Our WILVO volunteers handling the 5441 6200 hotline have been kept busy with the severe weather lately. I wonder that all the little birds aren’t washed out of the trees in the heavy downpours. There have been numerous bedraggled, wet animals arriving into care. Erratic as the weather has been, the wet weather was followed by heat which did not help those wildlife already compromised. Even a little red-necked wallaby joey was found suffering heat stress as she stood beside her dead mother on the hot bitumen highway.
Wildlife carers don’t have much time to prepare for Christmas festivities, but our orphaned and injured wildlife are unable to help themselves, so they are a priority. Householders can be a great help just by keeping their domestic pets contained.
This week, in the space of a few hours, I picked up an injured water dragon and a crested pigeon from the same street, about ten houses away from each other. It is unlikely the injuries were inflicted by the same cat, so it shows the importance of containing our pets, both for their own and the wildlife’s safety. It is sad to think this is happening in every street in every suburb and town, and out in the rural areas. So many native animals lost each day and each night. That so many of these deaths are preventable makes it even more tragic.
Christmas is a great time to think about gifts that can help our wildlife. Top of the list could be a cat aviary and a dog enclosure. These can be expensive to purchase ready made, but materials can be purchased cheaply and enclosures designed with a little creativeness.
Nestboxes for possums, gliders, insectivorous bats and birds can also be bought or constructed. There are plenty of good designs on reputable internet sites. Ringtail possum dreys can be made with hanging baskets joined together and woven with foliage to create a ball-like home for these possums. With one piece of wire cut out, it usually provides a big enough hole. They can have a front door and back door (as an escape route) if you wish!
We can never have too many native plants so do the rounds of the nurseries and ask for native plants indigenous to our area. As plants grow, the wildlife appear and provide a source of education and entertainment year round. Why have a domestic pet when exquisite creatures can inhabit your garden with no work needed? Of course, fresh water each day is always welcome in this hot weather.
WILVOS would like to wish everyone a wonderful Christmas and all the very best for 2018.
Donna Brennan Wildlife Volunteers Assoc Inc (WILVOS)
PO Box 4805 Sunshine Coast Mail Centre Q 4560 PH 5441 6200 www.wilvos.org.au