Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Wildlife Bytes 10/7/12


Our wildlife comes under more attacks from our own Government agencies. As you can read below, an overseas conservation organisation, CITES, lists the Australian dingo as a "restricted" species, even while  Australian Government departments aerial drop 1080 poison over vast areas to kill them......but why was the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species Treaty (CITES)  restriction lifted in the first place.....was it lifted to facilitate even more 1080 drops?......we can't think of any other reason.....


Please find link below to a wonderful magazine, interesting article and beautiful photos by Jennifer Parkhurst, Click and drag in any direction, Pages 69-70.
http://bareessentialsmagazine.uberflip.com/i/72758/0  * SFID Committee

As we mentioned recently in Wildlife Bytes, a consultancy has been appointed to undertake a review of the Fraser Island Dingo Management Strategy. The Minister assures us that there will be an oppportunity for a range of stakeholders to have input into the Review. See article below.....* WPAA

A Sydney woman who runs an award-winning pet transport business has been charged with smuggling dingos to the US....Read more further down......


Greenpeace have a Petition to Save the Reef here  ...  https://www.greenpeace.org.au/action/?cid=26&src=EM

Whales and Whaling

Rescuers have freed a whale trapped in shark nets on the Gold Coast. The humpback was reported snared in nets off Main Beach this morning. A marine animal rescue team from Sea World and the Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol responded. The annual whale migration from Antarctica to North Queensland has only just started. Whales regularly become trapped in the shark nets that protect Gold Coast beaches, leading to calls from conservationists for the nets to be removed during the winter migration. But successive Queensland governments have refused to take down the nets for fear it could lead to increased shark attacks. *Courier Mail

Ed Comment; Its actually got nothing to do with "fear it could lead to more shark attacks" but everything to do with the tourism industry, who want the nets to stay to encourage more visitation to the Gold Coast. While the nets are there, there is a perception that its safe to swim there. And of course its not...the nets don't stop the sharks, they can swim around them, or under them.  Swim on the Gold Coast...no way hosey.....too much shark bait in the water there.....

If you'd like to write to the Korean Ambassador about Korea's intention to start  "scientific" Minke whaling, the address is....... The Ambassador of the Republic of Korea, Cho Tae-Yong, 113 Empire Circuit, Yarralumla, Canberra, A.C.T  2600.   The Korean "scientific"hunting of Minke whales, is similar to that run by Japan, but is potentially even more damaging to whales as they will target Minke near the shores of Korea, a small and vulnerable population.  Meanwhile a new survey by the National Marine Mammal Laboratory  shows  that the population of the North Pacific Right Whale has fallen so low that the species is likely to be the first of the great whales to be wiped out by humans. Remnant whales are spread across millions of square km of ocean, and are they too far apart to find each other and breed. * WPAA

Pigeon Virus

New South Wales authorities have found two more cases of a deadly pigeon virus. The state's Department of Primary industries says the paramyxovirus has been found in lofts in Sydney's west and south-west. Four cases have now been confirmed in the city since May, with scores of pigeons having died or been put down. All cases have been linked to an infected bird from Melbourne. Deputy chief veterinary officer Sally Spence says pigeon owners should be vaccinating their birds. She says that unlike the recent outbreak in Victoria, the virus has not spread to feral pigeons. "We're very, very hopeful that won't happen, because obviously once that occurs you've got no control over it," Dr Spence said. "That's why we're so encouraging everybody to vaccinate their birds and then hopefully, the vaccine's not 100 per cent but hopefully, it will just damp the disease down enough that we won't get it spread into the feral pigeon population." *ABC

AZWH Patient of the Week....Wazza the Wompoo Pigeon

Found on the ground at a property in Mt Glorious after a suspected collision with a window, and transported to: The Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital for specialised treatment and care. Dr Amber assessed Wazza and discovered blood in the lungs as a result of the trauma. X-rays confirmed Wazza had luckily not sustained any fractures. Dr Amber administered Wazza with some pain relief and set up a snug enclosure in Birds ICU to aid recovery. After a couple of days in care Wazza was able to fly again, but still had some trouble standing and remaining upright on the perch. Wazza has been transferred to a local wildlife carer for further rehabilitation, and will soon be released back into the wild. AZWH Statistic: So far in 2012, over 30 animals have been admitted due to injuries caused by hitting objects. Stickers on windows are a great idea to help birds see them! *AZWH

National Parks

The Shooters and Fishers Party has claimed national parks will be opened for hunting shortly after Christmas and shooters will be able to operate without close supervision, despite assurances by the government they will be strictly monitored. But the claims have been rejected by the state government, in the latest disagreement over how the policy will be implemented. The government has agreed to open 79 national parks and reserves for recreational hunting of feral animals for the first time as part of a deal to win Shooters and Fishers Party support for its electricity privatisation legislation, which was passed last month. Shortly after the announcement of the plan, the Premier, Barry O'Farrell, told Parliament hunters would be subjected to strict conditions. ''In a sense it is akin to what takes place with hazard burning carried out near to those who live in metropolitan areas that border national parks,'' he said. ''Once or twice a year, even less frequently sometimes, hazard burning takes place for limited periods and it is scientifically designed, well-managed, properly resourced and carried out under strict supervision.'' But in response to concerns raised by its members, the Shooters and Fishers Party has posted a series of questions and answers on its website to address what it terms ''incorrect information'' by the Greens, the National Parks Association and ''others''. The party advises its members: ''It will be as it is in state forests. National parks will not be closed and there will be no close supervision by NP staff.''
Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/environment/conservation/shooters-party-calls-shots-on-how-parks-will-handle-hunting-20120709-21qs4.html#ixzz20A3scxJd

Become a Wildlife Warrior

By making a one-off donation or joining our monthly giving program you can become part of a global wildlife force that is working hard to preserve our natural environment. Monthly Giving Program; Sign up to become a regular giver for wildlife conservation! Donations start from as little as $2.50 a week and can go to helping our native wildlife at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital. Nearly 100 wildlife emergency calls are received every day at the Hospital, Up to 30 different species are admitted to the hospital every day, Currently around 80 koalas undergoing treatment, Approximately 70% of patients are victims of car accidents or domestic pet attacks, The cost to treat one animal ranges from $100 to thousands of dollars To sign up or find out more please visit http://www.wildlifewarriors.org.au *

Marine Rubbish

A turtle with a fish hook in its gut, an owl with a broken wing, a little penguin sliced by a propeller - all injuries caused by the most dangerous animals of all, humans. Most of the time, Libby Hall can patch them up and send them on their way. But the manager of Taronga Wildlife Hospital says the injuries can be prevented. 'We see everything from tiny frogs right through to large leopard seals and everything in between,'' Ms Hall says. Many of the animals treated at the hospital are injured by cars or cats and dogs. Others, such as owls and microbats, are affected by land clearing. But she attributes most of the recent ''dramatic increases'' in animal deaths and injuries, such as turtles and penguins, to marine debris. ''Marine turtles are endangered worldwide and one of the biggest threats is ingestion of plastic,'' Ms Hall says. ''I call it death by plastic.'' While plastic bags were a major problem, Ms Hall says ''there are pieces of plastic right through the animal's intestine''. Other debris is also a problem. ''We see bottle tops, balloons are also common, as well as bait bags, rope, fishing line and fish hooks,'' she says. ''We are having great success treating marine turtles when we can remove the debris but small pieces of plastic are now everywhere in the marine environment.''
Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/environment/animals/trauma-in-the-trash-20120707-21nq2.html#ixzz20A4UDUYo


Namibia government has put together a task team to deal with negative international publicity surrounding Namibia's annual seal cull and its effect on tourism, especially the country's chances to host the Adventure Tourism World Summit (ATWS) next year. Namibia is one of three countries shortlisted to host the global event, which is expected to lure about 600 players in the adventure tourism industry to the country. Should Namibia be chosen, it will also be the first time the ATWS will take place in Africa. However, shortly after the Adventure Travel Tourism Association (ATTA) sent its inspection team to Namibia in May, anti-sealing activists calling themselves Just for Seals Namibia launched a petition to get the body to reject the country's bid. By yesterday afternoon, 5 557 people around the globe had signed the petition. At a meeting of the tourism industry on Monday, marketers voiced their concern about the anti-sealing campaign, set to start on July 15, and the impact it might have have on tourist bookings. Gitta Paetzold, chief executive officer of the Hospitality Association of Namibia (HAN), yesterday told The Namibian that the consensus at the meeting was that Namibia needed a national strategy on the seal issue. "We all need to convey the same message," she said. Paetzold said Namibia virtually has the ATWS in the bag, and that the seal controversy could be the "only negative". Acting Permanent Secretary of Environment and Tourism Erica Akuenje scheduled the first meeting of the task force for yesterday afternoon. Although the seal cull doesn't fall under her Ministry, the seal issue is used to impact the tourism industry negatively. *Read more  ..  http://allafrica.com/stories/201207060883.html

Sign the anti-sealing Petition here   http://www.thepetitionsite.com/3/stop-seal-hunt-in-namibia/

Flying Foxes

Flying Foxes across the Fraser Coast have left wildlife carers in a flurry after they were called to rescue three bats in a week. Maryborough wildlife carer Natalie Richardson said two of the bats had become stuck in fruit tree netting, while another had been hit by a vehicle. "We do get a lot of callouts to remove bats from netting and fences. "It's important that people do call wildlife carers to remove them, not only because bats can carry a lot of diseases, but because we know how to handle native fauna," Ms Richardson said. The animal lover said Fraser Coast residents who did stumble across an injured bat - or any other animal - should contact their local wildlife carer. "Carers are equipped with all of the right tools to care for injured animals," she said. "We can pick up and care for any animal, except for venomous snakes." The easiest way to get in touch with a wildlife carer was through your vet, Ms Richardson said. "All vets have a list of wildlife carers and RSPCA contacts who can be called to collect injured animals," she said. * Fraser Coast Chronicle

WA River Bandaid

Oxygen will be pumped into stretches of the Canning River at risk of severe algal blooms to keep plants and fish alive. In a move branded as life support for a dying river by the Conservation Council of WA, the State Government will plough $3.4 million into oxygenation systems over the next two years. Funds will go towards two new million-dollar plants, one to be built at Langford next year and another in the river's upper reaches scheduled for 2014. A further $1.4 million will be spent on major upgrades to two existing plants, near Wilson and Ferndale. "Without these oxygen plants, large stretches of the Canning River upstream of the (Kent Street) weir would experience low dissolved oxygen levels for much of the year, making it a potentially hostile environment for much of our aquatic fauna," Environment Minister Bill Marmion said. But CCWA director Piers Verstegen said oxygenating the rivers artificially was a bandaid measure that did not address the causes of their poor health, including nutrients from agricultural fertilisers.

Low oxygen levels can cause a build-up of nutrients, including nitrogen and phosphorus, leading to algal blooms that can result in mass fish deaths. The oxygenation plants take water from the bottom of the river, super-saturate it with oxygen under pressure and pipe it back. Jorg Imberger, director of the University of WA's Centre for Water Research, said oxygen levels were almost zero at 1-2m below the surface between Bassendean and Point Walter. "The plants do some good within a small area, but for the river overall it does no good at all to put these things in," Professor Imberger said. "The river is dead for something like 40-50km and you're saving a kilometre at most per installation." Mr Marmion said that the oxygenation plants provided "a more immediate and localised improvement in water quality" while other river improvement programs took effect. * thewest.com.au


The retail giant Harvey Norman has been accused of selling flooring made from native forests in NSW where koalas face extinction following an investigation by environmental activists who tracked timber harvested in prime koala habitat. The environment group Markets For Change said its investigation found Harvey Norman buys timber flooring from forests recognised as critical habitat for koalas in NSW and sells it as part of its "Naturally Australian" flooring range. Markets for Change tracked timber harvested by Forests NSW from Boambee State Forest, considered prime koala habitat, to a sawmill in Koolkhan owned by Boral Limited, Australia's largest building and construction materials company.

The sawn timber from Boral's sawmill in Koolkhan was then transported to a flooring manufacturing mill where Boral produces Harvey Norman's Naturally Australian flooring range, the group said. 'Harvey Norman claims its Naturally Australian flooring products are sourced from 'sustainable and renewable natural resources' when instead they are contributing to the destruction of Australia's native forests and destroying vital koala habitat,'' the group's report, to be released today, says. 'Markets for Change calls on Harvey Norman to phase out selling products made from native forests … [and] to give their customers clear and accurate information about the source of their wood products.''

The report says figures from the Australian Koala Foundation reveal there may be as few as 43,000 koalas remaining in the wild and warns logging forests is a leading threat to koalas. 'This report establishes clear links between this endangered koala habitat, the forest companies that are logging and processing it, and Australia's largest furniture and electronics retailer, Harvey Norman,'' the report says. The group's campaign manager, Louise Morris, said Harvey Norman had a unique opportunity to show leadership. "Customers are increasingly demanding to know where their products come from and will vote with their wallets if a product is being sold at the expense of the natural environment,'' Ms Morris said. "It makes environmental and economic sense for Harvey Norman to shift to become a truly sustainable and responsible retailer by implementing publicly available procurement policies that ensure customers are no longer misled about the true story behind the products they buy." Harvey Norman was contacted for a comment but did not wish to respond. *Age


Forget Skippy the Bush Kangaroo - a large mob of eastern grey roos has made itself well at home in suburban Maryborough. While Granville's St Mungo Plantation Park has long been a haunt for the animals, their numbers have increased in the wake of recent rains. "Some days there's six and sometimes there's more than 15 - it depends on the weather," Granville woman Paula Davies said. "Sometimes they stay all day, and jump the fence to get into the school or come right up to the houses to eat the grass." She said while most people left the animals alone, they were sometimes chased by children or off-leash dogs - an action she feared could end in injury to a child or a roo. "Some kids will chase them right down to the scout hall," Ms Davies said. "I've heard of places where kangaroos have swung at kids, and there's a two-metre buck that could really do some damage."

Fraser Coast TESS Wildlife Sanctuary curator Ray Revill said the wet weather meant more kangaroos than usual had been hopping around in well-populated areas. "Because of the recent rain, the grass is not in good condition, so they've gone to where the better grass is," Mr Revill said. He was able to get within metres of the Granville mob, as the kangaroos had become accustomed to people. Despite any risks of passing cars or dogs or children, Mr Revill said the best plan was to leave them be. He warned people to stay clear of them, avoid feeding them and that the animals would defend themselves if they felt threatened. "The buck will growl and rake at the ground with his front paws if he thinks you're too close to him or one of his women," Mr Revill said. * Fraser Coast Chronicle

Organisers of a fund set up to find those responsible for the mutilation of a kangaroo in a Bendigo car park are calling for final tip-offs to track down the culprit. The trust fund account has attracted more than $4000 in donations after being set up as a reward for information leading to charges. BLS Financial Services managing director Adam Mackenzie set up the account and said he wanted anyone with information about the April 27 incident to come forward as soon as possible. He said at the end of the month the funds would be given to whoever gave the initial tip-off or, if no charges have been laid, more discussions would be held over whether to donate the money to the Wildlife Rescue Emergency Service. “The idea was to flush out the person, but we realised people also have a right to know who gave the tip off, who claimed the money and who didn’t claim the money,” he said. The call comes as the Department of Sustainability and Environment continues its ongoing investigation into the incident. DSE compliance acting program manager Shaun Burke said they were looking into alleged offences under the Wildlife Act and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

Mr Burke said the DSE was now leading the investigation after Bendigo police conducted a number of interviews over the kangaroo killing.  Mr Mackenzie said the mutilation of the kangaroo has generated a huge response from the community. “There’s been an incredible amount of interest and generosity with people reaching into their own pockets,” he said. Australian Social Network Marketing director Tom Bailey, who originally put forward $500 and got the idea started, said he received about 20 emails with information, mostly pointing to one name.  He said other emails had been sent to his account offering support and encouragement. “It’s been really well received in the community, I got a lot of emails, not necessarily from people with information, just saying it was a good initiative,” he said. “The only thing that disappointed me was that some people specified they were only doing it for the money. I had one person say this couldn’t have come at a better time, because he needed to fix his car.”

Mr Bailey said he’d like to see the money donated to WRES if there was no charges laid or no one could claim the fund. WRES co-founder Jo Lyall said the account was separate to the work of the organisation and any donation would be that person’s choice. “It’s entirely up to the individuals, it’s not something we raised,” she said. “In the event that it doesn’t go to someone, then if they want their money back we have no problem with that whatsoever. They’ve put that money in in good faith.” Ms Lyall said the kangaroo incident had a broad affect on the community and needed a swift response.  “As a community we’re not going to tolerate it,” she said.  “It’s an utterly unnecessary act and there needs to be an example made of the person responsible. “There’s got to be a precedent set to deter the next lot that think of doing it.” *BendigoAdvertiser

A wildlife rescue worker who found a mother kangaroo with three arrows embedded in her body has no doubt it was an act of animal cruelty. Speaking with Derryn Hinch, Manfred Zabinskas from Five Freedoms Animal Rescue said he found the wounded kangaroo in Blackwood, north of Bacchus Marsh, with its joey nearby. "She was actually still quite mobile, in fact I was terrified that she would get away from me,” he said. After tranquilising the hurt kangaroo, Manfred said its joey came hopping back to its mother and lay down to sleep next to it. Manfred said the kangaroo had been shot with three separate arrows each to separate parts of her body. ”One had actually gone into her abdomen, one arrow went almost clean through her leg, and the worst of the three was an arrow embedded deep into the back of her head,” he said. "If we didn't capture mum and then capture (the joey), she was definitely too small to survive on her own so she would've perished out there as well,” he said. Anyone with information is urged to contact Bacchus Marsh Police on 5366 4500, or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 and www.crimestoppers.com.au. *3AWRadio

This is a fact sheet from QLD TAFE and the fact that they have to have as part of the Q&A this "Will assistance be given to harvesters with reading or writing difficulties?" says it all.


Experts to cross-check Fraser Island dingo review. Following the announcement of a scientific review of the Fraser Island Dingo Management Strategy, Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection, Andrew Powell and Hervey Bay MP Ted Sorensen have appointed Professor Hugh Possingham to chair the independent Review Steering Committee. "We have said that this would be an independent, scientific, peer-reviewed process. Professor Possingham and his fellow committee members will carry out the peer-review of the work completed by EcoSure," Mr Powell said.  The Review Steering Committee will comprise experts representing a broad spectrum of interests including community consultation, wildlife research and population studies, as well as animal ethics.  "Committee members' selection has been based on their widely recognised expertise across these fields and their independence of any previous involvement with the management of dingoes on Fraser Island," Mr Powell said.

Hugh Possingham is Professor of Ecology at the University of Queensland and is respected as one of the world's top ecologists. Prof. Possingham has co-authored 330 refereed publications (including 21 in Science, Nature or Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) and has worked on a range of conservation programs.  Prof. Possingham will be joined by Fraser Island World Heritage Area Community Advisory Committee member, Sue Sargent.  Sue Sargent is a coastal and marine scientist who has been working in the Wide Bay Burnett since 1997 - the last eight years with natural resource management body, the Burnett Mary Regional Group. Minister Powell said further appointments would be finalised and announced in coming days.

"As we stated last week we have intentionally sought people from across Australia to have a fresh look at the Fraser Island Dingo Management Strategy," Mr Powell said.  "I have consistently said I will not be prescriptive on any findings of this independent peer review, but I do have full confidence in the members of this committee to oversee this review with openness and integrity."  "We expect that community members, scientists and traditional owners will be able to have their say during this review period and those views will be taken into account along with scientific data and independent research findings."  Mr Sorensen said the Newman government will use this review to provide greater certainty around dingo management on Fraser Island.  "We will use a science- based approach to ensure the sustainability of this dingo population while maintaining the safety of tourists who visit the island," Mr Sorensen said. The public will be updated as the review progresses with EcoSure set to release its draft report later this year. *Qld Gov. Media Release

A Sydney woman who runs an award-winning pet transport business has been charged with smuggling dingos to the US. Narelle Gail Hammond, who runs Animal Travel in Londonderry, was charged following a sting by federal investigators who have accused the 59-year-old of exporting six dingo pups to the US. She faced the Downing Centre Local Court last week charged with aiding, abetting or procuring the export of a restricted specimen from Australia. Her Animal Travel business is a company, Kenardobe Pty Ltd, which has also been charged with exporting regulated native specimens. The 59-year-old is also accused of acting in tandem with 70-year-old Lynette Olive Watson, who lives on a farm in Toolern Vale, Victoria. Watson also faced court charged with being complicit in the alleged plot to export the dingo pups, court documents said. Investigators from the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities alleged the women attempted to export the dingos over 14 days in January 2010, court documents said. Five months later, the department received a tip-off from a member of the public about the alleged smuggling operation.

In August 2010, officers from the department raided the properties in Londonderry and Victoria and later charged both of the women. Australia is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species treaty, which listed dingoes as a restricted species at the time of the offence. It has since been removed from the restricted list. A statutory declaration tendered to court said Hammond was served with a court attendance notice at the Londonderry business on May 15 detailing the charges laid against her and her company Kenardobe Pty Ltd. The Magistrate, Pat O'Shane, has ordered the Commonwealth Department of Public Prosecution to serve its brief of evidence by July 17. When contacted by The Sunday Telegraph on Thursday, Hammond said she didn't know what the charges were and was waiting for her lawyer to be served with the allegations in the brief. The matter continues. * HeraldSun