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Photograph by Peter Hammond

Latest news

Avian Influenza in the ACT

Avian influenza (HPAI H7N8) has been detected at a commercial farm in the ACT.

The property is under quarantine and ACT Biosecurity is working closely with the property to manage the infection using national response arrangements.

The ACT Government has declared a restricted quarantine area and a control quarantine area to reduce the movement of birds and other high-risk materials. You can view a map of the 2 quarantine areas on the ACT Government website.

The government is monitoring the situation closely and restrictions may change depending on progression of the outbreak.

Birds that can be affected

Avian influenza can affect many bird species including wild birds and domestic poultry.

Wild birds at higher risk of hosting avian influenza include waterbirds due to their migratory behaviour and birds of prey.

What to do

Biosecurity is everyone’s responsibility. It’s important we all keep up-to-date on the situation.

Birds must not be transported outside the quarantine zones. This includes any rescued wild birds or wild birds in care.

Be aware of the possible signs of avian influenza in birds:

  • watery eyes
  • breathing difficulties
  • swelling and purple discoloration of the head, comb, wattles and neck
  • coughing, sneezing, or rasping respiration
  • ruffled feathers, depression, closed eyes
  • diarrhoea
  • nervous behaviour
  • sudden death.

If you notice symptoms that seem consistent with avian influenza, call the 24-hour Emergency Animal Disease Hotline on 1800 675 888.

More information is available on the ACT Government website.

Avian Flu Restrictions

Due to the recent declaration of two quarantine zones by ACT Government, in response to avian influenza, we ask that anyone from the following suburbs who have sick or injured birds adhere to the following guidelines and restrictions:

Red zone (restricted quarantine area): Macgregor, Macnamara, and Strathnairn
For the red zone, we are currently unable to assist with bird rescues or care within this zone.
– Please do not touch wild birds
– Please do not contain or move wild birds in this zone
– Please call us on 0432 300 033 to inform us of the situation so we can assist with advice or reporting

Orange zone (control quarantine area): Listed alphabetically: Belconnen, Charnwood, Cook, Dunlop, Evatt, Florey, Flynn, Fraser, Hall, Hawker, Higgins, Holt, Latham, Lawson, Macquarie, Mckellar, Melba, Page, Scullin, Spencer, Weetangera, and Whitlam
For the orange zone:
– Please do not transport birds out of this zone into the red or white zones
– Please call us on 0432 300 033 for advice on how we can assist with birds in this zone

Please keep updated on this ongoing situation via https://www.environment.act.gov.au/parks-conservation/plants-and-animals/biosecurity/biosecurity-alerts/avian-influenza

Have Your Say on ACT Conservation Laws

If you’re interested in protection of native animals and plants in the ACT, here’s your chance to have your say on our nature conservation laws.

The ACT Government is conducting a 10-year review of the Nature Conservation Act 2014. The Act protects native plants, animals and landscapes in the ACT.

As part of the review, the Government wants feedback from the public on the Act and the related ACT Nature Conservation Strategy.

The Act sets out the objectives for nature conservation in the ACT, while the Strategy has practical steps to achieve them.

How to have your say

Visit the ACT Government’s Review of the Nature Conservation Act to find out more.

The consultation page includes:

  • a downloadable discussion paper with key issues and opportunities to improve the Act
  • an online survey to provide feedback.

Consultation closes 1 July 2024.

About Us

We are Canberra’s only multi-species wildlife care group in the ACT that rescues, rehabilitates and releases native animals. As a not-for-profit and charity we rely on donations to support the work of our volunteers.

Get Involved

Volunteers are our backbone. We welcome you to help in all aspects of rescue and care of the common species in the ACT including behind the scenes work. Training is provided.

Found an Animal?

Call our 24/7 Hotline
0432 300 033

Gently place the animal in a box with a towel or cloth and keep it warm and quiet. If you are unable to contain the animal, please stay near it and call our hotline with directions for rescue.

Important points:

FLEDGLING BIRDS DO NOT ALWAYS NEED RESCUING

Baby birds come out of their nests and cannot fly well for a few days. They are attended to by their parents during this time. Please watch from a distance and if you do not see parents then they may need to be rescued. This is usually not necessary. Call if you want to report an ‘abandoned’ magpie or bird – 0432 300 033

KEEP YOUR FELINE FRIEND INSIDE

You can love your cat and wildlife too.  Under the ACT government’s plan, all new cats obtained by owners after July 1, 2022 will have to be contained, regardless of which suburb they live in.

PLEASE DO NOT FEED BIRDS

Birds, especially magpies are abundant in the ACT. They frequent places where people eat and because people feed them they begin to rely on this (inappropriate) food and demand it.

BIRD NETTING DANGERS

With fruit ripening on trees inappropriate netting traps birds and flying foxes. Netting should have holes that you cannot put your little finger through and be stretched on a frame away from the branches. This means that birds and flying foxes can land and take off from the netting. Otherwise they get hopelessly caught up in loose, sloppy nets. Protecting Wildlife Netting Brochure: Flying foxes should not be touched because of the danger of Lyssavirus, a fatal disease unless you are vaccinated. If you should be bitten or scratched you should attend the hospital emergency clinic immediately and leave rescue of the animal to vaccinated carers with ACT Wildlife.

PRIMARY AND SECONDARY POISONING

Poisons used to kill rats and mice are threatening wildlife and their environment. They are also a threat to children and pets with consequences that can lead to death. Read the full document here outlining the dangers and how to reduce the risk.

Meet DJ

DJ came into care after being attacked by a cat. His severely damaged tail was removed, so he needs to be in care over winter.

DJ is a blue tongue lizard, one of the many skink species that can regrow their tail. You can see his new little tail starting to grow back.