Best Scenario for Chicks

What a hot dry spell.  I was lucky enough to get 50ml in the last storm which half-filled my rainwater tanks , so the water can quench the thirst of  my native garden and wildlife that are feeling the heat stress also.  It is lovely to watch the birds bathing in the bird baths.  Even the little skinks look happier!   The large round terracotta dishes are good to put on top of  shallow bird baths as the water stays cooler for longer.

I think 2017 will go down in history as the year of the stolen generation of magpie chicks.  Many of the young birds are unnecessarily taken away from their parents.  Often they are just learning to fly and aren’t as proficient as they think they are.  Others fall out of nests, or the nests are blown down by gusty winds.

The best scenario is that any  chicks are checked for injuries then reinstalled in a man-made nest as  near as possible to where found.  They don’t have to be in the exact same tree, or nest, which is often too high to be accessible.  Human handling does not make the parents reject their young.  Do we reject our babies if someone else nurses them?

The chicks are then observed from a distance to ensure the parent birds are still  around and haven’t been eaten by a predator. Usually the parent birds appear in a reasonably short time and recommence the arduous chore of feeding the every-hungry chicks.

It is of utmost importance that if birds are taken to a vet surgery, wildlife hospital or a wildlife carer, that the address (where found)  is written on the carton, along with the rescuers name and phone number if possible.  If we can find out where chicks came from, and if it is safe to return them, then we can take them back and reunite them with Mum and Dad.

Wildlife carers are skilled, and do their very best, but nothing can compare to the nutrition and environment provided by their own species.

Donna Brennan  Wildlife Volunteers Assoc  Inc  (WILVOS)

PO Box 4805 Sunshine Coast Mail Centre Q  4560    PH  5441 6200

Rabies and Australian Bat Lyssavirus

Rabies and Australian bat lyssavirus

  • Members noted the evidence indicating that rabies virus can remain viable in a dead animal for several days. ATAGI endorsed minor changes to the rabies chapter for the 2017 update of the Handbook to reflect a risk assessment approach to rabies post-exposure prophylaxis after handling dead animals.
  • Members noted the large number of bat deaths around Australia due to recent heatwaves, and emphasised that members of the public should not touch the bats because of the potential risk of disease transmission.

Become a Wildlife Carer Today

Springtime is a great time to decide to be a wildlife volunteer.  There are so many baby birds needing care and WILVOS are always keen to train new wildlife carers.

Often people will say, “I don’t know anything about caring for native animals.”  Well, that’s how we all started!  To me, one of the most rewarding aspects of wildlife rehabilitation is the sharing of knowledge.  Working with an experienced carer gives new WILVO members confidence to start on their journey.

One of our wildlife carers, who had not cared for very young lorikeets in the past , was given two little rainbow lorikeet eggs.  Bronwyn quickly set up one of the WILVO brooders, which are available for loan,  and waited non-too optimistically for the eggs to hatch.  One did hatch and has grown into the cutest chick.  At first it looked like a mini-martian,  but when I saw it this week it was displaying the beginnings of the beautiful blue, green and orange feathers.  Learning to care for wildlife is a joy!

Anyone interested in becoming a wildlife carer, or maybe just wanting to make some enquiries, can visit the WILVOS website and email through to our membership secretary for more information.  Some people just join WILVOS to help out on our 24 hour hotline.  Training is also given in that field, and much knowledge  is gained in this training.

All help is very welcome in these days of ever-increasing development.  Unfortunately, most of the wildlife that come into our care are a result of human impact.  Everyone can help prevent the present carnage, just  by containing domestic pets and driving with a little more care on the roads. Of course,  accidents on the road with wildlife are sometimes unavoidable.

Hopefully, WILVOS will see many interested people of all ages interested in learning to rescue, to rehabilitate and eventually to release our wildlife back into their natural environment.  Over the past almost twenty-five years WILVOS have shared their knowledge with so many people. Be one of them!

Donna Brennan  Wildlife Volunteers Assoc  Inc  (WILVOS)

PO Box 4805 Sunshine Coast Mail Centre Q  4560    PH  5441 6200



Come and learn about the importance of maintaining trees in our suburbs

Trees are invaluable. Trees provide habitat for our wildlife, including birds and iconic threatened species such as koala. They give shade to cool us down and protect us from increasing heat waves, and encourage active lifestyles.

With increasing development, greater densification of our urban areas and regional developments, trees are under threat and quickly diminishing.

Click here to find out how you can help protect Sunshine Coast trees.

Queensland clears more trees than any other state in Australia (roughly 300,000 ha every year). Our beloved koala populations in South-East Queensland, many of which live within the urban footprint, are critically threatened due to loss of habitat through development and the exposure to risks this has caused. Our current legislation is clearly insufficient to protect our precious green spaces, forests and wildlife from current land clearing rates.

Come and learn about the importance of maintaining trees in our suburbs and regions and how our laws currently operate to regulate tree clearing at a state, federal and local government level. Click here to RSVP.

When: Thu. 28 September 2017, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Where: Maleny Community Centre, 23 Maple Street, Maleny
Cost: FREE

RSVP here.

This joint event with The Wilderness Society, the Environmental Defenders Office Queensland and Sunshine Coast Environment Council will impart knowledge and skills to protect the green where we live.

Hope to see you there.


The Wilderness Society QLD

Sanctuaries for Wildlife.

No matter where one travels, habitat destruction is ever-present.  I find it incomprehensible that bushland, in fact any habitat,  can continue to be demolished with no thought of consequences.  It is just so ludicrous to clear large tracts of land and then give the suburbs ridiculous names such as ‘something forest’ or  ‘something sanctuary’.  Do land developers not see the incongruity of it, or do they have warped senses of humour?

Though there is less habitat for our wildlife, the number of animals coming to wildlife rehabilitators and Wildlife Hospitals is escalating.  The end result can only be extinction of species.  Just one mature tree will house and feed so many different birds,  marsupials and reptiles.

I often refer back to a beautiful eucalypt tree that had to be removed many years ago at Ninderry.  Just in the outer branches of this tree there were brushtail possums, a family of squirrel gliders, a native beehive, a colony of feathertail gliders and an owlet nightjar in a hollow. Work had to stop after lunch on the first day because of high winds.  It was sad to see the birds circling as they saw the imminent destruction of their nests and roosting places. In this case the animals were brought down in their hollows and re-installed in nearby trees after nightfall, but this is a very  rare occurrence.  More often the wildlife will be injured as the tree is brought down in one fell swoop.  I don’t even like to think or hear about the wildlife that are hiding in their hollows and disappear into the huge chippers.  Yes, it is a ghastly, depressing thought but it is reality.

What can we do to help?  Besides making our voices heard on the subject of habitat destruction we can do what we can in our own back yards.  Planting native trees indigenous to the area gives immediate and long-term benefits.  There are so many beautiful flowering and fruiting native plants.  To me they are so much more beautiful than exotics, probably because I see the different species providing delicious food throughout the whole year for our native wildlife.  A few clumps of native grasses soon bring in birds such as tiny  finches that seem to appear from nowhere to feast on the seeds.

Of course, because our gardens provide sanctuary and sustenance for our wildlife, we need to contain our pets.  This is for their safety as well, with the ever increasing amount of traffic on the roads.  The intelligence of domestic pets is often underrated.  They can be taught not to harm other animals, and they can be happy in enclosures if given a stimulating environment.  Our domestic pets trust us and want to please us.  Giving them a safe place to live is an owner’s responsibility.

Donna Brennan  Wildlife Volunteers Assoc  Inc  (WILVOS)

PO Box 4805 Sunshine Coast Mail Centre Q  4560    PH  5441 6200


Coincidentally, when I was on hotline and driving to Nambour to meet Sylvia, a call came through my car phone. I was ready to explain that I would just pull over to write down the details when the distressed lady said that she had an injured bird in Kureelpa and needed help quickly. As I happened to be passing through Kureelpa, I was able to arrive in less than 4 minutes. The lady was standing at the end of her driveway with the bird in the box. Totally shocked that I had arrived so quickly, she commented that I was quicker then an ambulance. The bird was delivered to the vet about 10 minutes later.

Koala Release on Black Mountain

At 7.30pm on the 12th July  during my 5pm to 9am WILVOS Hotline shift a call came in from a distraught lady (Michelle) who was standing on the side of the highway, the new Bruce Highway,  southbound lane, about 5 km north of the northern Pomona exit.  She was shining a flash-light on a poor koala that had been hit and was huddled up against the cement groin in the middle of the  highway. Michelle’s husband was racing back into Pomona, where they lived, to collect a blanket.  I immediately called Rachel Lyons who was on site within 20 minutes. Rachel texted me a couple  of hours later to say the animal would survive, that it was the third koala hit in the area that night that she had responded to and the only one to survive.  The young, dispersal age male, went into  extended rehab and was eventually put out into the final pre-release enclosure at the RSPCA at  Eumundi Wildlife.  When it was ready to be released Rachel called to see if was OK to release up where I live. This was just the beginning for the carers at Eunundi Wildlife.  This young male did  not want to be caught and it was another week before he was successfully contained.  It just so  happened it was on the second day of that fantastic Dr. Howard Ralph workshop and I was out the door at 4pm and trying to get home to meet Rachel as soon after 5 as  possible.  We were losing light  but we took him down into the forest and I filmed as Rachel opened the cage at the base of a  beautiful grey gum.  He bounded up that tree with such agility and strength that we were in no  doubt whatever of his fitness for release back into the wild.  I am in an enormous area of beautiful  spotty-gum and grey gum ridge forests and densely forested slopes and gullies with springs and  dams.  My neighbours and I, 3 adjoining properties, with VCA status and a total area of some 350  to 400 hectares of protected forest, have been working for years, photographing and registering every sighting, we have all had successful visits from Maya, the koala tracking dog and her  handlers, working with the University mapping programme, and we continue to send them scat  samples for their work.  We have succeeded in having our area declared koala habitat and it is on  the state mapping now.  Rachel has been back in touch again to see if we can release another koala  recently rescued from the Federal area and suffering from chlamydia.   I don’t need to tell you  how thrilled we all are to be able to offer such a beautiful safe haven for any koalas that survive from  sickness or injury in this area.

For all of us that rescue and rehab our beautiful and so endangered wildlife, we need some happy endings to be balm for the heartache and tragedy that is so much a part of what we do.  We have to  stay strong enough to get out of bed tomorrow and do it all again.