News

Meet the 2022 ACT Wildlife Committee

On 20 March ACT Wildlife held their Annual General Meeting and elected a new committee. Lindy Butcher remains as President, Jane Whyte is the new Vice-President, Don McLeod remains as Treasurer and Dorothy Brown remains as Secretary.

Long-term President and Vice-President Marg Peachey, has stepped down from the committee and her vast contribution to the organisation was acknowledged along with thanks for the years of committment.

What helps rescued wildlife stay alive?

Researchers at the University of Sydney have completed a comprehensive meta analysis identifying five factors that impact wildlife survival outcomes for injured and displaced wildlife. The research has been published in Plos One (https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0265514), and a summary can be read here: https://www.sydney.edu.au/news-opinion/news/2022/03/23/what-helps-rescued-wildlife-stay-alive-.html.

Birdsong #2 on the ARIA charts

Australia’s threatened birds are having their moment in the Australian music industry spotlight. Songs of Disappearance, initiative of researchers from Charles Darwin University Stephen Garnett and Anthony Albrecht, is an album composed entirely of birdsong. It showcases the complex melodies and rhythms of birdsong and it has hit #2 on the ARIA charts, ahead of artists such as Paul Kelly and Taylor Swift. Some calls on the CD are astonishing for their rarity. Profits from sales will go to continuing the vital work of Birdlife Australia to protect Australia’s threatened bird species. Read about it in this article by the the researchers for The Conversation.

Feral cats in ACT

By Antoinette Radford

Posted updated 

 

Releasing feral and stray cats into the wild is banned in most of Australia, but in the ACT a program called trap, neuter, return (TNR) is placing them back onto the streets.

In the ACT, those colonies exist in the industrial suburbs of Fyshwick, Hume and Mitchell and are tended to by the Canberra Street Cat Alliance (CSCA), a volunteer organisation.

In every other state and territory, various laws, including biodiversity acts, make it illegal to release an invasive species — like a cat — back into the environment. But the ACT allows TNR.

Wombat Garden Art

Wombat Garden Art is a great idea for your garden or for the gardens of family and friends as a gift. 10% of each purchase is donated to ACT Wildlife to care for our wildlife. Use the code below to ensure that ACT Wildlife recieves your donation.

Wombats SA affiliated themselves with ‘Animalia Art Australia ’ Animalia Art – Animalia Art Australia (animalia-art.com.au), who specialise in creating metal animal garden art (including Australian natives). To purchase, click the link above.

Animalia Art have agreed to donate 10% of sales to the wildlife group if the customer uses the code for that wildlife group. The code for ACT Wildlife is WOMBATS006. This promotion will be valid until June 2022.

How safe is your netting?

Is fruit netting absolutely necessary? How much produce is harvested? How much is wasted? Consider sharing and enjoying the visiting wildlife to the garden.

Flying foxes and native birds are particularly prone to entanglement in netting. They can become so entangled that they can no longer fly and have to be euthanased. The grey-headed flying-fox is protected under the Commonwealth Environment & Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Flying foxes and native birds are also protected in the ACT under the Nature Conservation Strategy 2014.

Flying foxes and native birds are a keystone species in the Australian environment they play an important role in keeping our ecosystem healthy. They pollinate flowers and disperse seeds as they forage on nectar and pollen of eucalypts, melaleucas & banksias and the fruits of forest trees and vines.

Before you put up any netting follow these guidelines:

  • Don’t put netting on until the fruit has been fertilised.
  • Before covering the trees make sure there are no holes in the nets stored from last year.
  • Some examples of preferred fruit tree netting with an aperture 5mmx5mm / 70GSM fully stretched as in the photos below.
  • Netting needs to be tied tightly around the trunk or over a frame and if nets are sewn together make sure there are no gaps.
  • Gaps must be smaller than being able to put your finger through.

Examples of good netting

Example of bad netting

WARNING: Some wildlife, especially flying foxes or snakes carry diseases and maybe dangerous. If someone is bitten or scratched by a flying-fox thoroughly wash the site and contact your doctor immediately or go to Emergency at Canberra Hospital to get vaccinated against the Australian Bat Lyssavirus (ABL ), this is free .

Do not attempt to cut wildlife from the netting, call ACT Wildlife rescuers on 0432 300 033 who are all vaccinated and trained in rescuing flying-foxes, birds and snakes.

ACTW to receive recurrent funding over next four years!

ACT Wildlife is delighted to have been recognised in the ACT Budget with recurrent funding over the next four years.

This funding will allow us to further implement some of the goals in our Strategic Plan.

These are exciting times and we look forward to being able to share more details over time.

Thank you to all of our volunteers, staff and the members of the public who assist ACT Wildlife in our care for injured and orphaned wildlife in the ACT.

Indian Myna now a recognised pest

The Indian myna is a feral bird that has now been classified as a pest. As a wildlife rescue organisation ACT Wildlife is not permitted to care for pest animals.

For all inquiries relating to Indian Mynas please contact the Canberra Indian Myna Action Group
www.indianmynaaction.org.au
handke@grapevine.net.au

Know the difference between the feral Indian Myna and our native Noisy Miner.

Indian Myna – photo by Geoffrey Dabb

Noisy Miner – photo by Mark David

$10,000 Donation from The Green Shed

Above: Sandie Parkes, The Green Shed with Lindy Butcher, President, ACT Wildlife.

The Green Shed fundraises to a target of $10,000 which is then donated to a local charity and ACTW was chosen as the local charity when their target was reached. This is an incredibly generous community service that they provide and we have lots of items we can spend that money on, including a trailer, a garage and medical equipment for our soon to be delivered Wildlife First Aid Clinic. Thank you The Green Shed!

New ACTW Car

In 2020 we were granted money from “Eldon & Anne Foote Trust” administered by The Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation for the purchase of a car – a new electric Hyundai Kona.  The purpose of the vehicle is for rescue and transport when calls are received about wildlife in distress. Look out for it as you drive around Canberra streets.

Thank you to our very generous donors.

Wildlife Warriors

Recently our newest Sponsor a Species Wildlife Warriors spent time learning about our work rescuing, caring and releasing birds.

Sponsor a Species is a program designed for everyone to be involved in helping our wildlife. Wildlife Warriors have the opportunity for up close encounters with the species they choose to support. Learn more.

New Bat Aviary

Our bat aviary at Jerrabomberra is now complete and ready for it’s new occupants. Last month it was officially opened by Dermot O’Gorman, Chief Executive Officer of the WWF-Australia. Their very generous donation of $50,000 allowed the aviary to be constructed to house pre-release bats that will finish their rehabilitation with flight practise then be released from the aviary through a specially constructed release hatch. Marg Peachey, President ACT Wildlife, thanked WWF-Australia for their support and partnership in this project.

Bats or Flying Foxes are a vital part of the environment in the pollination process of native trees and shrubs. They are far more efficient than birds and bees.

Photo from left: Jim Peachey, Barbara Mabbott, Sandra Corbett, Denise Kay (ACTW Bat Coordinator), Marg Peachey (ACTW President), Dermot O’Gorman (CEO, WWF-Australia) and Bonnie Monkhouse (Capital Certifiers).