Sunday, January 23, 2011

Wildlife Bytes Austalia 24/1/11

Flood Damage and the GBR

Researchers say the recent Queensland floods are carrying tonnes of fresh water, nutrients and pesticides to the ocean, placing enormous stress on the Great Barrier Reef. For the past five weeks, plumes of silt-laden fresh water have been flowing onto reefs off the Queensland coast. The impact is so massive it can be seen in NASA satellite photographs. Researchers list the Keppel Islands near Rockhampton, Moreton Bay and Fraser Island, north of Brisbane, as being most at risk. Dr Alison Jones, from Central Queensland University in Rockhampton, has seen first-hand the impact of the floods on corals in Keppel Bay. "You can't see anything at all from above," she said. "As you take the camera down, it looks like a big brown soupy mess. "Deeper down the water is a bit clearer and you can see bleached white [coral] colonies appearing out of the gloom."

Dr Jones checked five islands and found stressed coral around all of them. "Halfway Island was much worse than North Keppel. It was just dead coral, killed by the fresh water," she said. "There wasn't really a single thing alive. "There also seems to be some temperature bleaching, believe it or not, from the ocean being warm, which is completely unrelated to the flooding." Dr Britta Shaffelke, a researcher at the Australian Institute of Marine Science, says wind direction over the next few days will be crucial in determining the extent of the damage. "At the moment the mud plume [from the Fitzroy River] is confined to the Keppel Bay area," she said. "However if the wind turns around from the south east to the north, the plume might reach much further to the outer reefs such as Heron Island." Floods damage corals in a number of ways. Corals cannot survive in freshwater because their physiology is adapted to salt water. Silt is also clouding the water and blocking out sunlight, stopping corals from photosynthesising and feeding themselves.

Nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous can kick start toxic algal blooms, which strip oxygen from the water and at the same time, provide food for the larvale of crown of thorns starfish. Pesticides carried in floodwater call also kill corals. Researchers are most concerned about the impact of the sediments. "What has changed is that the load of sediment in the rivers has increased 4- to 10-fold since pre-European times," said AIMS scientist Dr Katharina Fabricius. "Reefs exposed to high levels of nutrients and sediments have up to five-fold higher cover of seaweeds (which can smother corals) and half the biodiversity of species of coral - these are the long term effects of these floods," she says.

Meanwhile, further south in Moreton Bay, experts are worried about the long-term impact on dugongs. In 1996, a flood left many dugongs starving, as sediment and nutrients overwhelmed and killed the seagrass beds in the area. "For Morteton bay, the flooding event last week was significantly bigger for sediment deposition and fresh water than the flood of 1996," says Dr Eva Abal, chief scientific officer at the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. "My expectation about the impact on the bay is that we will experience some seagrass loss, but it also depends on how quickly water clears up." Shaffelke also points out that there are unusually vast amounts of turbid freshwater off the coast of Brisbane. "That hasn't happened for many, many decades in the Brisbane area, so many plants and animals will imediately die or be very stressed," she says. "I expect there to be quite serious impacts as well." "In relation to the floods in Rockhampton … that is certainly not typical or happens very often. For both humans and the enviroment this is an extraordinary event. "For the marine environment, the events are still unfolding. The highest rainfall is actually in February, so we are certainly not at the end of this season." *ABC Science



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Editorial

Unfortunately for wild animals, a new Taser is coming onto the US market, and it's aimed right at them. However, this Taser is billed as a more humane form of protection against wildlife, more "humane" than killing them perhaps? The Taser is capable of firing multiple shots, more easily stopping large animals like a bear or a moose. According to US blogger TreeHugger, being armed with a new wildlife Taser may make it "difficult to avoid being a bit more cavalier" since you have a "weapon that puts wildlife in 'sleep mode' for a while." In other words, folks with Tasers could become a bit too brave and adventurous in some instances. Another US Blogger has made the following comment; "Somehow I don't think this thing would be 100 percent reliable with a charging bear coming at you. What if you miss? Seriously, how good is your aim going to be under stress? Can you take it to the firing range to practice your aim? I don't think so. And how close does the bear have to be? Those things can move as fast as a car. Are you going to wait until it's in range? This whole bear thing is a ruse by the Taser marketing department to allow them to sell to civilians for personal protection, but they'll end up being used in robberies and against cops".

Here in Australia, where we seem to follow US trends in wildlife "management', (or mismanagement as some would say), so we'd be concerned it would be used on the Fraser Island dingoes....and any other animal that was deemed to be a threat to any tourists. The mind boggles...a charging wallaby waving a baseball bat, kookaburras stealing food from picnic tables, snakes in backyards, those annoying mosquitoes, straying cats and dogs in backyards, ect. And then there's the posty delivering astronomically high power and water bills........so where can I get one of these tasers?.....well, eBay of course........and I never did like that posty anyway......



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Fundraising for Flood Wildlife

The Australian Wildlife Protection Council Inc. is collecting funds to offer a reward for information leading to a prosecution or conviction of the person or persons responsible for running down and killing kangaroos in the grounds of Morriset Hospital, near Newcastle. All donations made in Australia are tax deductible if made out to AWPC Public Fund or just AWPC donation. Post your cheque/money order to Australian Wildlife Protection Council Inc. C/- Maryland Wilson, President, 1098 Stumpy Gully Rd Moorooduc 3933 Victoria. A tax-deductable receipt can be sent to you. OR Make a deposit straight into AWPC’s account at your local Commonwealth Bank branch: BSB 063535, Account 10090791 Please include your name and purpose as reference when making a deposit. Eg. Freda Bloggs, Morisset Reward. Also, email Maryland Wilson, kangaroo@ hotkey.net.au and leave your name and address so a receipt can be sent to you. *AWPC

Wildlife Protection Association of Australia Inc has set up a Donation Fund, where people who wish to donate to help flood-affected wildlife can do just that. Any moneys donated to this Fund will only be provided to non government funded wildlife carers groups or individuals who are actively working on helping wildlife flood victims, orphaned or injured. Funding will be provided to wildlife carers for fuel to get into the flood affected areas, and for wildlife food, over the next months. We know who these carers are, and where they are, and we'd like to help them too, so if you would like to help the wildlife flood victims you can donate here, tax-deductible within Australia. WPAA has kick-started the Fund with $500. Donate here..... http://www.kangaroo-protection-coalition.com/floodwildlife.html

QWRC has also set up a trust fund to receive donations for wildlife carers affected by floods. Donations can be made to the wildlife disaster relief fund by direct deposit to the QWRC Trust Fund account BSB 814-282 and account number 30932248 and QWRC ask that people please use their surname as a reference. They will ensure all funds are distributed where they are most needed.

A new Fundraiser which we absolutely support has just been announced. Sydney Pet Rescue & Adoption has launched the Animal Flood Victims Emergency Appeal, and together with various other rescue groups, they are working hard to raise funds to support animals affected by the recent devastating floods in Qld. The Wildlife Protection Association of Australia is one of the organisations they have chosen to support with the Appeal. We will be using the funds they raise to support foster carers in the worst affected and priority areas, with financial support to assist with the rescue and foster care of wildlife. ……….We thank SPRA and all the rescue groups who are working hard with them, for their support….. Please click on this link to find out more about the appeal: http://www.freewebs.com/sydneypetrescueandadoption/floodappealanimals.htm

The Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital at Beerwah is also fundraising to help cover the cost of treating an influx of wildlife flood victims. Go to the Hospital website to donate.



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Join the Victorian 2011 Duck Rescue Team

Just as our native waterbirds are struggling to breed up after 13 years of drought, a full 3-month Victorian recreational duck shooting season has been announced by the new Baillieu government, with over 20,000 licensed duck shooters allowed to take 10 birds per day. There are only 15 wildlife officers to patrol the whole of Victoria and from inside information we know there is no finance available to police the duck shooting season. Our waterbirds need your help - join the Coalition Against Duck Shooting rescue team. We will be protecting birds on the Opening weekend (March 19), and every weekend of the season. Go to www.duck.org.au to join, or call Lynn on 0414 816 509. * Coalition Against Duck Shooting.

Spiders

A German man has admitted to smuggling live tarantulas into the US. Prosecutors said Sven Koppler of Wachtberg posted hundreds of spiders to buyers in the US and across the world, earning more than $295,000 (£184,548). Among the spiders he sold were Mexican red-kneed tarantulas, a protected species whose export is tightly restricted. US wildlife investigators arrested him after posing as a buyer. Koppler, 37, faces up to 20 years in US prison. In court documents obtained by the BBC, a federal fish and wildlife officer said he had learned Koppler was importing tarantulas into the US from Germany and selling them, without declaring them to customs. Investigators posing as buyers arranged to purchase the spiders from him, and he sent live tarantulas in the post, in parcels declared as gifts or as plastic canisters. Prosecutors said Koppler was aware the tarantulas were protected and had obtained at least some of them from suppliers in South Africa. He was arrested in Los Angeles in December after travelling there to meet an associate. *US BBC

Flood News

A turtle with its head stuck in a drain grate and an echidna washed up on a beach are just some of the casualties from Queensland's raging floodwaters that have veterinarians working overtime. Australia Zoo, on the Sunshine Coast, says they're struggling to cope with a dramatic increase in injured wildlife that have been swept up in floodwaters or become disorientated while seeking higher ground. The voiceless are no doubt feeling the pain with about two-thirds of the state flood-affected in the past three weeks. Head of the Australia Zoo Rescue Unit, Brian Coulter, said they've received hundreds of calls since Sunday and staff are working overtime to help. "The majority of those calls have been for wildlife that have been displaced from their homes and are disorientated, and we have been able to assist in helping them get back to their habitat before they become too stressed or get injured," Mr Coulter said in a statement. "The wet weather has been rough on the local wildlife." One critter that unwillingly ventured from home, was Queenie the echidna. The prickly monotreme was found washed up on the beach in Redcliffe, an odd place for an echidna. She is being treated for water inhalation and will be monitored for pneumonia. Meanwhile, Molly the broad-shelled turtle was found at Morayfield, north of Brisbane, with her head stuck in the grate. She has a fractured shell and swollen head. They are both expected to recover and be released back into the wild. *HeraldSun


Gympie and District Landcare says the Mary River turtle and lungfish have coped well with the flooded river in south-east Queensland. The Mary River rose to 19.3 metres in Gympie last week, eroding its banks and leaving sediment in the river. Landcare spokesman Steve Burgess says the animals used backwaters to avoid the worst of the floods. "If they can get away from those flows and they're not forced to go over a dam wall where they're not used to one, they're OK," he said. "Unfortunately in a lot of our rivers they have no option, over the wall they go and we get massive kills. "Luckily we don't have any major walls in the mainstream of the Mary and on the flood plain so they've been able to avoid that sort of thing in the Mary." *ABC

Cane Toads

A grazier in Queensland's central-west says there is evidence cane toads are moving further down the Cooper Creek system which runs into central Australia. Angus Emmott lives near Stonehenge (between Longreach and Jundah on the Thomson River), he says the pests are breeding rapidly and could be killing native species. "What I have noticed is is the goannas in particular are starting to die, you're seeing goanna bodies lying around and anything that eats these frogs is going to be in trouble," he said. "And things like goannas that do prey a lot on frogs are in big trouble, things like mulga snakes." *ABC

Birds

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is engaged in what can only be called an avian holocaust through its Bye Bye Blackbird program that has poisoned tens of millions of birds over the last decade. The USDA even reports the number of birds it has poisoned to death in a PDF document posted on the USDA website. *NaturalNews
Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/031084_bird_deaths_holocaust.html

Lion Tacos

Boca, an Arizona restaurant that has served tacos featuring the meat of alligators, elk, kangaroos and rattlesnakes, has upped the ante with its latest Exotic Taco Wednesday offering: Next month, the restaurant will offer lion tacos. We're prepared to taste-test the king of the jungle and report back here, if you want us to. The lion meat being used by Boca doesn't come from an endangered species, according to the restaurant. "I'm doing the African lion to get my name out," owner Bryan Mazon told the Arizona Star. "I've never tried it myself, but this one really caught my eye." Mazon got the idea from another Arizona restaurant, which served lion burgers during last year's South Africa-based World Cup. The restaurant sold out, but also encountered protesters. *The Consumerist

Kangaroo Rescue

Ray Cole waded into raging floodwaters and emerged a hero. His decision to rescue a drowning joey has made him an international star and captured the hearts of millions around the world. Mr Cole, a truck driver from West Ipswich, was watching the river rise from the One Mile Bridge last Tuesday evening with his eight-year-old-son John. "People started pointing to something in the water. A woman screamed: ‘Save the kangaroo',” Mr Cole said. "It was just a spur of the moment thing. I was brought up to help those in need. "Next thing I know I'm neck-deep in water and thinking what am I doing out here?” Amateur photographer Nick De Villiers, of Eastern Heights, captured the moment as Mr Cole carried the joey ashore. By the early hours of Wednesday morning the photo had made world news. But the reaction hasn't been all positive. "I've been called a lot of things, a hero, a goose, an idiot,” he said. "I had 5500 friendship requests on Facebook and more than 2000 messages. Some has been hate mail but what can do you?” He said he simply couldn't bear to see his coat of arms drown. "If it had've been an emu it might be a different story,” he said. The roo is alive and well being cared for by a mother and daughter in Ipswich. *QTimes

Ed Comment, Virgin Blue are flying Ray and his wife (free) to Mebourne on Australia Day to recieve an award from the Australian Wildlife Protection Council.

Kangaroo Cookbook

A new Government funded cookbook has been launched in the effort to increase the domestic demand for kangaroo meat among restaurants, chefs and householders. The Roocipes cookbook, funded by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) and Food Companion International, contains kangaroo recipes, such as merlot marinated kangaroo steak with wasabi mash, and kangaroo with quandong chilli sauce with sweet potato and bok choy. The cookbook also contains tips on how to cook kangaroo meat to maximise its moisture and flavour. Executive Chef and Managing Director, Craig Squire, of the award winning Red Ochre Grill restaurant in Cairns said kangaroo meat had significant global potential as a food source. "Kangaroo meat is a wonderfully easy and healthy barbecue meat and is best served medium rare or rare, because having almost no fat it can dry out if over cooked," Squire said. *Food Magazine

"Ferals" to be Removed

The nation's largest feral herbivore-free area will soon be established in the Northern Territory. Australian Wildlife Conservancy will fence off 1000 square kilometres on its Wongalara Station in the Top End and remove or destroy introduced animals including buffalo, donkeys, pigs, cattle and horses. AWC chief executive Atticus Fleming says the fence will cost $400,000 and is vital to rebuilding native populations. "Across Northern Australia there's this very dramatic decline in small mammals. "We think feral herbivores are a major cause of that drop so if we can establish a large herbivore free area at Wongalara we're hoping to see those populations increase." *ABC

Whales

New Zealand conservation officials today euthanased 10 pilot whales, the only survivors of a 24-strong pod that became stranded in a mangrove swamp. The whales had been found earlier in the day trapped in the shallow water and mud in Parengarenga Harbor on North Island, with 14 already dead. The mammals had been there for some time and the 10 survivors were in poor shape, said Department of Conservation area manager Jonathan Maxwell. With worsening weather and a high tide more than eight hours away, "the chance of successfully refloating the whales was virtually nil", Maxwell said. "Sadly, the current conditions were against these animals. The kindest thing was to end their suffering," he said. "If we felt there was a real chance we could have successfully rescued them, we would have." Pilot whales travel in pods of family groups and when one becomes stranded, others follow to try to help and also become stuck. Pilot whales are the most common whale species in New Zealand waters, and are normally between four and six metres long. Last week, volunteers and conservation workers successfully refloated one young Gray's beaked whale after it stranded. Four other adult mammals died on the beach. New Zealand has several whale strandings around its coastline each summer, with mass strandings of as many as 450 of the mammals. Whale experts have been unable to explain why the mammals apparently swim into dangerously shallow waters. * AP



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More Reptiles Stolen

Thieves who swiped £45,000 worth of reptiles from a specialist shop in Teynham have been urged to return them by the devastated owners. John Harrison, who runs Lost World Reptiles in London Road with his son Karl, has spoken of his upset after 66 snakes and three lizards were snatched. He said: "We are absolutely heartbroken at the burglary. "These snakes and lizards need specialist care and our greatest fear is that whoever has taken them won't look after them properly and will struggle to find outlets for them and they are just going to die." Karl opened the shop almost three years ago with the help of his dad. The pair imported many of the snakes from the United States and have spent the last two-and-a-half years raising them. Most of the snakes stolen are Royal Pythons of different colours, ranging in length from two-and-a-half to three-and-a-half feet and costing from £350 to £2,500. The most unusual is a pure white Royal Python with blue eyes, and the biggest is a Red Blood Python which is three-and-a-half feet long and 4in in diameter.

The three lizards were rare Kimberley Rock Monitors, each about 2ft long and worth £495 apiece. Police are appealing for information about the break-in, which happened between 4.30pm on Bank Holiday Monday, January 3, and 9am the following day. Detective Inspector Emma Banks said: "This doesn't appear to be the work of opportunist thieves and it's highly likely that whoever stole the snakes and lizards has experience in handling reptiles and had previously been into the shop. "We are appealing for anyone who saw anyone acting suspiciously in the Teynham area that night, or the vehicle the offenders could have used, to contact us. "We are also urging anyone who might be offered one of the snakes or lizards for sale to speak to us immediately. "The welfare of these reptiles is a major concern." Anyone with information should call Sittingbourne Police Station on 01795 419182 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 quoting reference CY/000188/11. *Thisiskent.co.uk/news



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Possums

Dog owners in Melbourne’s inner north are on possum alert, fearing fines of almost $5000 every time they take their pets to the park. The City of Yarra is pressing charges against Andrea Krelle, the owner of a whippet called Tiger that allegedly killed a possum last winter in North Fitzroy’s Edinburgh Gardens. The dog had been in a part of the park where the council allows them off the leash. The case will be heard in the Melbourne Magistrates Court next month. Yarra mayor Cr Alison Clarke told The Sunday Age that incidents of dogs killing possums were rare. But local dog owners are up in arms, saying a proliferation of increasingly tame possums makes future incidents inevitable. ‘‘Even when you’re doing your best to be responsible you can still come unstuck,’’ said Adam Stead, a North Fitzroy dog owner who regularly walks his German short-haired pointer in Edinburgh Gardens. He said possums, used to being fed by park-goers, were constantly putting themselves in danger, and when dogs saw a possum they’d instinctively chase it. ‘‘To have this hanging over our heads is just unbelievable.’’

Jordan Wright, another North Fitzroy dog-walker, said he knows of a number of incidents in which dogs killed possums in the Edinburgh Gardens. ‘‘The council needs to understand that if they’re not going to control the population of possums, there’s going to be conflict with dogs,’’ he said. Wildlife Victoria has recorded more than 2700 attacks by domestic animals on native birds and animals in the past five years, while the Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Service says the actual number is likely to be far higher as most attacks go unreported. The Australian Veterinary Association last year estimated that domestic cats kill around 75million native Australian animals a year. The City of Yarra received 64 reports of alleged dog attacks last year, with two incidents now the subject of court action. Sixteen dog owners were fined $300. Possum numbers in parks are on the rise, partly because of a dearth of natural predators in the urban environment and partly because people feed them.

Mr Stead says he has complained 30 times in the past three years to the Yarra council about people leaving food, such as bread and salad, for animals and birds in the park. ‘‘The main problem is in winter when people tend to walk their dogs when it’s getting dark and the possums are active,’’ he says. ‘‘The possums, which are used to being fed, are waiting at head height fighting for the best position. Even if you have your dog on a lead you can pretty much run into strife. A dominant possum will have no qualms about pushing another possum on to the ground.’’ Jackie Fristacky, the Yarra council representative for Nicholls ward, says well-meaning possum feeders are actually endangering the creatures. ‘‘This has been a long-standing issue for our inner city parks,’’ she says. ‘‘If people leave food out for possums it does encourage them to come down instead of feed in the trees and it encourages them to be less wary of people — and the dogs with the people.’’

Ms Fristacky says in eight years of being on the council she hasn’t heard of a dog owner being taken to court over a possum attack. The Department of Sustainability and Environment warns against feeding possums as it can lead to dietary imbalance, dependence on the food source, artificially high densities of possums, and it attracts rats and pest birds. Ecological consultant John Patrick, who last year submitted a management plan to the City of Yarra for possums in Curtain Square, says normally a hectare of land sustains up to four possums. In the square, there are 40 possums per hectare, endangering the trees and bringing the animals into inevitable conflict with other park users. Ordering a cull of possums, which are protected, would be controversial. Lord mayor Robert Doyle announced plans in November to counter possum numbers by installing nesting boxes for one of their natural predators, powerful owls, in Royal Park and the Fitzroy and Flagstaff Gardens. ‘‘You’ve got to have sympathy for the possums,’’ Mr Patrick says. ‘‘The problem is people feeding them, with the result the population has grown beyond what is sustainable naturally.’’ Mr Stead says requiring dog owners to muzzle their pets in the park would be a better solution than threatening them with court and $5000 fines. * Age



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Sealing

Federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea said Wednesday that a new deal to export seal meat and other products to China will transform Canada's sagging seal fishery. "As early as this spring, Canadian processors could begin shipping seal meat and oils into the world's biggest market for fish and seafood products," Shea said Wednesday in St. John's, where she was attending a meeting of a sealing industry advisory committee. "This is a huge breakthrough for our sealing industry." Canada announced an export deal on seal meat last week during a trade mission to China. The development brings new hope to the seal industry, which has been weathering a ban on seal products in the European Union as well as a slump globally in fur products. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has not put a value on the potential of the Chinese market for meat products, and Shea told reporters that sealers should not expect to see a sudden windfall. "I think this industry … will grow slowly. I don't expect it's going to be a huge, huge impact right away," Shea said. "But it's still very exciting." Sealers, however, are focused on a more pressing issue. A lack of ice has been reported in key areas in eastern Canada, raising questions about whether sealers will be able to catch this year's quota of animals. "Last year the ice was limited. So far this year, no ice as well," Shea said. "This is something that the industry will have to discuss." * Underwater Times



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Crocodiles

Kennedy MP Bob Katter has accused the State Government of "flagrantly lying" about crocodile numbers amid fears the reptiles are making moves into North Queenslanders' aquatic playgrounds. Department of Environment and Resource Management statistics reveal there were 236 reported sightings in 2010, 279 in 2009 and 215 in 2008. Of those spotted in 2010, 38 were in the Townsville area, which the department merely said was similar to previous years. But Mr Katter has labelled it "a crock", saying something needs to be done to curb the increase of man-eating reptiles in the North. "There really is an explosion in croc numbers and the reasons for this are the predators are gone," he said. Mr Katter said snakes, dingoes and, most of all, humans were no longer as much a threat to crocodile eggs and young as they used to be and the natural order had to be restored. "There needs to be a culling of crocodiles, the numbers are out of all proportion and in actual fact, in the old days (people) took a very large number of crocodiles ... and that predation has been removed completely," he said. "You could get a feed for a month from a nest of crocodile eggs. "There would be 60 or 70 eggs in a nest."

He accused the department of fudging the statistics, saying it was not the first time the state department had done so. "May the Lord spare us, they (the department) have no credibility at all," Mr Katter said. "They flagrantly lied about the dugong numbers ... (saying they) had dropped in half. "They ... just happened to forget the numbers in the top half ... (of the reef) north of Townsville where the dugong numbers had doubled due to migration." Mr Katter also attacked the department for protecting flying foxes, of protecting species which threatened the health and livelihood of North Queenslanders. "One (flying fox species) is an endangered species but on any day of the week you can count 15,000 of them in Charters Towers," he said. "I know one bloke who has a tree in Gordonvale and last time I looked at it it had 3000 of those species. "Just in two towns, there's almost 20,000 flying foxes of a supposed endangered species."

Mr Katter's renewed culling call comes as crocodiles have been spotted in built-up areas in recent weeks. Two crocodiles were seen sunning themselves near the rowing club on Fitzgerald Esplanade in Innisfail on Wednesday . One, spotted on a pontoon, was said to be about two metres in length while the other, about four to five metres long, was further out from shore. A three-metre croc was spotted in the Townsville Port on January 13 and a 1m saltwater crocodile was seen lounging on stinger nets at Etty Bay, near Innisfail, on January 3. A 1.5m crocodile caused The Strand to be closed on Boxing Day, while a 2m crocodile was spotted at Saunders Beach on Christmas Eve. Mr Katter was slammed by environmentalists when he called for culls in 2008 and Department of Environment and Resource Management wildlife manager Mike Devery said a spate of recent sightings could be easily explained. "The number of sightings can vary significantly through environmental factors," he said. "For example, the number of crocodile sightings reported in a particular year can be affected by the weather patterns, which may influence how many people are engaged in activities in or near the water and the behaviour and movement of crocodiles." Crocodile sightings can be reported to the environment department on 1300 130 372. *Cairns Post



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Wolves

Environment officials from the European Union are preparing to prosecute the Swedish government after it again allowed the hunting of wild and endangered wolves. Conservationists say there are only 200 wolves left in the wild in Sweden, and this season's quota of 20 animals has been half filled in the first day of hunting. While the EU and local conservationists say it is an illegal and illogical slaughter, hunters argue the kill is all about ensuring the wolves' survival. Swedish ecotourist guide Anders Stahl says wolves are a vital part of the natural order, and the real threat comes from hunters encouraged by a government that gives a licence to kill. "How can you conserve numbers if you hunt them? For me that's illogical," he said. "Lots of people don't hunt them and have more of a naturalist way of looking at the wolves. For me, as a naturalist and ecotourism guide, for me it's a problem if there aren't any wolves." European Commission environment spokesman Joe Hennon says his department is beginning legal proceedings against Sweden that could end up in fines of tens of millions of dollars.

"We sent a letter to the Swedish minister in December pointing out our interpretation of the law," he said. "And we left Sweden in no doubt that if they did go ahead with the licensed hunt that we would have to open formal proceedings against them." 'We know every wolf'. About 6,000 hunters signed up to try to kill just 20 wolves. The spokesman for the Swedish Hunters Association, Daniel Lidne, says far from destroying the animals, the hunters are the true conservationists. "Basically what we're trying to do is that we try to save the wolf with hunting," he said. "I know it seems to be contradictory but still we have this inbreeding problem, and to be able to bring in new genes and new wolves we have to make room for them and remove some of the inbred wolves." Mr Lidne says he does not think the EU knows how well Sweden monitors the wolves and the hunts. "They haven't understood that we have total control of the wolves in Sweden," he said. "We know every wolf. We have a name and number on all the adult wolves in our country, and this is almost like a zoo in the wild." Swedish animal rights activists have tried to disrupt the hunt by going into the forest with firecrackers to frighten the wolves away. Some fear that Sweden's reputation as an ecologically responsible nation is also being driven to extinction. *ABC



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Kangaroos - Faces in the Mob!

(We recently ran out of 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.


Faces in the Mob!
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 for $29.95 in Australia, or $34.95 Au Paypal for International postage delivery.
Buy Faces in the Mob now!
http://www.kangaroo-protection-coalition.com/kangaroos-facesinthemob.html

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





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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




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Our WPAA Websites and Blogs!


http://noxiouswaterplants.blogspot.com/


http://allaboutspiders.blogspot.com/


http://aboutflyingfoxes.blogspot.com/


http://wpaabirdblog.blogspot.com/


http://fraserislanddingoes.blogspot.com/


http://wildlifebytes.blogspot.com/


http://possuminroof.blogspot.com/


http://wpaafrognews.blogspot.com/


http://aboutaustralianbutterflies.blogspot.com/


http://www.wildlifeprotectaust.org.au


http://www.kangaroo-protection-coalition.com


http://www.australian-backyard-wildlife.com


http://www.wildlifebytes.com.au




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Welcome to all our new members, readers, and supporters. Wildlife Bytes (Qld BN 18253945) is a free weekly email update provided by the Wildlife Protection Association of Australia Inc. PO Box 309, Beerwah, Qld, 4519, and Wildlife Bytes Pty Ltd. It is read by thousands of people worldwide. To receive Wildlife Bytes, and other wildlife information, subscribe online at http://www.wildlifeprotectaust.org.au Your email address is safe with us and is kept confidential.
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