Monday, August 6, 2012

Wildlife Bytes 6/8/12


In a story featured below, we note that again the Victorian government have issued Permits during the last year to kill many species of wildlife. The Victorian hit list is; Swamp Wallaby 2239 to be killed, Rainbow Lorikeets to be killed 910, Kookaburras  to be killed 30, Emus  to be killed, 538, Black Swans to be killed, 10, Common Wombats  to be killed, 1612. Permits to kill 300 parrots were issued to protect golf courses. Of course we are all apalled by the slaughter, but its not just Victoria. Every State does the same...issueing Permits in many cases over the phone. At WPAA we've been monitoring this issue through FOI for many years, and its always been difficult to get any information about this out into the media....until now. The killing has made some media this time, but we notice that few of the major media newspapers have carried this story........which is why they continue to get away with it.  Anyone who has anything to do with wildlife knows that most of our native species are going through population crashes, but it doesn't seem to worry the idiots in the government departments who are supposed to be looking after it. * WPAA


A multimillion-dollar resort planned for the Tweed Coast could be derailed by a rare bird.  The beach stone curlew is officially listed as critically endangered, with just 16 known birds remaining in NSW, but Kingscliff locals claim at least one has been spotted living it up on prime real estate earmarked for a swank eco-resort. The bird sighting, captured by a local wildlife photographer, has ruffled the feathers of locals, who have long been campaigning against the resort, a project years in the planning. The resort, yet to be given final approval, will be assessed by the NSW Government's Planning Assessment Commission and the presence of a rare bird could have major implications. Known as Lot 490, the resort's proposed site is a vacant stretch of coastal land between Kingscliff and the Salt township that has long been sought after as blue-chip development land. The latest proposal, from development giant Leighton Properties, would feature 180 tourist bungalows and "a range of community facilities", but the project is no certainty to receive approval. *Courier Mail


A humpback whale and her calf were left injured after a collision with a ferry in Sydney Harbour this morning, with a witness saying the animals suddenly popped up in front of the boat.
 They do have amazing powers of recuperation, so in all likelihood the animals will recover.  The Collaroy, which was operating the 8.40am service from Circular Quay to Manly this morning, hit an unknown object, damaging its propeller blade. Aerial footage later identified a female humpback whale with a wound near its dorsal fin, and its calf with an 80-centimetre gash. Richard Ford, of Whale Watching Sydney, told one of his boat captains saw the ferry collide with one of the whales. "Then we saw the whale spend a little bit of time on the surface and then start swimming again.
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A rare shortbill spearfish - usually found in tropical waters in the Pacific and Indian oceans - has washed up dead on Henley Beach in South Australia.  The 175cm-long fish, which was discovered by Henley Beach South resident Stefan Thompson, are most commonly found in deep waters around Hawaii. Dr Paul Rogers, of the South Australian Research and Development Institute, said it was an "exciting'' find. "It's quite a rare species for gulf waters,'' said Dr Rogers, who collected the fish for testing. "We believe it may have gotten hooked on fishing gear and become disoriented and come ashore. "Finding a tropical fish in a temperate environment in the middle of winter is quite a rare occurrence.'' *SA News

The latest count of dead fish in the Swan River has grown to more than 4000 as an algal bloom continues to choke a section of the river from Ascot to the Causeway. More dead fish are expected to be scooped out of the river in the next few days as the bloom dies off, releasing toxic chemicals that smother fish by fusing their gills. The microalgae occurs naturally in the river but unseasonally dry and sunny conditions in Perth this winter have seen it bloom. The outbreak follows a similar bloom last month that killed 2500 fish. WANews

Planet Ark

The founders of environment group Planet Ark are speaking out about the charity they say has lost its way. Environmentalist Jon Dee and tennis great Pat Cash founded Planet Ark 20 years ago. It soon forged a high profile, thanks in part to the backing of celebrities like Olivia Newton John, Kylie Minogue and Pierce Brosnan. But times have been tough for Planet Ark lately. It has made substantial losses for three years running, sold some major assets and offered redundancies to staff. After National Tree Day at the weekend, Mr Dee and Mr Cash have told 7.30 they are particularly upset about Planet Ark's links with the timber industry. Planet Ark has allowed its logo to be used on advertisements for timber, paid for by Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA). It is part of a sponsorship deal in which Planet Ark gets $700,000 from the timber industry. *ABC

Ed Comment; Both Pat Cash and Jon Dee have come out and publically supported the commercial kangaroo kill.


Last autumn, 162 dead harbour seal pups washed up on the beaches of New Hampshire and Massachusetts. In a paper published yesterday in the journal mBio, scientists reported that the pups were killed by a new strain of influenza. Their research indicates that the virus evolved from bird flu, gaining the ability to spread from seal to seal
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Climate Change

Global warming could advantage one pesky marine species while disadvantaging its predator, a new study suggests. The study, of the eastern mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki) and its predator, the Australian bass (Macquaria novemaculeata), is published today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society. "Mosquitofish are very aggressive - they eat lots of tadpoles and eat or damage a lot smaller fish," says biologist Professor Frank Seebacher, of the University of Sydney.  "Once mosquitofish come in, the biodiversity decreases quite sharply. They are much more of a problem than canetoads." Seebacher and colleagues wanted to investigate how increasing water temperatures could affect the relationship between mosquitofish and its predator. "Species respond really differently to the same changes in climate," says Seebacher. "This is the first study to that looks at the thermal effects on interactions [between species]." * ABC  Read more  ..

Tree Protest
A woman has spent a second night chained to an 80-year-old tree on the Gold Coast. Lynne Hargreaves is calling on the Gold Coast City Council to abandon plans to remove two camphor laurel trees from Winders Park at Currumbin. The council is clearing vegetation around the protester to make way for a $700,000 pedestrian and bike way. Ms Hargreaves says there is an alternative. "I've asked for written confirmation that these two trees will not be chopped down," she said. "We are trying to get these two trees on the national tall trees register. "These trees are of importance to the community and should be preserved." * ABC  Ed. The Council has since decided not to remove the trees.

10 of the most Polluted Places on Earth.        We note Gladstone Harbor is not included....yet!

Scientists have found what they believe to be the jawbone of an ancient "monster" crocodile at a remote station in northwest Queensland.  They estimate the extinct saltie could have been the length of a Brisbane City Council bus and may have once roamed as far south as the state's capital. University of Queensland palaeontologist Gilbert Price said the fossil was found by masters student Bok Khoo, from the University of NSW, during a dig last month. "It would have been a monster, bigger than anything we have likely seen before," Dr Price said. "Possibly the biggest in Australia. It did not have any teeth attached but the tooth sockets alone were 35mm-40mm wide so you can imagine the teeth it had." *Courier Mail

Wildlife Missing

About 100 animals were still missing from the Tasmania Zoo yesterday, after a violent break-in. Several people are believed to have broken into the Launceston zoo overnight on Thursday, cut the locks on enclosures and slaughtered about a dozen birds. "They've gone on a rampage," the co-owner of the private zoo, Rochelle Penney, said. "They have gone in there with the purpose of harming the animals." Several birds were found with their heads removed. "It’s baffled us," said Ms Penney, whose family opened the zoo nine years ago. "We're all in shock really." About 1000 birds were released from their cages but many have been recaptured. The missing animals included quolls and endangered swift parrots. 'People don't understand, a lot of those guys won't survive in the wild,'' Ms Penney said. Other unlocked enclosures were reported to house wallabies and monkeys. Two chainsaws were also stolen. *Age

Climate Change

Ocean acidification caused by climate change is making it harder for creatures from clams to sea urchins to grow their shells, and the trend is likely to be felt most in polar regions, scientists said today. A thinning of the protective cases of mussels, oysters, lobsters and crabs is likely to disrupt marine food chains by making the creatures more vulnerable to predators, which could reduce human sources of seafood. "The results suggest that increased acidity is affecting the size and weight of shells and skeletons, and the trend is widespread across marine species," the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) said in a statement of the findings. Human emissions of greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels, and some of that carbon dioxide ends up in the oceans, where it dissolves to form acid. The ocean acidification makes it harder for creatures to extract calcium carbonate - vital to grow skeletons and shells - especially from chill waters in the Arctic Ocean and around Antarctica, according to the study in the journal Global Change Biology.
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Emergency crews have contained a blaze on Queensland's Sunshine Coast. It started as a controlled burn in the Noosa National Park but flared early this afternoon. Coolum State High School was evacuated as a precaution, while David Low Way - which was closed due to a smoke hazard - was expected to reopen before 4:00pm (AEST). Incident controller Jason Spink says there has been no property damage. "The fire is under control at this stage," he said. "We have had some changing weather conditions but we believe that we'll be able to maintain that. "Fire crews are looking at possibly back burning a small section to ensure the fire doesn't have a path of egress later on, and crews will be mopping up out here into the night." *Courier Mail

Ed Comment; the Government employed firebugs are at it again. We thought the management of our special areas might change with the change of Government in Queensland but apparently not. They've just done another burnoff in the National Park at Deception Bay too, and another "prescribed burn" yesterday at Laidley that got away. We know that populations of small animals such as lizards and frogs are decreasing, and no wonder.


Officials say 299 juvenile green sea turtles have died at a government-funded breeding farm in the Cayman Islands.  The Cayman Turtle Farm in West Bay says the turtles died this week after a water line broke and affected water supply to several tanks. Officials said water stopped flowing as crews repaired the pipe and that a backup system failed. Officials said the turtles that died represent less than 5 per cent of the turtles at the farm. The farm has roughly 490 turtles for breeding and more than 7000 as part of a release program. *PerthNow

Meanwhile a live two-headed turtle hatchling has been found on a Florida beach.


Tiger snake bite victims are being given up to four times the amount of antivenom necessary and a commonly used snake venom detection kit is unreliable, according to a study published yesterday in the Medical Journal of Australia. The study, which reviewed tiger snake bite cases from October 2004 to June 2011, found doctors administered the required dose of one vial of antivenom in only 11 of the 53 cases in which antivenom was given. In some instances up to four vials were used. Paper author University of WA professor of emergency medicine Simon Brown said giving too much antivenom consumed limited supplies of the treatment and there had been instances where antivenom access was restricted and smaller hospitals and nursing posts could not get adequate supplies. Giving bigger doses also increased the risk of allergic reaction and delayed serum sickness, which can cause aches, pain and fevers. Of the 56 cases of bites reviewed by the study, 10 were in WA. The research also found a common kit used to determine the type of antivenom required was unreliable, with the test returning an incorrect result in five out of 44 cases in which it was used. In each of the five cases the test gave an incorrect positive result for brown snake rather than tiger snake venom. Doctors relying on the test could administer the wrong antivenom, Professor Brown said. * WA News


How much more can a koala bear? Wild koalas will be extinct on the Sunshine Coast in less than five years unless recovery strategies are implemented immediately. Community stakeholders, government representatives and some of Australia's leading koala experts will come together for the first time today and tomorrow for the Sunshine Coast Koala Summit. Spokeswoman Carolyn Beaton said the summit stemmed from discussions between community stakeholders and Sunshine Coast Council in February. Ms Beaton said the council had since committed to progressing a foundation koala management plan for the region as part of its biodiversity strategy. "We're hoping to formulate some strategies to avert the extinction of koalas on the Sunshine Coast," she said. "It really is the 11th hour." Ms Beaton said today's snapshot was a far cry from the plentiful koala population on the Coast in 1999.
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National Parks

Those readers who wonder why more Federal funding is not being spent on National Park management, or wildlife protection issues, will be interested to know that the Australian Federal Government remains committed to big military spending – currently over $80 million every day. Australia’s military spending will continue to be the highest regionally and, per capita, second only to the USA, the world’s biggest military spender. Yet we are at war with noone.......* WPAA

Flying Foxes
Flying foxes won't be culled as part of the plan to rid Charters Towers of its decade-long bat plague. Charters Towers Mayor Frank Beveridge and Dalrymple MP Shane Knuth have both said a culling program would be needed as part of any measure to move on bats. But a spokesman for Premier Campbell Newman ruled out issuing lethal damage mitigation permits to remove bats in residential or urban areas. "It's up to the local councils to bring the solution to government and we will support them. They're the ones who ultimately have to deal with the issue on the ground," the spokesman said. Mr Knuth said the LNP Government was "no better than Labor". "People hoped a change would be a change but they have been totally lied to," he said. "They have said they are going to give more power to councils - then they should allow councils to take those initiatives. "Culling is the best and only real option. "And I'm pointing to to the Minister: the bats are still there despite the promise." *Townsville Bulletin

Ed Comment; Knuth may not be entirely stupid, he must know that any flying fox culling at Charters Towers will have to be approved by the Feds...and thats not likely. It looks as though he has campaigned against the flying foxes to gather local voter support, and now he can't deliver he's trying to pass the buck.....

A new virus closely related to the deadly Hendra and Nipah viruses has been found in black flying foxes at Cedar Grove near Beaudesert.  The find by CSIRO and Biosecurity Queensland has excited scientists because it could help them unravel secrets of Hendra and Nipah viruses. The viruses kill more than 70 per cent of humans and animals they infect, yet little is known about how they interact with their hosts. There are no concerns about the new virus infecting humans, although it can't be ruled out. Gary Crameri, a CSIRO virologist at the Australian Animal Health Laboratory in Geelong, said bats carried more viruses than other species, perhaps because they were such a broad group of ancient mammals, ranging from micro-bats weighing a few grams to large flying foxes that lived in many different environments. Scientists were intrigued why they could carry deadly viruses but not become diseased themselves. If this could be worked out, bats could provide humankind with medicines to fight viruses and help weakened immune systems.

"They're an incredibly important group of animals and the risk of the virus spilling over to humans is incredibly low," Mr Crameri said. "Even if it did, it might go unnoticed - perhaps like a gentle cold. All experiments indicate Cedar's nowhere near as deadly as Hendra." Named for where it was found, the Cedar virus had not caused illness in tests on mice, guinea pigs and ferrets which were susceptible to Hendra and Nipah. Cedar had caused mild infections in laboratory animals but no signs of disease. A survey of flying foxes showed 25 per cent had antibodies to Cedar, a similar number to that seen with Hendra. Researchers were investigating how the virus might impact on domestic animals, including livestock. Its discovery would have no impact on the development of a Hendra horse vaccine. *Courier Mail


The government's decision to allow hunting of feral animals in national parks has raised concerns that native animals will be caught in the crossfire. Chris McGregor, a wildlife carer from Colo Heights, found a wallaby shot with an arrow late last month on her property, which is next to a state forest. She is nursing the wallaby back to health after removing the arrow and says she is hopeful of him making a complete recovery. ''In the last few weeks the state forest opposite our property has been opened up for bow hunters to hunt feral animals,'' she said.
Ms McGregor said the joey's mother had been distressed and had been ''calling for him'' while he was being treated for his wounds. ''It took us two nights to catch the wallaby and [we] finally caught him with a net at 3am in the morning when he came to feed,'' she said. 'Infection is still a major problem and both legs are affected. The other leg without the arrow has had bone fragments removed from the wound, possibly, from frantic struggling. ''The NSW government wants to open up national parks for hunting, what chance do our native animals have?''
 The opposition spokesman for the environment, Luke Foley, said the O'Farrell government's decision to open up national parks to amateur hunters had put the safety of native animals and humans at risk. 'We have lost all sense of balance when it comes to the regulation of hunting in NSW,'' he said.

''The photos of the joey are distressing. Unfortunately an irresponsible minority think it's open season under Mr O'Farrell's government. ''Rogue elements are getting a message they can do whatever they like.'' In response to questions from the Greens, the NSW Game Council has confirmed it employs four full-time staff to monitor hunting in more than 1.75 million hectares of state forests. The Greens MP and forestry spokesman, David Shoebridge, said over the past decade more than 1.75 million hectares of public forests have been opened up for amateur hunting, but fewer than five people were being employed to ensure that hunting was safe. "If it wasn't a real public safety issue, it would be laughable that the Game Council has less than five full-time positions to keep an eye on more than 15,000 licensed hunters in 1.75 million hectares of State Forests,'' he said. "On these figures each inspector is responsible for more than 400,000 hectares of State Forest. "This is an impossible task for hunting inspectors and means that, in truth, there is no one out there watching the hunters that roam our state forests.'' A spokesman for the Environment Minister, Robyn Parker, said it was investigating the joey shooting incident and could not comment further until the outcome of the inquiry was known. *Age

Ed Comment; Labor politicians have got short memories. They were going to do the same deal with the Shooters Party,  but got kicked out first.


An owner of the K'Gari Education Centre camping ground says while dingoes are not being fed near her camp, a fence is still necessary to keep tourists safe. The fence will be fast-tracked in the wake of an attack on a German tourist on Saturday, about 800 metres from the site. Mally Clarke, who co-owns the Fraser Island camp, said the site was regularly visited by two dingoes which had been given the names Inky and Winky. "We've got camp dogs there, they're really good and they don't bite anyone," Ms Clarke said. "They're not really tame, but they're good dogs and they listen to me." She said while historically, the animals had been fed and had lived as companions to her ancestors, the camp strictly enforced the no-feeding rule and had recently agreed to for a fence to be built. "We're running a business and we have to keep people safe," Ms Clarke said. *Chronicle

For more than two decades, Nigel Freemantle spent his days interacting with Fraser Island dingoes without a single incident. Over those years, the species lost every major source of food in the move to becoming a national park when brumbies were removed from the island, scraps were no longer thrown in the bush and fisherman made their offal harder to reach. Mr Freemantle lived on the island for more than 25 years as founder of Fraser Island Taxi Service and has visited the island since the 1970s. He said major incidents between humans and dingoes, such as the mauling of a German tourist over the weekend and the death of nine-year-old Clinton Gage, have only happened since people were no longer able to feed the animals. "What Parks (and Wildlife Service) have been trying to do for 21 years isn't working," he said. Mr Freemantle is part of an increasing chorus of residents and activists calling for rapid change to the management of Fraser Island dingoes.

He said segregating the dingoes on to part of the island where tourists could pay a small fee to see them was the most viable option and has bought his views to the attention of Hervey Bay MP Ted Sorensen. "The tourists who go to the island want to see a dog," he said. Mr Sorensen is now encouraging people to turn to the Ecosure review of the Fraser Island Dingo Management Strategy. "There will be a lot of different ideas come out of that," he said. He said he would wait for the outcome of the review to form a personal opinion on issues such as separating the dingoes. Mr Sorensen said yesterday he may put in his own submission to the review, which is due to put out its draft report later this year. Visit for more information. * Chronicle

Recent press reports regarding an attack by dingoes on a German tourist, in many cases, have been misleading, it needs to be pointed out to newcomers to the Fraser Coast and some sections of the media that: There are no wild dogs on the Island, it is dingo territory and they are a threatened and unique species that should not be confused with the feral domestic dog.  Previous to World Heritage listing in 1992 the dingoes lived in harmony with the local people, forestry workers and Indigenous Community, they were left scraps and fish, foraged at dumpsites and wormed regularly, they had their pups under the verandah's of residents, all without incident. Media reports suggesting the mauling of the tourist was 'unprovoked' are without basis.  The fact is, the tourist was an intruder, obviously exhibiting erratic behaviour in the early hours of the morning in, what would be deemed as the dingoes backyard, this would be provocation for any self-respecting family dog, not just the apex predator of Fraser Island. 

The Fraser Island dingoes are unique in that they have always associated with humans, the policy adopted by QPWS of trying to have them lose their scavenging instincts and not associate humans with food is not practical or logical. With over half a million visitors every year encounters are inevitable.  Attempts to drive the animals away from their territory to accommodate tourists has only caused more problems and, according to media, has only increased encounters. Not all encounters need to be negative, if tourists act appropriately there is minimal risk.  Once again it comes down to educating and monitoring the visitors, not hazing, trapping, tagging, collaring and destroying dingoes. The Butchulla people are not happy with their campground being fenced, will it stop careless and irresponsible behaviour? Why isn't an Indigenous ranger overseeing the backpackers who disturb and disrupt their K'Gari, that used to be paradise? The review is under way, let's hope there will be positive change and the focus will be on maintaining and sustaining the unique environment and unique wildlife of Fraser Island.  * Cheryl Bryant. Save Fraser Island Dingoes Inc.

The Bombala Council has thrown its support behind a move to extend the Cooma kangaroo harvest zone to include areas around Bombala. Mayor Bob Stewart said in the Southern Tablelands region the Bombala Livestock Health and Pest Authority (LHPA) was the only one not currently eligible for harvesting of kangaroos. He said the council had supported a move by the NSW Farmers’ Association to include Bombala in the harvest zone to control kangaroos. “Kangaroos compete with livestock for feed and can also cause damage to fencing and other infrastructure,” Cr Stewart said. “It’s a management tool that we want to implement to keep populations at a reasonable level.” President of the Bombala Delegate branch of the NSW Farmers’ Association, Jan Walker, said that an application was made in 2008 and has not progressed since then. Deferral of the application has become an increasing hindrance to the association with ongoing setbacks over the past four years. In an attempt to see the motion pass, the association has sought funding to assist in the application process from Member for Monaro John Barilaro.

Ms Walker said Commonwealth regulations require that a helicopter survey of kangaroo populations be carried out to establish population levels before commercial zoning will be allowed.
“Cooma already has a survey running later this year,” Ms Walker said. “For a small cost, we’re looking for Bombala to be a part of that survey.” She said Bombala was the only LHPA not zoned for the commercial culling of the animals, but surrounding areas were. Cr Stewart said the council was happy to support the move, as becoming a kangaroo harvest zone would put Bombala on par with other areas in the region. Currently farmers can apply to the National Parks and Wildlife Service for permits to reduce kangaroo populations on their property. However, the commercial zoning of the shire would allow the community to benefit from the sale of produce from the harvested animals. Cr Stewart said there had been local interest in the harvest of the animals. Ms Walker said it would not have a drastic impact in the short term, and would be advantageous for the community in the long term. She echoed Cr Stewart’s sentiment saying the zoning would be a humane control option to keep populations at a manageable level, with a quota that is determined and tightly controlled under intensive government monitoring. The zoning could see reduced instances of illegal shootings, which have become an issue throughout the area* Bombala Times

Choosing whether to fund a management plan for Nelson Bay Golf Club's iconic Kangaroo population will be one of the first challenges faced by a newly elected Port Stephens Council in September. The club has a kangaroo and wallaby population of about 400 and has recently put together a control program with researchers from the University of Sydney. The project will be headed up by Dr Catherine Herbert from the university as well as two research assistants and will involve implanting fertility control drugs into some of the animals, as well as kangaroo tagging, health checks and DNA analysis. The program will cost about $24,000 and according to Phil Murray from the club's kangaroo working party the club hopes to split funding with Port Stephens Council. "The golf course has committed $12,000 and we're asking for dollar-for-dollar funding with council," he said. "It seems a reasonable request to council given that the kangaroos attract many overseas tourists to the area and help the tourist based economy of Port Stephens. "Controlling the population might also assist locals by reducing road accidents involving kangaroos within the area." The club has made two presentations to councillors and Mr Murray said the response had been positive, however with the council now in caretaker mode until the next election mayor Bob Westbury said it would be a job for the next group of councillors. "I'm sympathetic [but] I don't know, it's a hard call...I think personally they'd [the new council] would have to think very carefully before they did something." *Port Stephens Examiner

The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has reminded locals that shooting kangaroos is illegal unless you have obtained a licence from the NPWS to do so. NPWS area manager Franz Peters said that the NPWS understands the dilemmas landholders face with kangaroo populations. There is a simple process which can provide landholders the ability to reduce kangaroo impacts on their properties without breaking the law and it is a free service. Mr Peters said increasing numbers of kangaroos can be a hazard on local properties. “For landholders this can be a problem as larger numbers of roos damage fences and crops and eat fodder. “If a landholder can demonstrate economic hardship is being caused as a result of an over abundance of kangaroos, then the NPWS will consider providing a licence that will allow for a specified number of kangaroos to be culled. “When we receive an application we undertake a simple assessment based on our knowledge of landholders location and the overall roo population and balance that against any other applications to cull from neighbours on adjacent or nearby properties,” he said. “Then we may provide the landholder with a licence and a number of tags that will allow subsequent culling to be conducted legally and humanely.

“Each property requires a separate licence and all shooters involved in any subsequent culling operation must be licensed; this includes the landholder. “Killing any kangaroos without a licence is illegal and people caught doing so are liable to a fine as high as $11,000 and/or six months in jail,” Mr Peters said. Licences and tags are free and the application form is simple and can be obtained from the local NPWS office or downloaded from the web felicences/OccupierLicences.htm.< p>There is a national code of practice for humane shooting of kangaroos and wallabies for non-commercial purposes, which must be adhered to. This is available from local NPWS offices or the Federal Government environment website ty/trade-use/wild-harvest/kangaro o/pubs/code-of-conduct-non-commer cial.pdf “If anyone has information regarding kangaroo drives or illegal shooting then I would urge them to contact us immediately. "All calls will be treated with the strictest confidentiality. Information can also be provided anonymously,” Mr Peters said. *Bombala Times


Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson has accused Japan of hunting him down in revenge for his attacks on its whaling operations, in his first comments since he jumped bail and fled Germany. The militant environmentalist who is in hiding, says he felt betrayed by Germany, where he was under house arrest for 70 days, because it had negotiated with Japan to extradite him to Tokyo. "I am very disappointed with the German government. For me it is obvious that the German government conspired with Japan and Costa Rica to detain me so that I could be handed over to the Japanese," he said on Tuesday in a message to his supporters. Mr Watson, who for years has harassed Japan's annual whale hunt off Antarctica, was arrested in Germany in May for extradition to Costa Rica on charges stemming from a high-seas confrontation over shark finning in 2002. He was detained for a week before being released on bail. He was ordered to appear before police twice a day. But the 61-year-old skipped bail on July 22. Mr Watson said Costa Rica and Germany had been "pawns in the Japanese quest to silence Sea Shepherd", which has for close to a decade clashed with harpoon ships in the Southern Ocean.

"This was never really about Costa Rica. It has been about Japan all along," he said. "We have confronted the Japanese whalers for eight seasons and we have humiliated them at sea and more importantly we have frustrated their illegal profiteering from the killing of whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. "This is not about justice; it is about revenge." Mr Watson, a white-haired Canadian national known as "Captain" to supporters, refused to reveal his location and said that if he was extradited to Japan he would "never be released".
 "I am presently in a place on this planet where I feel comfortable, a safe place far away from the scheming nations who have turned a blind eye to the exploitation of our oceans," he wrote. But he indicated that he would continue to harass Japanese harpoonists. "I can serve my clients better at sea than in a Japanese prison cell and I intend to do just that," he wrote, saying that Sea Shepherd would sail on its ninth campaign against Japanese whalers in December. Australia is the launch site for Sea Shepherd boats each year as they chase the Japanese whalers. * AFP

Wildlife Killing

Permits to kill thousands of native animals, including black swans, kookaburras and more than 1500 wombats were issued by Victoria's Department of Sustainability and the Environment last year in a move that has outraged animal rights activists. Authorities also gave the nod for more than 32,000 kangaroos and wallabies to be killed. In two cases, permits to kill up to 300 parrots were issued to protect golf courses. Authorities also granted permits for wildlife officers to kill up to 10 Australian fur seals. Other Australian animals marked for death included eastern rosellas, rainbow lorikeets and sulphur-crested cockatoos. The kill list was obtained under the Freedom of Information laws by Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber who has been campaigning to have all animal killing permits made public. In June, Mr Barber attempted to have all permits to cull wildlife tabled in State Parliament, a move that was frustrated after Environment Minister Ryan Smith said it would involve an unreasonable diversion of his department's resources. Other documents obtained under FOI show authorities gave permission to shoot 100 brushtail possums in the Geelong Botanic Gardens, while Avalon Airport was allowed to kill 10 magpies, 20 galahs, 40 ravens and two Cape Barren geese that were interfering with aircraft.

The documents also reveal wildlife officers at Parks Victoria's Serendip Sanctuary applied to kill an emu that had become aggressive and was threatening human safety. They were also given the right to destroy 80 emu chick nests to control population numbers. Permits to kill more than 500 emus were issued statewide last year. Felicity Andersen, a spokeswoman for Animal Liberation Victoria, which opposes all animal killing, said she was shocked at the scale of the slaughter. "It's obscene," Ms Anderson said. "There is no justification for this killing whatsoever." Mr Barber said there needed to be more transparency over the issuing of permits to kill native animals. "This all happens under the cloak of secrecy," he said. "'If the full extent of the slaughter was known there would be outrage." DSE spokesman Nick Talbot said all native wildlife was protected in Victoria but where it was significantly affecting agriculture or primary production or posing a threat to public safety and health, people could apply for a permit to control it and in some instances, this permit allowed for its destruction.

He said the permits to kill fur seals were issued to wildlife officers in case they needed to euthanise an animal for welfare or public safety reasons. "Destruction of wildlife under an authority to control wildlife permits only occurs after all other options have been considered and each application is assessed by a DSE wildlife officer," he said. "Should this be necessary, ATCW conditions specify the maximum number and permitted method. "This ensures it is carried out in an ethical and humane manner and that the sustainability of the species is not compromised." The DSE killing practices were condemned by John Kelly, head of the Kangaroo Industry Association of Victoria, which has long campaigned for a kangaroo meat industry in Victoria. "In a protein-starved world, it's a criminal waste of meat," he said. "It's highly likely the same number are being killed without permits." Emily Broadbent, a spokeswoman for Environment Minister Ryan Smith said that following disagreements last year between landholders and other residents over applications to cull kangaroos, he had created a committee of experts to advise the secretary of DSE on the most appropriate management options for wildlife.

Victorian HIT LIST

Swamp Wallaby PERMITS ISSUED: 128 No. TO BE KILLED: 2239

Rainbow Lorikeet PERMITS ISSUED: 20 No. TO BE KILLED: 910




Common Wombat PERMITS ISSUED: 134 No. TO BE KILLED: 1612