Saturday, August 29, 2009

Wildlife Bytes 25/08/09

Wildlife Mini-Bytes.....


Attention everyone who cares about our wildlife and in particular koalas... Come and join us at a Rally in Brisbane Square on Sept 25th in Brisbane... Sign in at 11am, Rally starts at 12. Please register you interest at Lets show you support of our wildlife and meet like minded people.....*Network Item

Wildlife Trafficking

Illegal wildlife traffickers in Argentina are bleaching the plumage of common parrots and passing them off as their rarer and more valuable cousins. Wildlife groups say the burrowing parrot, a breed that inhabits most of the country’s territory, is being captured in large numbers and dyed in order to give it the appearance of a much rarer Amazon species that can fetch at least double the price on the thriving black market. The bird, which has an olive green back, blue wings and a yellow belly with a red stain, is given a hydrogen peroxide bath to give it the appearance of a blue-and-yellow macaw, which has a much higher price tag of up to $530 (£320). They are then sold at fairs in Buenos Aires and elsewhere as part of an illegal trade in exotic wildlife worth millions of dollars annually. * Times on Line

Freaky Food

A website list of some of the "fear factor" freakiest foods available, includes kangaroo meat. Along with Fried Goat Head, Roasted Bone Marrow, Grasshopper Tacos, Lamb Eyeballs, Turkey Testicles, and Goose Intestines, kangaroo meat is considered a freaky food on this website.


Conservationists say the death of three dolphins in Queensland's Moreton Bay last week should not be blamed on a fertiliser and oil spill in March. The Pacific Adventurer lost 31 containers of fertiliser in rough seas off Cape Moreton, damaging the ship which leaked thousands of litres of oil. But Simon Baltais from the Wildlife Preservation Society says the dolphins' deaths are more likely to have been caused by south-east Queensland's booming population. "Dispersion of that fertiliser would have been fairly quick and I think you'll find most scientists would agree with that," he said. "I think what we're seeing is a symptom of a bigger problem and that's the health of Moreton Bay going backwards - we're seeing increased loads of nutrients entering the bay through stormwater pollution and that could be one of the major drivers." *ABC

Hendra Virus

An outbreak of Hendra virus at horse stud in Central Queensland has opened up an opportunity for more strident calls for the killing of flying foxes in the Ross Creek and Cawarral areas. The flying fox colony at Yeppoon in Ross Creek has had much controversy over the years. In the 1930's, the local Council organised a yearly "posse" of residents armed with shotguns to get rid of them, and some residents still stay the "posse" should come back. It's sometimes hard to understand why some people hate animals so much, with all the information that is availabe for people to educate themselves about wildlife. Much of the coastal tropical vine scrub that provided food for the flying foxes has gone under for houses and development, so now they have to forage wherever they can. *WPAA

Tree Kangaroos

The world's rarest tree kangaroo is in the midst of a comeback in a remote part of Papua New Guinea. On the brink of extinction in 2001 with a population estimated at fewer than 100 individuals, Scott's Tree Kangaroo (Dendrolagus scottae), or the tenkile, is recovering, thanks to the efforts of the Tenkile Conservation Alliance to motivate local communities to reduce hunting and respect critical forest habitat. The tenkile Conservation Alliance, led by Australians Jim and Jean Thomas, works to provide alternative sources of protein and raise environmental awareness among local communities. *Mongabay..Read more here

Twitter ect.

As Editor of Wildlife Bytes, I get many requests to follow people on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and many other social websites, some of which I've never heard of before. While I would love to do so, I'm sorry but I simply don't have the time to get involved in such chat programs. However I do acknowledge they are a valuable tool for wildlife carers to swap information. * Pat O'Brien

More New Species Found

Over 350 new species including the world’s smallest deer, a “flying frog” and a 100-million-year-old gecko have turned up in the Eastern Himalayas, a biological treasure trove threatened by climate change, researchers say, including the frog Rhacophofus suffry, which uses its long webbed feet to glide when falling. One fruit of the decade long project: the discovery of the bright green frog Rhacophorus suffry, which uses its long, red and webbed feet to glide while falling. Also found was a 100-million year-old gecko, the old­est fossil gecko species known to science, in an amber mine in the Hukawng Valley in Himalayan regions of far northern Myanmar, scientists said. The report also notes the miniature muntjac, or “leaf deer” Muntiacus putaoensis, as the world’s oldest and smallest deer species. Scientists initially thought the small creature found in the world’s largest mountain range was a juvenile of another species. But DNA tests persuaded researchers that the light brown animal with innocent dark eyes was a distinct, new species. Among the new finds are also 244 plant species. The miniature muntjac, also called the “leaf deer,” is only 60 to 80 cm (24 to 32 inches) tall.

“This enor­mous cul­tur­al and bi­o­log­i­cal di­vers­ity un­der­scores the frag­ile na­ture of an en­vi­ronment which risks be­ing lost for­ev­er un­less the im­pacts of cli­mate change are re­versed,” said Tariq Aziz, lead­er of the fund’s Liv­ing Him­a­la­yas In­i­ti­a­tive. He called the re­gion “a­mong the most vul­ner­a­ble to glob­al cli­mate change.” In De­cem­ber world lead­ers plan to gath­er in Co­pen­ha­gen to try to re­solve dif­fer­ences over a new cli­mate deal, which would re­place the ex­ist­ing Kyo­to Pro­to­col. The East­ern Him­a­la­yas are known to har­bour a stag­ger­ing 10,000 plant spe­cies, 300 mam­mal spe­cies, 977 bird spe­cies, 176 rep­tiles, 105 am­phib­ians and 269 types of fresh­wa­ter fish. The re­gion al­so has the high­est dens­ity of the Ben­gal ti­ger and is the last bas­tion of the char­is­mat­ic great­er one-horned rhi­no. Fund of­fi­cials said the group aims to con­serve the hab­i­tat of en­dan­gered Him­a­la­yan spe­cies such as the ma­jes­tic snow leop­ard, Ben­gal ti­gers, Asian ele­phants, red pan­das, takins, gold­en lan­gurs, rare Gan­get­ic dol­phins and one-horned rhi­nos. The tough land­scape of the East­ern Him­a­la­yas has led it to be poorly sur­veyed in terms of bi­o­log­i­cal di­vers­ity, sci­en­tists say. New spe­cies con­tin­ue to be un­earthed. *World Science

Flying Foxes

Despite their dangerous and dying condition, the State Government has refused Singleton Shire Council's request to cut down the bat-colonised trees in Burdekin Park for now.Instead, sections of Burdekin Park may have to be closed to the public. Singleton Shire Council was reasonably confident licences required to remove 10 dead and dying trees from the park would be approved by the State Government. The removal of the trees had been set down to take place on Thursday and Friday last week, however, the licences required to do this will not be issued for at least another seven months. Council's manager of parks and facilities, Alan Fletcher, said bat numbers were the problem.

The flying fox colony usually relocates out of the park for the colder months but this year's mild winter has seen the numbers retained. "At this time of year there are usually no bats in the park, but we currently have a few thousand," Mr Fletcher said. "We've received a verbal answer from the State Government about our application and it is no, we can't remove the trees now because there are too many bats in them, many of which are pregnant. "So we are not going to be able to carry out the removal until at least March or April next year." In November last year, an inspection of the park by arborist John Atkins found that due to damage from the flying fox activity, disease and age, 10 chirr pines should be removed.

With this no longer an option, Mr Fletcher said it was likely certain areas of the park would have to be closed. "This (no licences) has raised the issue of how we will manage the park," he said. "We are going to have to be stringent in our surveillance. "In some areas, such as near the museum, there is little to no risk, but there are other areas where there will be substantial risk, and this will grow as the trees deteriorate further. "There will be broken branches falling to the ground, so I envisage we'llhave to fence off areas of the park." Mr Fletcher said it was unfortunate, but council's hands were tied over the issue. *Singleton Argus

Wildlife Poaching

Conservationists in the UK have accused police chiefs of pushing crimes against wildlife "to the back of the queue" today.More than 100 organisations, led by the RSPB, called for a review of how police protect the nation's rare animals and plants. They said a lack of agreed standards across forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland has led to an inconsistent approach. A shortage of specialist officers and the low priority given to wildlife crimes means criminals can break the law with little fear of getting caught. Ian West, head of investigations at the RSPB, said the review should be led by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). He said: "Strong laws to protect our wildlife are a sign of a civilised society, but they are only of value if properly enforced."

Wildlife crime was targeted in October 2006 with the formation of the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU). It gathers information about wildlife crime and supports police forces and customs officers across Britain. . "The NWCU has listed priorities for wildlife crime enforcement in the UK, including the killing and persecution of birds of prey. Yet, in parts of the English uplands and on the edges of some towns and cities, bird of prey persecution continues at unacceptably high levels. "There are many competing demands on our police, but wildlife crime is all too often pushed to the back of the queue," he added. Based in East Lothian, the NWCU's most high-profile priority is protecting rare and endangered species such as birds of prey. Members also work to safeguard badgers, fish and hares from baiting, poaching and hunting.

Lesser known priorities include protecting roosting bats and identifying people who steal and damage fresh water pearl mussels. In June, an annual report revealed just nine people are manning the unit after bosses were unable to secure permanent funding. They have been swamped with tip-offs and other information from police forces, local authorities and charities. The number of offenders monitored by the unit continued to grow with 1,503 recorded in the last financial year, an increase of 161 on the previous 12 months. Senior members said they are struggling to counter the surge in sales of endangered species on the internet. Paul Wilkinson, of The Wildlife Trusts, said: "It is important that we achieve much greater clarity and rigour in our approach to wildlife crime. The current uncertainty around what constitutes a wildlife crime is surely unacceptable. This grey area helps those who commit wildlife crimes and puts the enforcement agencies, and wildlife itself, at a disadvantage." *

Shooters Bill

It is amazing now with the internet how far this column actually travels outside of the Macleay. People horrified by the Shooters Party ‘Game and Feral Animal Control Amendment Bill 2009’ have contacted me from all over NSW and even Tasmania regarding articles printed here. It turns out that not only are these correspondents totally against any Game Council hunting in National Parks of native animals (and also feral animals), but they are writing to me about shooters invading their property and, thanks to Minister Ian Macdonald, appearing at any time in State Forests designated for hunting. One property owner has written to me claiming 13 incidents with hunters on his property in 2006-7. These incidents have involved people armed with firearms lost outside his house at 5am, shooters having target practice and leaving rubbish on his property, shooters picnicking, shooting near his house, entering his property with pig dogs without permission, a hunter with unlicensed friends cutting his fence to bypass his gate and even parking their cars on his property.

A lady involved with a pony club at Orange wrote to me describing how parents there will no longer allow their children to ride their horses in the State Forest because they never know when the shooters will be operating. The NPWS released a media statement last month decrying the slaughter at Rollands Plains of kangaroos which were stacked up in a pile with beer cans shoved in their pouches. Fortunately through the publicity in The Argus and Port News someone has come forward with names. It will be interesting to see if those responsible actually had shooters licences and permission to be there. A reader sent me clippings of a hunter shot in the back last year by his mate near Bourke and admitted to Dubbo Base Hospital in a stable but critical condition. Last December a 13-year-old boy at Orange had an arrow removed from his chest. He recovered but the wide blade hunting arrows are meant, obviously, to kill. I wrote recently, satirically, that soon hunters might be able to experience the thrill of bringing down a charging wombat in National Parks. I have just received a photograph of a wombat transfixed by such an arrow and left beside the road.

These arrows are usually retrieved and one wonders whether the animal crawled away to die in agony or was just left there to make some sort of sick statement. Be very aware we are not talking here about farmers protecting their livestock or crops from feral animals. There are people out there with a very different mindset to the average person. It seems the Shooters Party might regret moving this Bill, which resulted in the closing of State Parliament when the Shooters refused to support Labor’s legislation. It seems the furore has brought out not only public uproar over the threat to native animals in National Parks, but also unleashed the growing dissatisfaction amongst users of our State Forests who feel threatened already by shooters, and concern from farmers who are constantly encountering shooters on their property or cars with shooters driving at night on roads near them. You can often see the bullet holes in RTA fauna warning signs.

It seems the Shooters Party may have lost their battle to get into National Parks. I received a very welcome letter from NSW Minister for Climate Change and the Environment, Carmel Tebbutt, on that topic. Ms Tebbutt writes that “… the Government does not support hunting in national parks or the hunting of native animals, including waterbirds, on conservation or other grounds. “Making national parks available for incompatible purposes like hunting threatens to undermine their value to existing users, including families and visitors to our State. “Where native species do need to be managed, for example to mitigate damage to property or crops, existing regulatory provisions allow this to occur under strict controls. “The Department of Environment and Climate Change also undertakes strategic feral animal control programs in national parks. “The NSW Government is committed to the important role of our national parks and reserves in achieving our natural resource targets to conserve native flora, fauna and wetlands, increase opportunities for nature based recreation and tourism and improve community wellbeing.”

This is a very significant and courageous statement by the Minister. This is not just an Environment Minister protecting fauna in our national parks. It will have serious ramifications for the Labor Party in NSW and for the Shooters Party. If the Labor party stick by her on this it will cause a showdown with the Shooters Party, which holds the balance of power in the Upper House and can in effect prevent Labor from governing. State Labor know a bloodbath awaits them in any election caused through a double dissolution at this stage, so where do they go with this? For that matter it is not certain just where the Shooters Party stand on the prospect of another election. They will have strengthened the redneck vote, but there will be an awful lot of hunters out there working with farmers on destroying foxes and wild dogs on an invitation basis who will not be very impressed with what this Shooters Bill is doing to their reputation without them in some cases being part of the consultation.

So there will likely be a deal to give the Shooters enough to save some face from their self-imposed debacle. The general public, however, who do not have a vested interest in shooting things, will be wondering about single issue political parties who can hold the balance of power in our democratic system and hold our government to ransom on any legislation at all, not just their single interest. Meanwhile for those of you who object to the Shooters Party Bill, you can sign the NSW Nature Conservation Council petition at *Macleay Argus 18/08/2009

Australian hostility to 'feral' animals

Australia's hatred of the Indian mynah bird ignited this week, with local councils drawing up plans for community cullings to combat the pest. Like another loathed invader, the cane toad, the bird was originally imported from Asia to eat cane beetles, but is now the latest target of Australians' complex relationship with its wildlife. The mynah is estimated to cost east coast farmers in the vicinity of AS$300 million a year. Its fouling of lawns and clotheslines has propelled it into the top 10 most hated feral animals in Australia. One caller to talk back radio, reacting to the council plans, gleefully recounted how her husband had built and deployed a mynah bird trap in celebration of their last wedding anniversary. The irate residents have jolted councils into action, with one in Sydney's western suburbs reportedly spending $5,000 to catch just two birds.

The mynahs are also expanding slowly westwards, evicting native parrots and possums from their nests as they go. Bird-hunting neighbourhood vigilantes have had some success. Canberra's Indian Mynah Action group, set up three years ago by dedicated bird watcher, have carefully documented all 27,500 Indian mynahs they have killed. Founding member, Bill Handke, knows they will never eradicate the bird but says "it's not a reason to do nothing". But scientists say Australian attitudes to invasive species, colloquially known as ferals, often have little to do with science. "Hate isn't strong enough" to describe how Australians feel about ferals says Professor Tony Peacock, who heads Invasive Species Cooperative Research Centre in Canberra.

For the past 18 months he has tracked public opinion on a host of invasive animals including wild cats, dogs, brumbies, camels, and a swag of other detested creatures including the Indian mynah Consistently the cane toad rates as the number one hated pest, even though scientists say the damage it wreaks pales in comparison to other species. The Indian mynah ranks at seven, though it has been as high as fourth. Rabbits have moved up to third place. "Four out of ten people were saying they hated rabbits but its now five to six people because we have been doing a lot of publicity about them," Peacock says. Peacock, who hopes to harness anti-feral sentiment to recruit volunteers to help map the resurgent rabbit population, says that older people particularly dislike the pest because they remember when it literally plagued the land.

"Even if you didn't come from a farm you would go to your uncle's farm for holidays, so you were aware that rabbits and foxes were a problem because your uncle had to go out and shoot them," Peacock says. The detestation of alien species in Australia come in part from the importance of the country's unique wildlife in the national psyche. Although an increasingly remote experience, Australians continue to identify with the bush says Tim Low, a founder of the Invasive Species Council. "It's definitely part of the national culture. We love the fact that we have strange animals like kangaroos, platypus and koalas. There's a lot of hostility to the idea that foreign animals can come in and destroy the native habitat," Low says. Yet ironically this pride has failed to protect the dingo and the kangaroo, which appears on the national coat of arms, from being culled as pests. They rank 15 and 17 respectively on Peacock's surveys. So reviled is the dingo that Lyn Watson, who breeds the native canine in Victoria, is worried they are being pushed to the edge of extinction. "Australia has a powerful rural lobby and when animals get in the way, we kill them," she says. *


A long-time professional kangaroo shooter from Clermont has revealed he's going to have to change occupations now that Russia has banned Australian imports. Chris Hayman, 53, has been hunting roos most of his life but said he'll have to get a new job to keep his head above water. Mr Hayman said prices have nosedived from about $1 a kilogram to 65 cents. “It's hard to make any money out of it really, the way the prices are,” he said. “I usually leave here at 4pm, get (to a property) about 5pm-ish, shoot all night and come home. Some times I don't get finished until 10am. “Say you make $800 a night. I take out about a third for tax, $100 for fuel and after bullets and tags, you're back to at least half.“For all the hours you work you don't make much money.”

Demand is set to ease substantially since Russia banned the importation of kangaroo meat, sparking concerns the roo population will explode. According to AgForce, kangaroos account for about 30 per cent of total grazing pressure and without access to the Russian market, numbers will skyrocket. “The announcement by Russia is extremely concerning because it accounts for about 70 per cent of total exports,” AgForce's Brent Finlay said. “The recent forecast of a 20 to 30 per cent increase in kangaroo numbers due to improved seasons, when combined with reduced harvesting, will significantly impact areas already suffering immense production losses from over-grazing by marsupials. “… The ultimate job losses from this decision will be significant. There are 2035 kangaroo harvesters licensed in Queensland, including about 400 full-time shooters.” Chris Hayman thinks too many people are being allowed permits. “There's too many blokes with jobs who are doing it,” he said. “When prices are up they all go out and make dollars out of it. When it went to 80 cents half the town got a permit... but there should be capped permit numbers.” *CQ News

A littleknown ban on the sale of kangaroo meat in New York has been overturned, sparking outrage from animal rights activists. After a six month lobbying effort, New York lawmakers have agreed to drop a ban on the sale of all but one kangaroo species. Only the rare Tasmanian Forester Kangaroo will remain off the menu, the Herald Sun has learned. Australian officials recently rejected a push to place the giant marsupial on the national threatened species list. The New York Department of Conservation and Environment confirmed the law had been modified. New York Governor David Paterson this month signed off on the change, which allows any roo but the Forester to be served from November 11. Animal rights activists are furious. "We would always be happy with laws that do restrict the sale of meat and we wouldn't want a law banning roo meat overturned," said People for the Ethical Treatment of Animal's Asia director Jason Baker. "They come to a violent and bloody death, as do all animals in this industry," he said.

The Herald Sun learned of the drama after a popular Australian-themed bar in Manhattan, Eight Mile Creek, removed kangaroo skewers from its menu. The bar was one of at least three vendors that were blindsided by a conservation department blitz about eight months ago, when they were issued fines of up to $US5000. The establishments, which included one of downtown Manhattan's best-known butchers, removed all traces of roo as lawmakers debated changing the rules. New York lawyer, John Dyett, said the ban had been a "serious piece of conservation law" that New Yorkers had introduced four decades ago, before clear roo slaughter rules existed in Australia. He said the legislature had made a "wise and sensible" decision by taking up local assemblyman Rob Sweeney's push to update the law, which lets conservation officials extend the ban to any roo species they want in the future. "We do know back in Australia they are prolific breeders," Mr Dyett said.

"New York State is heavily protecting an endangered Australian species and the commissioner has been given the authority to further protect others as needed," he said. The Tasmanian Forester roo is not an endangered species in Australia. Australia's Threatened Species Scientific Committee rejected a move to have it listed as threatened as recently as May based on a receommendation that said the species "is not subject to a continuing decline, nor has it undergone a recent decline." *HeraldSun

NSW Wildlife Survey

As a follow up to previous work, the Department of Environment and Climate Change is conducting the 2009 internet based Wildlife Survey concerning several important species that you may have seen in NSW. You are invited to participate. This survey is entirely online and hosted at the Conservation Research web site. All the details are securely stored and all identifying material will NOT be made available to anyone outside the Department of Environment and Climate Change. All data analysis and storage is performed on data with identifying material removed. To start the survey, please use the following link.

This link will start the survey. After the introduction, the survey will ask you to enter brief contact details. Apart from survey follow up information and broad tabulated summaries, these details will be used to centre the online map near your home. Your personal details will not be used in any other way and no identifying material will be released to other people either within or outside the department. After you complete the survey we would be grateful if you would in turn encourage friends and/or relatives to also provide us with wildlife sighting data by using this same website. We thank you in advance for taking the time to fill out the questionnaire and map. We greatly value this community information. It goes a long way to help manage these species across NSW. One important part of our survey is to confirm or update the locations of the particular species. Your local knowledge as to where you have seen these animals is a very important ingredient in the process. The department’s privacy policy (which applies to all aspects of this survey) is further explained on our corporate web site and is linked to from within the survey. *Ian Shannon and Dan Lunney for Wildlife Research Team.

Taiji Dolphins

A council in Western Australia's Kimberley has revealed hate mail has been sent to councillors of Japanese heritage in connection with the annual dolphin cull in the town's Japanese sister city. Shire of Broome councillors voted unanimously on the weekend to suspend the town's sister city relationship with Taiji in protest at the slaughter of thousands of dolphins. The shire has been bombarded with emails and letters as part of an international backlash against the practice. One councillor was reduced to tears at the meeting as he described his family's Japanese heritage and the hurt the issue had caused. The shire's president, Graeme Campbell, says the councillor is one of several people who have suffered racial harassment because of their Japanese heritage. "Offensive emails, offensive phone calls. You'd hate to go back to the bad old days of racism," he said.

Mr Campbell says the racial slurs are disappointing. "I hesitate to name people but you saw the evidence today of one person who has been harassed," he said. "Look, 99.9 per cent of people are very good about how they go about doing business but unfortunately there's a minority who act otherwise." The shire says the sister city relationship will resume if the dolphin cull stops. Conservationists have welcomed the decision to suspend Broome's sister city relationship with Taiji. Local resident Una Baker coordinated a petition that was presented to the council on Saturday. Ms Baker says the town has done the right thing. "It's exactly what we wanted," she said. "It covers the ground of putting those ties aside until we do get the result of stopping the slaughter of dolphins. We couldn't have asked for a better result. We're very, very happy." *ABC

Illegal Dumping

Hunter national parks continue to double as dumping grounds, with bio-hazardous materials, asbestos, household waste and discarded butchered carcasses, tossed in the region's reserves. Illegal dumping has become so common that the National Parks and Wildlife Service said areas cleaned up by rangers were littered again within days, making it impossible for removal teams to keep up. David Mitchell has watched the rubbish pile up at Werakata National Park, which borders his property at Sawyers Gully, near Abermain, spotting at least 40 piles of dumped waste within metres of his property. "Across the whole park it would be more like 300 or 400. Old beds, mattresses, cars, car parts, household garbage, anything disgusting you can think of you'll find, including old meat from a butcher," he said. Mr Mitchell's main concern is piles of broken asbestos, which have sat unremoved for years, posing a serious health threat. "There's one pile that has been there for more than five years, another for at least three," he said.

National Parks Hunter range manager Grahame Smith said asbestos removal was a time-consuming process, with the high cost of qualified contractors often not within the service's budget. Cessnock City Council planning director Darryl Fitzgerald said a blitz in May had highlighted the scale of illegal dumping, with 196 dump sites found in the Cessnock local government area over two days, 56 of which had asbestos. He said it was safe to assume that there were many more dump sites. Dumpers have been warned of the serious consequences if caught, with an illegal dumper in Cessnock facing $76,000 in court fees, and a hefty fine yet to come. Mr Smith said fences had been erected in areas to restrict vehicle access and dumping. He urged dumpers to pay for the tip, as the cost is ultimately returned to them. "When we clean up we have to pay the same tip fees that they would, and in the end, for the tip, the fences and the staff, it all comes back to tax payers' money," he said. Unable to keep up with rubbish removal, rangers now concentrate on identifying and prosecuting culprits. * Newcastle Herald

Ed Comment; This is a problem thats occuring all over the Country, as Councils make it ever more difficult for residents to dispose of rubbish. Increased tip fees, shorter hours, anything to save a few dollars, when our rates are supposed to provide rubbish collection and removal services anyway. Next time you visit the Tip or Transfer Station, have look at the signs. No parking, No entry, No open footwear, Dump here, Don't dump here, Dont walk on the grass, Dont put cardboard here, Or there, ....whatever activity you name .....and there is sign telling you not to do it! And the people skills of some of the employees leaves a lot to be desired, we actually know of a very quiet and gentle senior citizen who became involved in a fist fight with one of the Tip employees. So almost wherever you travel in Australia in any bush area, rubbish can be found dumped. One of the big issues is garden weeds. As Councils start to charge fees for dumping green waste which used to be free, more and more is being dumped in forests and bush areas, where the weeds spread, and often smother native vegetation. Morning Glory, Rubbervine, and Madiera Vine are only a few examples. It's not entirely the fault of those who dump in the bush, bad as that is, but Councils need to take their share of responsibility too, and make it easier, and not harder to residents dump rubbish. After all, we've already paid for the service in our Rates.

Wildlife Fights Back

There's nothing like a cute endangered animal to throw a spanner in the works of giant development projects. Just ask the owners of the long-delayed plan for a wind farm at Bald Hills, in Victoria. Perceived risk to the orange-bellied parrot -- not seen at the site for 50 years -- delayed the $220million project for almost two years before it was used by a federal environment minister to block the unpopular project. That decision was later overturned. The parrot reared its feathered head again when an environmental assessment for the Brumby government's $3.1billion desalination plant raised concerns about the bird, as well as the giant Gippsland earthworm and the hooded plover, but found these risks could be managed. In South Australia, the giant Australian cuttlefish has long been a thorn in the side of mining giant BHP Billiton.

The company is seeking permission to build a desalination plant at Point Lowly, in the upper Spencer Gulf, to provide water to its expanded Olympic Dam operation. But opposition to the plant is strong, with environmentalists and locals concerned its briny discharge would flow towards the only known breeding ground of the giant cuttlefish. This month, a parliamentary committee recommended BHP investigate other sites. Meanwhile, the threatened flatback turtle and other animals potentially stand in the way of Western Australia's $50bn Gorgon gas deal, but probably not for long. As the turtle has rookeries on Barrow Island, near the Gorgon and Jansz gas fields, Environment Minister Peter Garrett will have to carefully consider its fate before giving his tick to the project. His WA counterpart has already ruled there is minimal risk. *Australian

Ed. Comment; As we all know, communities shouldn't have to do this. That's what Governments are for, to ensure these developments are safe, and impose zero harm to wildlfie. but the system is well and truly broken. With the multinationals funding political election campaigns, wildlife has little chance of having any protection from our politicians.

Help Save Wildlife Help two birds with one book – Bag a bargain and help save our wildlife!In this current economic climate, we are all looking for ways to save money, and for us, fundraising to save wildlife. We would like to offer you a deal that can help two birds with one book! For just $60, you will get the best discount booklet out: ‘The Entertainment Book’ where you can save on dining, movie tickets, doughnuts, sporting events and travel… and $12 from every book goes directly to saving our wildlife!

To order: Call 07 5436 2026, Email , pop into the Wildlife Warrior office at Australia Zoo for a sneak peak …we send you the book and your donation will help save innocent lives. You can also share the cost with family/friends/workmates and share the love! Pass this offer on to anyone who loves a bargain! This offer CLOSES 30 AUGUST so get in quick! Thank you for helping save our wildlife! *Network Item

Thinking about Wildlife? Who’s going to watch over our wildlife when you no longer share their World? Well, we are! The Wildlife Protection Association of Australia Inc. will continue to forcefully lobby governments to do better with wildlife management, and by taking them to Court if necessary. We are currently working on developing eLearning projects, so students can become aware of the importance of our wildlife living in a safe and secure natural environment. After you have looked after your family and friends in your Will, think about wildlife. A bequest to the Wildlife Protection Association of Australia Inc. will ensure that we can continue to take a leading role in protecting and conserving our precious wildlife. None of the donations we receive are diverted to "administration". Every dollar we get through bequests or donations for wildlife hits the ground running! Talk to your solicitor, or if writing your own Will, add the words "I bequeath to The Wildlife Protection Association of Australia Inc. for the purpose of protecting wildlife in Australia (a specified sum), or (specified items including land or vehicle), or (the residue of my estate) or (percentage of my estate) free of all duties, and the receipt of the President, Secretary or other authorised WPAA officer for the time being shall be a complete and sufficient discharge for the executor(s)." You can also phone me for a confidential chat, as to how a bequest can help us work to protect our wildlife, when you are no longer able to. * Pat O’Brien, WPAA 07 54941890

Kangaroos - Faces in the Mob! (We recently ran out od stock of this very popular magical DVD, but now have new supplies in! Buy Now! Buy Now!....before we run out again!)

On the east coast of Australia lies a valley of magical beauty, surrounded by mountains and shrouded in mists during winter. In these idyllic surroundings live a mob of wild Eastern Grey Kangaroos whose society is rich and complex. Faces in the mob is an engaging true story of life within this one mob of Australian wild Eastern Grey Kangaroos.

For two years, award-winning Australian filmmakers Dr. Jan Aldenhoven and Glen Carruthers lived with this mob. Hear their compelling account of the world of these captivating marsupials where each animal has its own personality. Buy the DVD now with Paypal...$29.95 Au includes free postage in Australia.

Follow the destinies of two lovable joeys - a female named Sunshade whose mother is conscientious and successful, and Jaffa, a little male full of pluck and courage whose mother is absent-minded. And witness everything from birth to the dramatic and sometimes deadly battles between adult males.

Never before has the richness and complexity of the kangaroo society and the daily drama of their family life been revealed in such stunning detail. Superbly photographed, this beautiful story of Australia's most famous animal will captivate you from beginning to end. This is the best documentary about our beloved kangaroos that has ever been produced. Profits from sales of the DVD go to help the Kangaroo Protection Coalition to campaign for the protection of our beautiful kangaroos.

Buy the DVD now with $34.95 Au Paypal for International postage delivery.

This DVD would make a great "All Year Round" present!