be attached to. The foliage is firstly to mimic habitat and secondly also attracts bugs and insects.Stumps and logs are important too. Kookaburras pounce on their prey and need to have several vantage points for this to be able to happen especially when you are live feeding.
Kookys also like to bathe...providing a large roasting pan size container with fresh water each day will be appreciated plus another container for drinking water. You will find this will need changing at least twice a day. They are really mucky birds!
The photograph below shows me with Fizzy and Joah. Both of these were orphans who were adopted by our local wild kookaburras. Each night they were brought in and then put out in a cage again during the daytime so that the wild birds could come and feed them. It was a really successful outcome for all concerned and a magic day when they flew off out.Ed
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4 rescue news
THE DUSTY FILES!This is Dusty, for anyone who hasnt met him yet. I was asked by Gail Gipp to try and rehabilitate him. He was born a wild bird but was orphaned as a chick and raised by human parents. Unfortunately, Dusty became more of a pet and very imprinted. Dusty finally ended up at AZWH and was in need of a home - and here he is. He spends a lot of time free roaming in the gardens and out in the paddock. He sees the wild cockatoos that come in most evenings and hes no longer afraid of them. Sadly, Dusty cannot fly as he had both of his wings clipped. Dr Amber at AZWH decided not to clear the feather shafts by removing the clipped feathers as it w