Monday, October 5, 2009

Wildlife Bytes 2/10/09

Whats On for Wildlife Protection......

National Kangaroo Awareness Day

Highlighting the truth....Saturday 20th October, 12 noon to 2 pm, Belmore Park Sydney, opposite Central Railway Station. The NSW Government has given the go-ahead to kill 1,269,000 kangaroos in 2009, the Federal Government has given the go-ahead to kill up to 4 million kangaroos Nationally. SPEAK UP FOR THOSE WITHOUT A VOICE!

Wildlife MiniBytes

Flying Foxes

The draft national recovery plan for the grey-headed flying-fox has been listed by Commonwealth Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. The draft can be downloaded below. There is a public comment period that ends early January 2010

Flying fiends an orchardist’s nightmare. For what seems like years now, growers in the Bundaberg region have been looking skywards, usually for signs of rain. While recent rain, and the availability of water from the Paradise Dam to sure up additional water requirements has quelled some of the water concerns, a large number of fruit growers are still looking up with a furrowed brow – this time in night skies. Flying foxes have become a major problem for fruit orchards in the area, so much so that one grower, Electra’s Derek Foley, has installed $30,000 of lights over his lychee trees to deter them. A recent Queensland Government decision to remove Damage Mitigation Permits (DMPs) that once allowed controlled culling of flying foxes in fruit orchards has seen flying fox numbers soar. Heavy crop losses are expected. Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Grower’s Executive Offcer Matt Dagan said netting was a “false silver bullet solution”, increasing the chance of trapping the marsupials and exposing orchard workers to serious health risks such as Hendra virus and lyssavirus. Growers are lobbying the State Government to continue with the DMPs at least through this year’s fruit season while a review of the Government’s Animal Welfare Advisory Committee decision occurs. *Brisbane Fruit growers magazine.


Italy's anti-Mafia police unit said Wednesday it has seized a crocodile used by an alleged Naples mob boss to intimidate local businessmen from whom he demanded protection money. Officers searching for weapons in the man's home outside the southern Italian city last week found the crocodile living on his terrace, said police official Sergio Di Mauro. The crocodile, weighing 40 kilograms (88 pounds) and 1.7 meters (5.6 feet) long, was fed a diet of live rabbits and mice, Di Mauro said. He said the suspect, an alleged boss in the Naples-based Camorra crime syndicate, used to invite extortion victims to his home and threaten to set the animal on them if they didn't pay or grant him favors. The man was not arrested but placed under investigation for illegal possession of an animal, Di Mauro said. Investigators are also working on extortion charges against him. Di Mauro said the animal is believed to be a caiman, a species that lives in Central and South America, and it is not yet clear how it got to Italy. The crocodile was placed in the care of Italy's forestry service. *ItaliaNews


A tiny kingbird has been photoraphed in the US piggybacking on a red hawk which flew too close to the tiny bird's nest. For several seconds it clung to the red hawk, pecking furiously at the back of the hawks head. A member of the flycatcher family, the kingbird is known for defending its nest area very aggressively, pluckily driving off unwanted intruders, including hawks. Interestingly, their genus name is Tyrannus, which also may refer to this type of behaviour. Western kingbirds weigh about 1.3-1.6 oz, whereas red tail hawks are about two to four pounds, so the little kingbird is beating up on a hawk that is about 20 to 50 times its size. *Network ItemRead more:


The Save the Koala Rally in Brisbane last Friday was very well-attended, and gained considerable media. However, wether it changes the slash, burn, and develop at any cost mentality of the Queensland Labor Government is unclear. *


The two duststorms that swept across the East Coast last week certainly aroused the media, who finally had something useful to report on. Yet amazingly, with a continuing drought predicted, some Councils lifted water restrictions so householders could wash their cars and houses! At least the duststorms raised the issue of Climate Change again anyway. One of my earliest memories was my father taking me outside one afternoon in Auckland NZ, to show me the red dust in the sky from Australia. Duststorms are not new, but according to some experts, may become more common. * Editor

New Wildlife Report

A new report has been released by Federal Environment Minister Garrett. He said the report, Numbers of Living Species in Australia and the World, was a major contribution in the global fight to conserve biodiversity. "The figures in this report, updated for the first time in 20 years, show 87 per cent of our mammals and 93 per cent of our reptiles are found nowhere else in the world," he said. "In the past three years in Australia, we've discovered 48 reptiles, eight frogs, eight mammals, 1184 flowering plants and 904 spiders, mites and scorpions. But we have a long way to go. We have discovered and named only about a quarter of Australia's estimated number of flora and fauna." Mr Garrett said $1.2 million would be spent over three years to name and describe a further 500 reef species. At WPAA, we think that's all very well and good, but what about protecting all of our species by protecting what we know about now, and protecting its habitat? And what about all the birds, bats, and other animals deliberately allowed to be killed on airports, farms, and orchards, and those killed on the roads? Over the next few years we will see massive development proposals approved that destroy large sections of habitat....while the Federal Government makes a list of new species............


A far north Queensland conservation group says the region's cassowaries are being "researched to death". Liz Gallie from the Community for Coastal and Cassowary Conservation says several plans have been drawn up but the biggest threats to the endangered birds still have not been addressed. She says land clearing, inadequate corridors between habitats, cars and dogs are still killing cassowaries. Ms Gallie says the group will be distributing books to residents south of Cairns and government agencies about what needs to be done. "We're putting that together because everybody knows the threats to cassowaries, they're very clear, and yet there have been countless, countless plans developed and hundreds of thousands of dollars spent in the name of cassowary management and protection, and yet the known threats to their survival continue to increase," she said. *ABC

Shark Nets

The Queensland Premier Anna Bligh says the State Government is always looking for new methods of preventing whales from becoming caught in shark nets. Two humpbacks have been rescued from nets off the Gold Coast in the past month. A marine expert says deterrent devises fitted to some nets are not working adequately. Ms Bligh says she is open to suggestions but the shark nets will remain. "I get very upset when I see other mammals like whales and dolphins caught in our shark nets and it is something that we've looked at many times in the past few years," she said. "The reality is shark nets are saving human lives and we will continually look for new technology that helps to protect other marine mammals." *ABC

Ed Comment; There is no evidence that shark nets save lives, sharks can swim under and around the nets anyway.....

Gunns Greenwash

Gunns have distributed a glossy brochure about their green credentials. It cost Gunns more than $40,000 to insert the booklet into all 295,000 copies of the SMH and 35,000 copies of the Canberra Times, plus its own printing costs for the booklet. Wilderness Society pulp mill campaigner Vica Bayley called it one of the most cynical "greenwashing" exercises he had ever seen. "It doesn't tell readers Gunns is still logging old-growth forests, can't get top forest stewardship certification for its logging operations and is still using 1080 poison to kill native animals," he said. *

Seal Meat

Seal meat has been put on to the menu in some of Canada's top restaurants as part of a patriotic backlash against a European Union ban. Some restuarants laud the dark lean meat as rich, gamey and healthy, while critics deride it as rubbery, tough and overpowering. Anger at the EU ruling, combined with the curiousity of tourists, has apparently driven a claimed "soaring" demand for dishes such as pan-seared seal filet, seal stroganoff, seal pate and seal burgers. Up to 300,000 seals are killed each year - and animal rights activists claim that some are skinned while still conscious. The European Parliament voted for a ban on the import and sale of commercially caught Canadian seal products, primarily fur, in May, after a long campaign by anti-hunting groups. In July, foreign ministers of the EU's 27 nations decided formally to adopt the ban. The Humane Society International in Canada is sceptical about the claimed scale of the appetite for seal meat, which is said to taste like a cross between rotting fish and bicycle tyres. *

New Coin

The Royal Australian Mint is now offering the 2009 $1 Inspirational Australian Steve Irwin Uncirculated Coin. This coin is the second in a series of Inspirational Australians that last year featured Mary MacKillip, who was beatified by Pope John Paul I in 1995. Steve Irwin was a well-known celebrity who met an untimely fate in 2006. Host of the popular Crocodile Hunter series, Steve Irwin was enthusiastically supportive of Australia’s wildlife. Meanwhile yesterday we saw a new 2009 1 dollar coin with 5 or 6 kangaroos on it! If you see one of the new coins, put it aside...its not often you see six kangaroos together nowadays!* WPAA

Ulura Shrimp Disappears

A wildlife scientist says people relieving themselves on top of Uluru may have killed off a rare species of shrimp. Retired university professor Brian Timms says he has studied museum specimens of small inland shrimp that live in pools on top of Uluru. He says his research shows the localised extinction of one species of fairy shrimp and the dominance of another - changes which could be due to human waste. "It's happened already that the people going up the rock somehow have affected the animals which live in the pools, possibly by peeing on the rock and pooing on the rock," he said. He says the Branchinella Latzi shrimp species, which once inhabited rock pools on Uluru, has not been found in collections since about the 1970s.

"Latzi is a very limited species and it might be susceptible to enrichment of the pools whereas [the other species on Uluru] is a widespread, tough species," he said. "Certainly if they [tourists] go up, they should be behaving themselves, not pooing on the rock." Earlier this month an Uluru tour guide told the ABC that tourists climbing the rock are sometimes defecating at the top because there are no toilets available.The Director of National Parks continues to assess submissions on a draft management plan for the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, which proposes banning climbers from the rock for cultural, safety and environmental reasons. *ABC


A species of frog is fighting for survival as water dries up in the lower Murray-Darling Basin wetlands in south-western New South Wales. Although some rain has fallen in the north of the river system, the lower end is still as dry as a bone in places, and the wetlands area is the hardest hit. As the wetlands dry up, the animals, birds and plants that live there are disappearing. Skye Wassens from Charles Sturt University is studying the threatened southern bell frog, a large species, typically bright emerald green, with irregular black and bronze spotting on its back. Dr Wassens spends a lot of her time wading through what is left of the wetlands at Yanga National Park. She says every year the volume of water entering the system drops dramatically and large areas of habitat have been lost as the vast wetlands become scattered ponds. "All the elements at the moment are starting to fail and it's just critical we get water just to hold these systems over during this dry period," she said.

Part of her research involves doing a visual and audio count in search of tadpoles and adult frogs, noting how many calls she can hear, and their location. But as habitats dry up, the number of frogs continues to diminish, and some populations have disappeared altogether. "In 2000 you'd walk along and they'd just be hopping along in front of you, really in their hundreds, and we'd collect hundreds in a night," Dr Wassens said. "Now we're lucky to collect 100 over a four-month survey period. So they've become very rare. Maybe you're looking at 20 in a wetland the size of this one." As the wetlands dry, the southern bell frog is being exposed to more and more predators. Local graziers around the Murrumbidgee floodplains have played a major role in trying to rescue the frog. Steve Blore and two of his neighbours have redesigned their dams and waterholes in an effort to give the frog a better chance.

"Probably what it has done is made us more aware of the bigger landscape," he said. "If you'd come here five years ago and said 'southern bell frogs' or whatever ... they're insignificant, what are they? We couldn't care less about them. Now as you've seen in the kitchen there, there is a photo of a southern bell frog hanging on the wall." Their efforts have had some success but it is too late for those frogs that have already disappeared. A lack of annual flooding has effectively isolated key populations leaving them vulnerable to more local extinctions. Even so, Dr Wassens remains full of hope. "They just need a chance to recruit properly free of carp," she said. "They need a large area of habitat. They need the water to be on the wetlands at the right time and they just need a chance. If they have that chance they'll be OK." *AM


Scientists are celebrating the re-colonisation of king penguins on Macquarie Island in the Southern Ocean. When Macquarie Island was discovered in 1810, it was teeming with king penguins, but by the turn of the century, hundreds of thousands of birds had been slaughtered for blubber oil. Only a small colony of the birds survived at Lusitania Bay on the island. Almost 100 years later, John van den Hoff from the Australian Antarctic Division says he is surprised to find King Penguins at the Macquarie Island isthmus where a century ago they had been exterminated."Without having read the historical accounts, we had no idea there were ever birds on the isthmus," he said. He believes the population at Lusitania Bay has grown to the point that penguins are looking for more real estate.

"There are now 250 chicks in that colony and growing," he said. "We hope it will continue to grow and perhaps the numbers will reach such a point on the isthmus that they'll have to move on to colonise other parts of the island as well." Penguin biologist Barbara Wienecke says finding the population has recovered is a rare occurrence. "There are only very few documented examples where colonies have popped up again," she said. "All species have an extraordinary affinity to the colonies from which they would have left as fledglings, so to hear that a brand new colony is popping up on an island ... is really fantastic news." *ABC


Four weeks ago in the ancient forests at Brown Mountain in East Gippsland, a field camera recorded 10 seconds of footage of a long-footed potoroo, one of Victoria's most endangered species. The potoroo footage came within hours of the Victorian Government lifting a logging moratorium at Brown Mountain with a statement that no endangered species had been found in its own surveys. The footage formed part of evidence submitted to Victoria's Supreme Court this month that has led to a temporary ban on logging in two old-growth logging coupes at Brown Mountain.

When lifting the logging moratorium, a Brumby Government press release on August 21 announced "permanent protection for Brown Mountain area" — ironically sounding like good news for potoroos at Brown Mountain. However, the political announcement delivered a vastly different reality. A promise to protect 400 hectares was already included in a previous election commitment and the announcement left ancient forest areas available to be logged. The Supreme Court's temporary ban may keep Brown Mountain safe for now, but it is unknown how this will play out and raises implications for other old-growth forest areas.

A question one must ask is how is it possible that the Government does not find endangered species, while volunteer ecologists do? The answer is simple. Neither the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) nor VicForests, the State Government's logging agency, are looking for them. In a Government report based on threatened species studies at Brown Mountain conducted earlier this year, it is stated that "neither DSE or VicForests routinely undertake pre-logging coupe surveys". Most of their information on threatened species comes from reports dating back to the early '80s. This was at a time when we only just started to learn about species such as the long-footed potoroo and when management plans for endangered species simply did not exist.

Experts in their field produced these older reports, but the research areas were so large, and resources so limited, that many forests were not even surveyed. Brown Mountain is one of the areas that fell through the cracks. Along with other forests at Ada River, Yalmy River, the upper Bonang catchment and the Bungywarr forests, the ecological values of these old-growth forests have simply never been documented. Despite a virtually non-existent budget, the recent independent survey work resulted in spectacular finds — evidence of the long-footed potoroo, Orbost spiny crayfish, quolls, sooty owl, powerful owls and high numbers of gliders. Various organisations have presented substantial evidence, made claims and filed complaints with the Victorian Government, identifying areas as important habitats for threatened species or as iconic old-growth forests.

On Bungywarr Road, outside Errinundra National Park, I surveyed and recorded 13 greater gliders and several yellow-bellied gliders in an old growth forest that has since been destroyed by Vicforests. Research has shown that about 90 per cent of greater gliders do not survive logging. Only one or two of these magnificent creatures might be lucky to be alive today. The others most probably died as their trees were logged. Suitable habitat will only be available again in this location towards the end of next century.

In January this year, volunteers presented substantial evidence that the mysterious and rare long-footed potoroo lived in Brown Mountain. The DSE confirmed that Brown Mountain contained suitable habitat for the potoroo and that it had been identified in the area previously. Tracks that most probably belonged to the potoroo were even found. The only piece of evidence missing was actual footage, which was put to rest by our motion sensor cameras. This footage and Environment East Gippsland's court fight might just tip the scale for the potoroo. The Government has acknowledged that in recent years it has never looked for threatened species in logging areas, but that it aims to do so in the future.

Whether this will actually occur or be transparent, comprehensive and in Victoria's native wildlife 's interest remains to be seen. Two Brown Mountain coupes are safe for now but VicForests is still determined to ignore the science and push ahead with the logging in many other ancient forest areas. I have seen the destruction of these forests, and can only concur with Supreme Court judge Jack Forrest's comparison with images of a WWI battlefield.

The Victorian Government must remove its logging blinders and start investing in up-to-date and appropriate environmental research in the allocated logging coupes. It needs to assess the overall biodiversity, carbon and water values of our forests and weigh these up against the woodchips and small amounts of timber coming from them. The survival of Victoria's endangered species should not be left to the work of volunteers alone. It is the responsibility of government to not only protect species, but to ensure our forests are not continually turned into obliterated battlefields. * Jacques Cop, an ecology consultant, Age.


The State Government is to review its whale and dolphin conservation plan although it will continue to allow the controversial hand-feeding of dolphins at Tin Can Bay. Sustainability Minister Kate Jones said yesterday that the owners of Barnacles Cafe at Tin Can Bay had been granted a permit to feed the dolphins, one of only two places in Queensland. The other was at Tangalooma Island Resort on Moreton Island. Ms Jones said there was a benefit in allowing hand-feeding. `` Wildlife experts say to me that one of the best ways of conserving is through education,'' she said. ``The more people who come to appreciate these wonderful creatures up close, the more understanding we as a community will have of the need to work hard for their protection and to look after their habitat.''

Ms Jones' predecessor Desley Boyle moved to stop feeding in 2005 after Environmental Protection Agency scientists advised her that it was dangerous to Mystique and Patch, two Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins. Her move was overruled by then premier Peter Beattie. University of Queensland scientist Michael Noad said yesterday that hand-feeding was risky for any wild animal. ``They could be hit by a boat, get disease from dodgy fish or become vulnerable to people who may want to harm them,'' Dr Noad said. ``But if it's only a small number being fed, then from a conservation point of view, it probably doesn't matter.'' Dr Noad said Tangalooma was different in that the operation was tightly controlled and there were no boats nearby.

There were concerns though that the mortality rate of young hand-fed dolphins was higher than for wild animals. ``It's suspected that when the female leaves the calves behind to come in and feed, they become vulnerable to sharks,'' Dr Noad said. Meanwhile, conservation group WWF yesterday warned that a rare pod of 67 snubfin dolphins off Townsville faced local extinction as a result of ongoing coastal development, water pollution and increased shipping. They were particularly vulnerable because they lived in shallow waters close to shore, WWF said. The snubfin is Australia's only endemic dolphin. *Courier Mail


India's efforts to stop poaching of its endangered tigers are failing, despite millions of dollars of funding, a new protection force and experiments with animal transfers. The Government swung into action in 2007 after India's tiger population plunged to just 1350 -- just over one-third of the 3700 estimated to be alive in 2002. A new tiger conservation plan chalked out some bold and urgent steps to end the poaching menace, move forest dwellers away from reserves, and transfer tigers from one reserve to another while monitoring their movements. Wildlife experts and directors of the 38 Indian tiger reserves met in Delhi recently for a conference on the highly prized animals, which were estimated to once number about 40,000 before independence from Britain in 1947. ``India has framed all the policies and is doling out ample monetary aid to save the tiger, but it is clearly not trickling down,'' said Belinda Wright, director of the Wildlife Protection of India who attended the conference. ``Poaching cases are just not stopping.''

In the past nine months, 25 tigers have been killed by poachers and another 43 have died due to other causes. On average, poachers kill 30 tigers every year in guarded reserves, with demand driven by China, where pelts, claws and bones are prized in traditional medicine. ``Every single tiger faces threat. It is a shame that poachers' networks are not being cracked by the police,'' said PK Sen, a retired forest official who heads a tiger conservation program in New Delhi. Campaigners say ineffective bureaucracy, corruption, pressure on land for use by developers, a domestic insurgency and lack of modern equipment are to blame. Mr Sen said Maoist rebels were active in seven of the 38 tiger reserves established to protect the animal, meaning no official tiger census had been conducted since 2000. ``Forget tiger census and forest management, as in the past nine years even officers avoid entering these Maoist-infested reserves,'' he said.

Tiger hunting is illegal worldwide and the trade in tiger parts is banned under a treaty binding 167 countries, including India. Experts said the porous border between India and Nepal continued to serve as a smuggling corridor for the poachers, who bribe poor forest dwellers to guide them through the dense jungles. Alarmed by the dwindling numbers, the Government has recruited retired army personnel to form a ``tiger protection force'' to guard sanctuaries. New young field officers have been trained up, cameras have been installed to guard the reserves, and many tigers have been radio-tagged to monitor their movements. In 2008, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also set up a national wildlife crime prevention bureau, drawing experts from the police, environmental agencies and Customs in a bid to break up the poaching network.

However, the idea of bringing together different arms of the state has been handicapped by bureaucratic infighting. ``The state governments are just not understanding how critical the issue is,'' a senior official at the ministry of forests and environment said. He said India's 29 state governments enjoyed independent power on land issues and most continued to sell land around the tiger reserves for development for hotels. The National Tiger Conservation Authority wants commercial use of land near the protected forests to be banned and buffer zones created. The NTCA, which has a budget of $144.41 million for 38 tiger reserves over four years, has also started moving tigers from one area to another to help protect numbers. *Canberra Times

Oil Spill

Sydney - The Australian government Tuesday rejected criticism that it was not pushing a Thai oil exploration company hard enough to cap a leaking Timor Sea oil well and clean up the spill. 'We are head down and bum up on this,' Environment Minister Peter Garrett said. 'They must meet all of the conditions and requirements that have been identified by the (government) and I expect they will.' Former rock star Garrett was responding to barbs from environmentalists over the spill at the West Atlas drilling platform operated by Thailand's PTTEP Australasia in the Montara field, 690 kilometres west of Darwin. Around 400 barrels of oil and gas a day have been leaking from a ruptured undersea pipe since August 21.

Conservation organization WWF has a boat in the region off Australia's east coast and reported that the slick could cover up to 15,000 square kilometres. There is a 40-kilometre exclusion zone and so the WWF only has rough estimates of the scale of the pollution. 'We have to dispel the myth that it's a desert out here,' WWF-Australia conservation director Gilly Llewellyn told The Australian newspaper. 'This is a rich feeding area for many species of marine life as well as migratory birds.' By the Environment Department's measuring, fewer than a dozen birds are known to have been affected by the sludge. But Llewellyn warned that countless seabirds, fish, sea snakes, turtles, whales and dolphins could be at risk. Garrett said department officials were monitoring the impact on wildlife and were as concerned as conservationists.

'We'll pick up any impact that may be taking place on wildlife as soon as they do and take the appropriate responses,' the former Midnight Oil singer said. PTTEP brought a mobile rig from Indonesia and was drilling 2.6 kilometres into the seabed to intersect the leaking well and plug it with drilling mud. The company, which expects the drilling to take at least three more weeks, has pledged to cover the whole cost of the clean-up. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has been using C-130 Hercules aircraft flying from Darwin each day to drop dispersant over the slick. *M-C, Asia-Pacific

Monster Wolves?

The B.C. government's Vancouver Island wolf extermination program allowed "monster" hybrids to take over the region, a team of scientists said. From the 1920s until the 1970s, provincial officials tried to rid Vancouver Island of wolves so sport hunters would find it easier to hunt black-tailed deer, the wolves' principal prey. So when a few hardy wolves swam across from the northern B.C. mainland in the early 1980s, some were unable to find mates. Instead, they mated with stray dogs. The result, according to researchers from the University of Sweden, the Smithsonian Institution and the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, was something never documented before in the wild: animals that were neither wolves nor dogs. Their research is published in the latest edition of the journal Conservation Genetics.

So-called wolf hybrids are bred purposely by some breeders as pets, though they are regarded by animal welfare groups as potentially dangerous. They had never been documented in the wild before. "If the wolf-control campaign had carried on and kept wild wolves at low levels, we would have had, potentially, a population of monster wolves on Vancouver Island," Raincoast biologist and University of California post-doctoral researcher Chris Darimont said in an interview. * Canwest News Service

Ed Comment; We know this is happening with the dingoes too.


Taronga and Western Plains zoos have banned the sale of excess animals after it was revealed breeding programs were being used to make money. The zoos have shut down their animal sales systems under a bill before the Legislative Council after The Sydney Morning Herald revealed Western Plains Zoo sold endangered animals to a Shooters' Party member advocating the right to hunt them. Following an internal review, ordered by then environment minister Carmel Tebbutt, the zoos have also modified the contract system for unpaid animal transfers. Private operators will not be allowed to profit from animals they display and will be prevented from hunting them or their offspring. The zoos will also have powers to demand post-mortem results for animals that die after they leave the zoo.

"Recent media allegations that the [zoos] transacted blackbuck [antelope] into a situation where they could potentially be hunted have raised several broader philosophical issues," the zoo wrote in its review. "These include the issue of selling animals and issues of protecting the welfare of animals that have left the zoos' care following transfer to a secondary location ... While checks are undertaken and approvals sought at the time of a transfer, the [zoos] cannot predict all future changes of intent of private individuals or organisations that received an animal, nor manage the ongoing welfare of animals after they have been legally transferred ..."

Before the review, the zoos had falsely claimed their animals were protected by clauses in a contract that stipulated they were only for breeding purposes. But documents obtained under freedom of information showed no such clause existed. Instead, the animals had been bred to be sold and some of the specimens had been sold for as little as half what they were worth. The zoos were temporarily banned from any trading with private operators after the revelations. The Greens' spokeswoman on animal welfare, Lee Rhiannon, said the tightened policy was welcome but secretive. "Taronga Zoo is failing the public. They plan to clean up the sale and transfer of animals but ... they restrict the public release of this information," she said.

Ed comment; Lee Rhianon is right, it always was the Zoos intention sell the animals for hunting, and the sales should never have happened in the first place. Again this demonstrates the mentality in the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water. These are the same people who want to try to relocate the Sydney Botanic Gardens flying foxes, although its never been done successfully before.....and even the 3 million dolars they spent relocating the flying foxes in Melbourne could hardly be called successfull....especially for the flying foxes that died.......

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!