Category Archives: New South Wales

Christmas comes early for NSW koala colony thanks to community work


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.

Share This:

Stewardship of Queanbeyan waterways: upgrade needed


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.

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.

Share This:

NSW community must call halt on 1080 poison


1080 POISON HAS been banned by many countries around the world with very good reason and yet across NSW, our state government continues to saturate our landscapes with this hideous and cruel poison through ground baiting and aerial drops.

1080 poison kills its victims slowly and painfully. It’s a violent, merciless and abhorrent way for any living being to die, and is increasingly killing our family companion animals (dogs) and working dogs and many native species.

“Australia’s native dog, the Dingo, [main image] is a prime target of 1080 poisoning on behalf of sheep farmers. All canine species are targets, including foxes as well as other introduced mammals like pigs that escape into the countryside. State authorities deny more widespread species risk of being poisoned, against all evidence.”

IMAGE: Susan Cruttenden.

It’s indiscriminate and there is no antidote. Half a teaspoon can kill an adult human — much less a child, and secondary poisoning can and does occur.

The government and agencies like Department of Primary Industries and Local Land Service, and often the local councils, reassure us that 1080 poison is “humane”, and yet they know without any doubt that it’s not. They tell us it’s safe for our environment and native species, and yet authorities are intentionally and wilfully targeting native wallabies in Tasmania with 1080 poison, knowing it kills them and not caring how it kills them.

60 sheep poisoned in SA

Recently in SA, 60 sheep died a gruesome death after ingesting 1080 poison and in Victoria a $4,000 fine was imposed by the courts for the illegal and unsafe storage of copious amounts of poisons, including 1080, without a licence. How many sheds across NSW are storing lethal doses of 1080 poison is anyone’s guess, and clearly the ‘regulators’ and government haven’t a clue. Their monitoring and enforcement regimes are seriously lacking.

More and more members of the public are coming forward with distressing personal accounts of finding a much-loved dog dead, or worse, being traumatised after witnessing first hand, the suffering an animal goes through after taking a 1080 bait or experiencing secondary poisoning, including, violent convulsions, vomiting, screaming and absolute sheer terror.

> Related story 1080 The Nasty Poison: Why do Australians use it?

Some families have lost multiple dogs and all feel helpless trying to ease the suffering of their dog or dogs by rushing them to a vet — often too far away with many dying in agony in transit.  Can we even begin to imagine such an experience or how a child would ever recover bearing witness to watching their family friend suffer and die this way.

The NSW Minister for Agriculture and Western NSW, Adam Marshall, who has a clear conflict of interest also overseeing animal welfare, often supports these 1080 baiting programs, and yet he claims to be an animal lover. This is the same National Party minister who has continued to fail the welfare of all NSW animals in spectacular fashion.

With the stroke of a LNP privileged pen, Mr Marshall continues to unleash successive lethal 1080 baiting programs using millions of dollars in public money — without consulting the public. The most recent NSW 1080 baiting program includes an area the size of Russia. Think about that.

Floods spreading baits around countryside?

Recent devastating flooding saw homes, caravans, boats and many animals swept across the landscape and ending up a long way from their original locations. Think about how easily and widespread 1080 baits have also spread across the NSW landscape in these floods, and whether your drinking water catchment or your family is still safe.

Our government knows poisons like 1080 are ineffective population control — they don’t work, and have been proven to fail which is precisely why they continue to use this odourless and colourless poison year after year and decade after decade — with your public money. The same old lethal programs, political rhetoric and verbal excuses continue because it suits political policy directions, and because it’s cheap.

Reach out and say enough

If, like many Australians, you are concerned and feel compelled to become part of a local solution, please reach out and contact me at

More information about the dangers of 1080 poison can be found on the Coalition of Australians Against 1080 Poison facebook page and website.

Ed note: We are informed that Victoria is gearing up to increase its 1080 poisoning with a parallel state-wide campaign.

— Lisa J Ryan wrote on behalf of the Coalition of Australians Against 1080 Poison.

Share This:

World Wetlands Day, Menindee Lakes (NSW), Ramsar Convention


Letter to the Editor…

WETLANDS IN NSW are disappearing at an alarming rate. According to government data, NSW had 110,000 hectares of wetlands in 2017, half the historical average.

Climate change, drought and water greed for crops like cotton are killing these wildlife hotspots and priceless water purification systems.

They are some of the most important ecosystems on earth, and yet we treat them like irrigation ditches, or worse, drain them to create sheep paddocks.

The western regions of NSW are blessed with some of the most important wetlands in the world.

Some, like the Macquarie Marshes, are already listed on the register of internationally significant wetlands under the Ramsar Convention.

Others, like the Menindee Lakes near Broken Hill, still are not.

Worse still, the lakes are being pushed closer to the brink of ecological collapse with engineering works planned that would prevent the lakes filling and emptying naturally ever again.

The government is perpetrating this vandalism so corporate irrigators at the top of the catchment can keep siphoning off vast volumes of water for crops such as cotton.

Enough is enough

As we mark World Wetlands Day (2 February) and the 50th anniversary of the Ramsar Convention this week, we call on the NSW Government to nominate the lakes for Ramsar listing.

This would not only have tremendous symbolic power.

It would trigger better protections for these fragile ecosystems and a more ecologically sensitive approach to the critical issue of water management.

Ramsar listing would also boost the economy by stimulating tourism, investment and much-needed jobs in one of the country’s most disadvantaged regions.

— Chris Gambian  Chief Executive
Nature Conservation Council of NSW

VIEW IMAGE SOURCE: NASA Landsat Image Gallery

Share This:

Rescued koalas, Jessie and Amelia, return to the wild (NSW)


Early in 2020, amidst the devastating bushfires that ravaged Australia, Bear, the USC x IFAW koala detection dog was deployed to Peak View in NSW, at the site of Two Thumbs Wildlife Sanctuary.


The Sanctuary, run by James Fitzgerald, had been destroyed by the Good Good Fire on 23rd January and was dealt a second blow when a firefighting air tanker crashed while trying to protect the sanctuary, killing the three US firefighter crew onboard.The Hercules water bomber (an aircraft filled with water to dump thousands of litres of water and fire retardant on out-of-control blazes) had been deployed in an effort to regain control of the fires at Two Thumbs as the flames were too large to be dealt with by fire trucks.

Rescuing Jessie and Amelia

“When we heard the devastating news of Two Thumbs Wildlife Sanctuary being destroyed this past January, we deployed USC X IFAW’s detection dog, Bear, to help search for survivors” says IFAW’s Josey Sharrad.

Bear and the team visited the area to look for surviving koalas in need of rescue. Using the scent of their fur, Bear located a mother koala and her joey. The koalas, named Jessie and Amelia (pictured above), were brought to the Australian National University, where they received emergency care and embarked on a specialized rehabilitation plan led by Dr. Karen Ford. During a checkup, the team performed an ultrasound and discovered exciting news — Jessie was pregnant!

… CONTINUE READING  (ifaw website)

Share This:

Some good news this Threatened Species Day (7 September)


From:  Mick Roderick
— NSW Woodland Bird Program Manager here at BirdLife Australia.

TODAY, on National Threatened Species Day, we wanted to share with you some of our work bringing threatened species back from the brink with this special footage of our first large-scale Regent Honeyeater Release in NSW. In June, BirdLife Australia and our partners released 20 of these Critically Endangered birds into NSW’s Hunter Valley, into one of the largest remaining Regent Honeyeater strongholds.

Over the last few months, it’s been wonderful to observe captive birds interacting with wild birds. One of our transmitter birds led us to at least six wild Regents, and already four of these birds appeared to have paired up — a promising sign for spring!

Join us in celebrating with this special video we’ve put together.

For those that don’t know me, my name is Mick Roderick – and I’m the NSW Woodland Bird Program Manager here at BirdLife Australia.

Today, on National Threatened Species Day, we wanted to share with you some of our work bringing threatened species back from the brink with this special footage of our first large-scale Regent Honeyeater Release in NSW. In June, BirdLife Australia and our partners released 20 of these Critically Endangered birds into NSW’s Hunter Valley, into one of the largest remaining Regent Honeyeater strongholds.

Over the last few months, it’s been wonderful to observe captive birds interacting with wild birds. One of our transmitter birds led us to at least six wild Regents, and already four of these birds appeared to have paired up – a promising sign for spring!

Join us in celebrating with this special video we’ve put together.

Regent Honeyeaters are a ‘flagship species’ — so supporting them helps improve the status of other birds that share their habitat. When you help save one bird from extinction, other birds will follow. We hope this will be the first of many NSW releases, and with only a few hundred Regents left, these releases could mean the difference between extinction and survival.

Your voice can help us bring our precious birds back from the brink.

Right now we need your voice more than ever to ensure our national environment laws actually protect nature. Our Federal politicians are considering these laws right now, and they need to know that Australians from all walks of life care.

Can you help grow our campaign by sharing this video with your friends and family on social media?

IMAGERY: Author supplied.


Share This:

1 2 3