Category Archives: State-by-State

Another Tasmanian Devil death — what you can do

Tasmanian-Devil-road-toll

Thank you to all 22,000 of you for standing up to protect the Tasmanian Devils. Only yesterday, I found another young dead devil along the road, bringing the death toll to 114 since January 2021.”  — Alice Carson, 1 March 2022. change.org

I HAVE BEEN contacting Ministers and representatives trying to get some real commitment from our leaders to protect one of the last remaining health devil populations in our state. But I haven’t received any support from Liberal or Labour leaders.

In fact, when I spoke to a lady in Premier Gutwein’s office, I was shocked to hear she didn’t even know that our precious devils are a threatened species. This is why it’s important for our leaders to hear from us. We need to show we care about the devils, and they must too.

Can you share the above photo on their social media pages as comments to grab their attention?

Simply right click on the image to save it, and post as a comment under Ministers’ Facebook posts with the following comment:

“114 healthy Tasmanian Devils have died on Woollnorth road since January 2021. We need urgent action to address the roadkill Change.org/TassieDevils”

Post the photo as comments under posts on the following Facebook pages:

VIEW ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE


RELATED NEWS ARTICLE:
More than 100 Tasmanian devils killed on a 25km stretch of road in state’s north-west

ABC News, 3 March 2022

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Christmas comes early for NSW koala colony thanks to community work

koal-habitat-Lake-Innes-Nature-Reserve-supplied

THE NSW GOVERNMENT has announced the purchase of 194 hectares of prime koala habitat located adjacent to the Lake Innes Nature Reserve, south-west of Port Macquarie. The purchase is funded as a joint initiative and only possible through the generous contribution of $3.5 million from Koala Conservation Australia (KCA) as well as from the NSW Government’s landmark $193 million dollar investment in koala conservation.

Environment Minister Matt Kean said the purchase will protect core koala habitat of strategic importance in the Port Macquarie region which will help us reach our target of doubling the koala population by 2050.

“There has been sustained community advocacy to see this land purchased, and I want to pay particular tribute to the local member Leslie Williams and the KCA who have been instrumental in making this happen, their work will leave an enduring legacy for the community for generations to come,” Mr Kean said.

“Our iconic koalas are increasingly threatened by the loss and fragmentation of habitat, this purchase will protect critical habitat from development and ensure the koala population in this area is safeguarded forever.”

“Our plan is to add this purchase to Lake Innes Nature Reserve and declare it an Asset of Intergenerational Significance, which will provide the highest possible protections to this critically important population in perpetuity.”

Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams said this is a victory for the many advocates in the local community who have fought so hard for this result.

“The conservation of koalas on this land will be boosted by an ongoing partnership between the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and KCA – a great demonstration of what can be achieved when government works closely with the community.”

“It’s such welcome news here in the Port Macquarie region that the NSW Government has recognised the significance of this land through our passionate local community campaign,” Mrs Williams said.

“Our koala population here in Port Macquarie is beloved – a key part of our community’s identity, their conservation helps to support the tourism economy attracting tourists who want to enjoy the magic of seeing a koala in the wild.” she said.

“Most importantly, our community has the surety of knowing their children for generations to come will see koalas in the wild, which is cause for celebration.”

Chairperson of Koala Conservation Australia Sue Ashton said they are delighted that this purchase is finally being made a reality.

“This is a huge win for the koala population in the Port Macquarie region and will play a critical role in helping the population recover after the terrible Black Summer bushfires,” Mrs Ashton said.

“KCA is very pleased to partner with the NSW Government to secure this lasting legacy for one of our most iconic species.”

As well as the koala, three additional threatened species (eastern coastal free-tailed bat, glossy black cockatoo and grey-headed flying-fox) have been recorded on the property.

It is expected more will be found through survey effort, noting another 44 threatened species that may use habitat on the land have been recorded within a two-kilometre radius of the property.

Port Macquarie is an iconic area for koalas and the local community has strong association with koalas. The Koala (Guula) is a totem animal to the Birpai people and maintaining this population is of great cultural and spiritual importance to contemporary Birpai families.

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Victorian Response Plan for Wildlife Impacted by Fire, updated

vic-response-plan-wildlife fires

Wildlife impacted by fire

THE DEPARTMENT OF Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is the lead agency responsible for managing wildlife impacted by fire in accordance with the Victorian Response Plan for Wildlife Impacted by Fire . The Response Plan has been reviewed and updated in consultation with the wildlife welfare sector in response to the 2019–20 bushfire season.

Wildlife in areas impacted by fire can be disoriented, smoke-affected and dehydrated. Some may also be suffering from burns and other injuries. Following a fire, it is expected that injured and uninjured wildlife will be seen moving through and near the fire ground.

Members of the public are urged to take care if attempting to help injured or distressed animals outside of the fire area.  Improper rescue techniques by untrained or inexperienced persons can cause further distress or injury to the animal and put the rescuer at risk.  Motorists should watch out for displaced animals along roadsides.

During a fire, the Incident Controller will determine if a wildlife response is required. Fire grounds are dangerous, even after the fire front has passed. Individuals, wildlife rescue and rehabilitation groups must not self-deploy to search for wildlife.

Victorian Response Plan for Wildlife Impacted by Fire

The purpose of the Victorian Response Plan for Wildlife Impacted by Fire (the Plan) is to define how DELWP, its partner agencies, contractors and volunteers will respond to wildlife welfare arising from fire. The Plan also defines how this will occur under Victoria’s emergency management arrangements.

LINK TO DELWP WEBSITE HERE

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Mid July 2021: Canberra succeeds in kangaroo wipeout?

KANGAROOS IN URBAN CANBERRA ARE NOW FUNCTIONALLY EXTINCT

THE ACT GOVERNMENT claims that 1,505 kangaroos have been killed on Canberra Nature Park reserves by the government’s mercenary ex-military killers this year. Notably, the government has not given a breakdown of how many were killed on each reserve.
Here is what we know from this year’s observation and monitoring:

• Before the killing began, there were not more than about thirty kangaroos on Farrer Ridge Nature Reserve and not more than forty on East Jerrabomberra Nature Reserve (although there was a larger mob on the adjoining Jerrabomberra Creek Reserve).

• As of yesterday, when the government announced the end of the slaughter, there had been no shooting at Farrer Ridge or East Jerrabomberra Nature Reserves for five weeks.

• The government shooters shot at East Jerrabomberra only four times throughout the whole killing season.

• There are currently only three kangaroos left on Farrer Ridge Reserve, and none to be found on East Jerrabomberra though, as always, others will dribble in from farms and other reserves in due course.

APA spokesperson, Robyn Soxsmith, notes, “We thought the reason the government kept the reserves closed for so long after the shooting had clearly ceased was because they were waiting for a few refugees to wander back during the last couple of weeks, just so they could have a last little mini bloodbath before the end.

IMAGE: Zoe-Atherfold, iStock

“Thankfully, that hasn’t happened, and we who watched those reserves every night for 43 cold nights can get on with our lives again. Tragically, if the government really has somehow found 1,505 kangaroos to kill, those 1,505 kangaroos no longer have lives to get on with.”

Based on these known figures from two of the closed reserves, it seems likely that most of those killed this year were killed in the “research laboratories” of Mulligans Flat and Goorooyarroo Nature Reserves. However, given the scale of slaughter that has taken place on those laboratories every one of the last thirteen years, it is doubtful kangaroos, even on those huge reserves, could have made the 1,505. Perhaps local farmers are happy to let the government shooters supplement the shortfall from their properties — but even kangaroos on rural properties are scarce these days.

Ms Soxsmith concludes:

“Kangaroos across Australia are in precipitous decline, and Canberra’s urban reserves are now functionally extinct. There are simply not enough kangaroos left for them to carry out their critical ecological role as a keystone species.”

Frankie Seymour, a lifelong advocate for animals, an environmental scientist and a former member (for nearly 18 years) of the ACT government’s own Animal Welfare Advisory Committee, concurs:

“Why else would they be killing kangaroos three to four times faster than it is biologically possible for their populations to recover?”

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Killers stalk ACT suburban woodlands

Majura-woody-grassland-2021-cull

IT’S CRYING OUT for a sociological study. As hired killers with military training hunt survivors in their last refuge in a major city following a 12-year campaign, that city and the country remain mostly silent.

While gunshots echo nightly from the woodlands of Mt Majura, Mt Ainslie, Farrer Ridge, hardly anyone, apparently, says it is untoward that the national icon, the kangaroo, is being gunned down in the suburbs of the national capital, within a quarter kilometre of people’s homes.

Overseas visitors and observers on the other hand can barely believe the disrespect and bloodshed meted out to Australia’s best-recognised native icon.

Imagine, they say, if American authorities were shooting down the bald eagle in the suburbs of Washington DC. Or the English — who of course started all this in Australia with colonisation — went on a mission to severely ‘manage’ with death, their national symbol the predatory lion (a remnant of empire days).

Australians, who are fortunate to still have noticeable populations of native animals, are beguiled into looking the other way by a propaganda story. Broadcast with the assistance of mainstream media, that story is repeated by state employees and politicians. Critically, it is supported by what a closer look might call ‘voodoo’ science. A disorienting cloud of numbers and pronouncements. A matter of belief.

READ ALSO: How Canberra tells you what to think. By Maria Taylor.

The beliefs and ideas came with the colonial settlement of Australia, sweeping away and transforming the nature of the country for a European pastoral economy, for sheep farming in particular. Kangaroo species had to go because they ate grass.

Those beliefs and convictions morphed in the national capital into today’s death-dealing ‘management’ in the suburban reserves to achieve a farm-like vanishing low number of native grazers — the bloodletting defended by politicians armed with ‘expert’ excuses of saving biodiversity of all things.

_______________

Stalking the wooded hills of Canberra

Environmental scientist and long-time wildlife defender Frankie Seymour reports here what those bearing witness to the Canberra slaughter have seen and found in June 2021.

THERE ARE NOW hardly any kangaroos left in any of the reserves of the Canberra Nature Park.

The survivors of 12 years of annual slaughter, in their last refuges on Mt Majura, Mt Ainslie, Farrer Ridge and East Jerrabomberra, are now being hunted by military trained personnel using high tech military equipment. This is a wildlife tragedy entering its final phase.

The direct shooting both on and off reserves, is not the only death facing Canberra’s suburban kangaroos. The kangaroos’ off-reserve habitat is rapidly being developed for exclusive human use.

Because the reserves are fragmented by busy arterial roads, huge numbers of kangaroos die of car strike. Because the reserves are on degraded farmland, most are surrounded by barbed-wire fencing. Many kangaroos, fleeing the shooting, are impaled on the barbed wire and die the most horrible death imaginable.

On some Canberra grassland reserves, kangaroos are now being excluded by kangaroo-proof fencing, [much like the landscape scale exclusion fencing that indiscriminately kills a wide swath of wildlife now being taken up by some NSW graziers].

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Canberra Nature Park Mount Majura: closed to public. Author supplied.

The shooters seem to have no compunction about crushing what is left of the native vegetation and biodiversity driving their heavy vehicles off-road around the reserves.

Further exclusion of grazing kangaroos and other native plants and animals is resulting from an explosion weeds on their habitat: recently thorny saffron thistles. The irony is that the weed invasions could have been prevented by leaving the kangaroos, at their natural densities, to manage the vegetation of the reserves as evolution designed them to do.

How they hunt in the woodlands

Red dot sights suffer targeting
inaccuracy and especially inaccurate
in cold weather

There is not much chance of ‘clean kill’ shooting this year. The shooters seem to have decided to shoot in almost total darkness, relying on red dot sights to target their victims. Red dot sights have been found to be subject to point-of-aim deviation and to be especially inaccurate in cold weather.

Chances of hitting the head or the heart with the first shot, as required by the Code of Practice, are much reduced by this targeting method.

At Mount Ainslie, the shooting area is woodland where it is unlikely a shooter could ever get a full body view of his target.

So far this year, we have found two very young kangaroos, apparently left behind by the clean-up truck, both shot in the eye, one at East Jerrabomberra and one at Mount Ainslie. One wonders how these two kangaroo children managed to be killed so “cleanly”. One suspects, being small, they were captured and held down while they were executed.

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The location of one of the youngsters, on the side of Northcott Drive just outside the Campbell Park offices, suggests that the killers are doing some of their shooting very close to public roads, open reserves, off-reserve habitat, suburbs and workplaces, endangering humans as well as wildlife.

Bullets can travel three km; and ricochets can occur in woodland.

Shooting near public roads is not new for the ACT government’s hired guns. From 2015 to 2020, shooting at Isaacs Ridge was routinely occurring within 20–30 metres of Mugga Lane.

Apparently, this is the new normal. If other species are shot, the government will simply deny it, as they have denied other impacts of this program.

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Editor’s note: Sweetie, pictured here and the daughter of one of our resident kangaroo mothers, is growing up before my eyes. We have known her from a pouch infant. She is one beautiful face of the co-existence with other animals, native and domestic, that brightens our days. Half-grown, Sweetie would be about the same age as the joey found shot and discarded as rubbish near the Campbell Park offices. Many Canberra neighbours have their nights disturbed for months listening to gunshots that execute their local kangaroo friends.  — Maria Taylor

RELATED ARTICLE: Re-thinking kangaroos: The ethics of the slaughter of a species. By David Brooks. ABC Religion and Ethics. 7 June 2021

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Stewardship of Queanbeyan waterways: upgrade needed

freshwater-turtle-cr-Carol-Lynn

OUR REGION IS fortunate to have an abundance of beautiful waterways, which are home to a diverse range of native wildlife including water birds, frogs, turtles, platypus, rakali [water rat], fish and other aquatic creatures.

MAIN IMAGE: Freshwater turtle. © Carol Lynn, District Bulletin archives.

Many land-dwelling creatures also rely on our waterways for drinking water and food, but sadly, the human impact on these environments is often detrimental to these creatures.

Recreational fishing, when not undertaken responsibly, is a frequent cause of phone calls to Wildcare Queanbeyan. Injuries often occur when birds and turtles become entangled in fishing line or are snagged on, or swallow, discarded fishing hooks.

These animals suffer horribly, often unable to eat, swim or walk, until they are captured or die because of their injuries.

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This ibis’s leg was broken after it became entangled in fishing line. Author supplied.

If you are fishing and an animal becomes entangled in line or caught on a hook, the best thing to do is to call Wildcare Queanbeyan while the animal is still trapped.

DO NOT CUT THE LINE. It is much easier to catch a tethered animal and quick action by the person who is fishing can save the animal considerable suffering and rescuers many hours of effort. [For effecting rescues it helps to keep something like a box, plus blanket or pillowcase in the car.]

Platypus and rakali can also experience fishing-related injuries, swallowing hooks or lures. They can also drown if they become tangled in discarded fishing line or yabby traps. A recent study by the Australian Platypus Conservancy found that at any one time 4% of platypus are entangled in one or more items of rubbish, including elastic hair ties, fishing line and plastic rings from bottles and jars.


A rat lure and fishing line found discarded on a local waterway. Author supplied.

Responsible fishing requires that all rubbish and discarded fishing equipment ­— including lines, lures and hooks — are safely disposed of. Remember that the use of opera house yabby traps is now illegal in NSW (as of 30 April 2021).

If you come across sick injured or orphaned wildlife, please phone Wildcare Queanbeyan on 6299 1966 at any time.

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