After some dismal weather, it is lovely to see the sun shining and to be able to enjoy our incredibly beautiful Queensland days. With the short days, we see an increase of late afternoon calls on our 5441 6200 Hotline. Suddenly, people are driving home from work in dim light, or the dark, which is the danger time for the wildlife that head out foraging for the night.
Echidnas, that are very prone to heat stress only like to move about in the cool, and this is their breeding time. If you are very lucky you may get to see an ‘echidna train’ which is a line of male echidnas following a female. Fitness is the key, and maybe nature’s way of ensuring the genes stay strong. Males drop off the line as they tire, until just the gold medal winner is left with the prize!
Sadly, there are still many calls about cats killing the exquisite little sugar and squirrel gliders. I just don’t know how we can convince people that leaving a cat free-ranging is cruel and inhumane to our wildlife. It is not ‘nature’ when a feral animal mutilates or kills a native animal. Cat aviaries are easy to build and they can be made into a great entertainment area for our pets.
Sugar and squirrel gliders have twin joeys, so we try to put them with others of the same size. This lessens the stress after the usually tragic experience of losing their Mum. This week I had a tiny 13g squirrel glider come into care. The fate of the mother and sibling was unknown, always of concern. I put this little joey into a cosy pouch setup in a warm rescue basket with two other 20g gliders snuggled up in their own pouch. Within the hour the two larger joeys had crawled in with the new little one, busily grooming her before all curling up and going to sleep, very closely entwined.
As wildlife carers, amongst the tragedy, we see some sights that are pure joy to behold!
Donna Brennan Wildlife Volunteers Assoc Inc (WILVOS) PO Box 4805 Sunshine Coast Mail Centre Q 4560 PH 5441 6200 www.wilvos.org.au