Somerset Times

Wildlife Awareness Week

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Somerset Times Edition

Week 9, Term Three, 2019

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A Teddy Bear Drive is how the MYP Sustainable Spartans are answering a call to help wildlife. Wildcare has made a request for stuffed toys and blankets with carers in the Granite Belt particularly in need during bushfires and dry conditions.

The MYP Sustainable Spartans have shown incredible teamwork in organising a Wildlife Awareness week and Teddy Bear Drive for Week 10. This initiative was presented at assembly to the Junior students and will be delivered to Senior students next week. The plan is to collect the teddies from Tuesday to Thursday.

Wildcare has requested wool blankets, polar fleece, flannelette sheets and quilted bedspreads, towels and other fabrics are not needed. These will be collected along with pre-loved plush toys during next week's Teddy Bear Drive organised by the MYP Sustainable Spartans.

Donations can also be made direct to Wildcare Australia through their website.

Granite Belt Wildlife Carers urgently need supplies to help them care for rescued animals. This can be done by purchasing Stanthorpe Emergency Wildlife Rescue Supplies via the Green Heroes website.

**Some of the most common reasons why native animals need to be rescued include: ** • road traumas
• attacks from domestic pets and introduced species
• land clearing and habitat destruction (which also leads to stress-related diseases, crush injuries and starvation)
• poisoning from pest baiting
• entanglement in fruit tree netting and barbed wire fences
• ingestion of litter
• bushfires

What we can do to help keep wildlife safe
• drive carefully on the roads and keep a lookout for wildlife
• don't allow cats and dogs to roam, particularly at night
• plant native trees
• install nest boxes for wildlife in your backyard
• don't use poisonous pest baits
• don’t feed native wildlife
• avoid single-use plastic and dispose of rubbish responsibly
• take care not to light or cause fires during bushfire season

Important wildlife rescue tips

  • If you find a sick or injured native animal, consider your own safety first. Do not attempt to rescue an animal unless you're confident that you won't be harmed. Take particular care on or near roads.

  • Don't pick up snakes, bats, lace monitors (goannas), birds of prey, platypus, koalas or adult wallabies and kangaroos. Call the Wildcare Australia 24-hour emergency hotline on 07 5527 2444 for help from a wildlife volunteer who is specially trained and equipped to handle these animals.

Always involve an adult in any rescue if you're under the age of 16. If you're confident that you're not putting yourself or others in danger:
• Pick the animal up using a towel or blanket, being careful to avoid being scratched or bitten. Most small animals can be picked up in this manner – place the towel or blanket over the animal (including its head) and pick it up like you would a small load of washing.
• Place the animal in a cardboard box lined with a towel or blanket. The towel will give the animal something to cling to so that it doesn’t slide around in the box. Put ventilation holes in the top of the box then close the lid to ensure the animal cannot escape.
• Place the box securely in your car (not the boot as exhaust fumes can kill the animal).
• Native wildlife can die very quickly from stress so keep the animal calm by minimising noise and interaction with people. Remember these three words: WARM, DARK, QUIET.
• Do not give the animal food or water as native animals have very specialised diets and feeding an animal in shock can be fatal.
• Take the animal to your nearest vet or contact your local wildlife rescue organisation or government wildlife authority as soon as possible. Vet clinics and rescue organisations do not charge to accept wildlife.
• Remember some animals do not require rescuing, for example some baby birds are left for a short time while their parents forage for food. Removing a baby bird unnecessarily can be very detrimental to its well-being. Unless the animal is in immediate danger just keep an eye on it to ensure a parent returns to care for the baby. If in doubt contact your local wildlife organisation for advice.
• If you find a kangaroo, wallaby, possum, koala or wombat that has been injured make sure you check the pouch – joeys have been known to survive in the mother’s pouch following her death for several days. Do not remove the joey from the mother’s teat as irreparable damage can be done to the joey’s mouth if removed from the teat incorrectly. If possible, take the mother and joey intact to your nearest vet for attention or alternatively call Wildcare Australia on 5527 2444 for assistance.

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