ACT Wildlife volunteer swapping nets with 2 Canberrans

Net success for wildlife

ACT Wildlife’s 2023 Net Swap Program has been a big success story for Canberra’s wildlife.

Netting your garden fruit and vegetables can help protect them from pests but can also harm animals. Flying-foxes, possums, birds and other wildlife can tangle themselves in netting when the mesh is too big. This can cause serious injuries or death.

ACT Wildlife and the ACT Government are taking action to prevent this. In 2023, ACT Wildlife received a grant from the ACT Government to swap Canberrans’ unsafe netting for wildlife safe nets.

Over the past few months, we’ve had 320 householders drop by our Jerrabomberra office to swap their unsafe garden nets.  Thanks to them, and our volunteers, Canberra now has an extra 1,484 nets protecting both our gardens and our wildlife.

And that’s just the start. The ACT Government is bringing in legislation to prevent use of unsafe garden nets. This is likely to pass before the end of the year.

We’ll continue the next swap program in 2024, so keep an eye out for net swap dates.


ABC Radio interview with Clare Wynter

Recently Adrienne Francis, Afternoon Presenter with ABC Canberra Radio, interviewed ACT Wildlife Bat Coordinator, Clare Wynter.

In the ACT there are colonies of Flying Foxes and Microbats which are vital to help maintain our forests. Clare Wynter explains the various roles of Flying Foxes in her interview with Adrienne Francis.

If you find a Flying Fox tangled or injured, DO NOT TOUCH IT. Bats can carry a fatal disease to humans. Call ACT Wildlife for one of our vaccintated carers to come and rescue it. Our phone line is operated 24/7  0432 300 033

Sonar jamming moths and other wildlife tales

At our recent ACT Wildlife AGM, we were fortunate to have our patron Ian Fraser share some fascinating facts about wildlife we care for. Ian is a well-known naturalist, conservationist and author. Read some highlights from his talk below.

Blue-faced honeyeaters aren’t blue

According to Ian, there are no blue pigments in birds. ‘Blue’ feathers have tiny bubbles in their barbules that reflect blue light and absorb other colours. What we see are actually colourless feathers reflecting blue light to our eyes. The blue-faced honeyeater’s blue skin has layers of collagen fibres aligned to give the same effect.

Microbat vs moth arms race

Microbats use sonar to identify the wingbeat frequency of insects and trap them in flight.

But some moths send a burst of clicks at a special frequency to jam the bat’s sonar. Others have special fuzzy wings which bats can’t detect. Bats in turn have evolved sonar that can detect these fuzzy moths. There’s a constant evolutionary arms race between bats and moths.

For more fascinating facts, including the quirks of pelican breeding and reptiles from the dinosaur age, download the full version of Ian’s talk [docx 16KB]

Baby Birds

We love it when folks want to help wildlife in trouble. But sometimes they’re not in trouble, and ‘birdnapping’ occurs. Have a read to learn about birds, and share share share the word. Thank you!

Toxic Rat Bait Increase

The ABC has reported that due to recent heavy rains, mice and rats have increased in numbers and creating problems. This has resulted in more people buying baits to contain the numbers.

Our wildlife are then susceptible as they will either be attracted themselves to the bait or will consume mice or rats that have consumed the poison.

ACT Wildlife can report that this year we have seen an increase in predatory birds and possums come into care that have been poisoned.

Read the full article here

Two joey possums in care whose mothers were poisoned by baits.

WIRES Grant for $5000

A grant from WIRES for $5000 has enabled us to buy rescue equipment kits for our new volunteers. A huge thank you to WIRES for their assistance. The kits contain pouches made by our sewing group, heatpacks from ARC and other items purchased by our amazing Transport Coordinator, Adam.

All cats to be contained in ACT

All kittens born after 1 July 2022 must now be contained according to legislation in the ACT. Kittens grow into adult cats whose natural instincts are to kill things that move. They are one of the highest contributors to the decline of native birds so the legislation is a major advancement towards protecting our precious native wildlife.

Please keep your feline friends indoors.

Bird-spotters needed to help bring Gang-gangs back from the brink

Calling all bird enthusiasts. Canberra woodland bird specialist Dr Laura Rayner is calling for help to spot one of the nation’s most iconic, yet threatened bird species – the Gang-gang cockatoo. Dr Rayner’s research is exploring whether the birds are breeding and she needs the help of citizen scientists to spot and report sightings of the birds overtime. Details can be found at The Riot Act.

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 (, and a summary can be read here: