Help save the Western Ringtail Possum!
If we don’t act now, the Western Ringtail Possum is likely to become extinct in the wild. Help us to save this iconic, critically endangered species in the South West of Western Australia. FAWNA have teamed up with South West Ccatchments Council (SWCC) and several other local community groups to help conserve our beloved Western Ringtail Possums.
The South West Catchments Council has launched a ground-breaking crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to save the Western Ringtail Possum. Running throughout November, we are aiming to raise $30,000 to help conserve this iconic species. All funds will go to assist local community groups currently undertaking possum conservation activities in the South West.
Below is a link to the fundraising page and a sweet video of some of our very own celebrities - Western Ringtail Possums currently in FAWNA's care! Please help us make a difference for the Western Ringtail Possum.
Birdlife Australia needs the help of southwest locals
“We are seeking help from locals throughout southwest Western Australia to share their knowledge of black-cockatoos in their area.
The Southwest Black-Cockatoo Survey asks a series of questions about your observations and perceptions of cockatoo populations in the area you currently live. Even if you have only lived in your current location a short time, or feel that you don’t know much about black-cockatoos, all information is valuable, and we still encourage you to participate. So please take part in the survey and answer the questions as accurately as you can. We estimate the survey should take ten minutes to complete.”
We are interested in black-cockatoos because they are a visible part of many local landscapes throughout the southwest. As land use in our southwest environment has changed, so it is likely the birds have too. But nobody knows an area better than the people that live there, which is why we are calling on you to tell us what you know, and to share your observations of black-cockatoos in your local area.
The survey is available here: http://www.birdlife.org.au/projects/southwest-black-cockatoo-recovery/community-wisdom-swbc
Photo credit: Dr Boyd Wykes
New Healthy Wildlife, Healthy Lives website launch
Keeping wildlife healthy is the aim of a new website launched by the Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council (EMRC), in conjunction with long-term partners Murdoch University, Kanyana Wildlife Rehabilitation and Native Animal Rescue.
Supported by Lotterywest, the new Healthy Wildlife website was launched on 3 March 2017, to coincide with World Wildlife Day as part of the Healthy Wildlife, Healthy Lives project, the first of its kind in Australia, which focuses on the potential harm that can be caused to wildlife through interactions with people.
It provides useful information on wildlife health, different fauna species, and what to do if you find sick or injured wildlife.
The project is part of the One Health global initiative that recognises the health of humans, animals and the environment are all directly linked. A key component of the program is providing the primary source of information that enables active and ongoing community participation.
The Healthy Wildlife website can be found at www.healthywildlife.com.au
Remember, if you find sick, injured or orphaned wildlife in the south-west region, we can help. Call FAWNA on 0438 526 660.
Critically endangered western ringtail possums could be wiped out in 20 years
There are fears our critically endangered western ringtail possum could be wiped out within two decades if there is not a serious intervention by government.
Full news article available here: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-30/critically-endangered-wa-possum-could-be-wiped-out-in-20-years/8482970
Support FAWNA - Order your NEW 2017 | 2018 Entertainment™ Membership now!
We are raising as much as we can to support our cause, and we need your help! Order your NEW 2017 | 2018 Entertainment Book or Entertainment Digital Membership now. You'll receive hundreds of valuable offers for everything you love to do, and help our fundraising at the same time! Pre-order now to get over $150 of early bird offers.
To purchase your Entertainment Book or Entertainment Digital Membership, clink on the link above, or alternatively contact Jenny Morris on:
Ph: 0448 024 412
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
Great Cocky Count 2017 Workshop
Come along to a Great Cocky Count workshop in Busselton and learn more about endangered black cockatoos and how you can participate in the Great Cocky Count 2017.
The Great Cocky Count is a long-term citizen science survey and the biggest single survey for black-cockatoos in Western Australia. On one night in autumn, volunteers monitor known roost sites and count black-cockatoos as they come in to their evening roosts. Records submitted from across the southwest provide a snapshot of black-cockatoo populations, and over time this has helped to quantify the changes in black-cockatoo numbers.
For more information and to download the workshop flyer, visit: http://geocatch.asn.au/event/great-cocky-count-workshop/?instance_id=81
Like more information about the Great Cocky Count? Visit the Birdlife Australia website: http://www.birdlife.org.au/projects/southwest-black-cockatoo-recovery/great-cocky-count-swbc
Meta Cognition (beyond knowing) art exhibition, Margaret River
You are invited to the opening night of an art exhibition of recent works by local artist Marcia Lucia Bowls......come on a visual journey through sacred geometry and microbiology using handmade resins and mixed media on canvas, with music, poetry, silent auction, and affordable off the wall sale artworks to be taken on the night. Part proceeds will go to FAWNA. Look forward to seeing you there.
The art exibition runs from the 3-30 March 2017, located in the Foyer Gallery, Arts Margaret River (Cultural Centre), Wallcliffe Rd, Margaret River.
Sponsorship Opportunity - Busselton Runners Club
FAWNA is delighted to have received a substantial sponsorship offer from Busselton Runners Club to provide funds that will assist FAWNA with capital purchases (cages, heat pads, etc) and essential consumables (food, milk, etc). The fund amount is linked to the number of entrants.
In acknowledgement of this generous offer, FAWNA members are asked to assist Busselton Runners Club in the organisation and conduct of the 2017 Sunsmart Half Marathon and Fun Run on Saturday 11th February:
1. To assist event participants by handing out drinks, etc., at one of the Aid Stations (5 volunteers needed, approx. 7am to 9am)
2. Provide a display of appropriate animalsin rehabilitation close to the event start/finish (approx. 6.00am to 9.30am)
3. Manage the sale of stainless steel mugs, medals, key rings left over from past events (2 volunteers needed, approx. 6.00am to 9.30am).
In the News
Feb 3rd: Recovery plan 'flawed' (Busselton Dunsborough Times, page 4)
'In Safe Hands" workshop for volunteers - Margaret River 14 February
Conservation Volunteers and the Conservation Skills Centre are conducting a series of 'In Safe Hands' workshops for volunteers across the south west with one scheduled for Margaret River on Tuesday 14 February.
The Shire of Augusta Margaret River has advised that this course will satisfy the OHS requirements for the induction of community members as Shire registered volunteers enabling them to be covered by Shire insurances. This may assist local bushland management and friends groups to gain insurance cover for their activities. Shire representatives will be at the Workshop to outline these arrangements.
90th Busselton Wildflower Exhibition - 29 & 30th September
This event is a great way to see the beautiful wildflowers growing in the South West Corner of Western Australia. FAWNA will once again bring their very popular display to the exhibition. There will be fabulous displays of flora accompanied by fauna (thanks to FAWNA), and other stalls and displays of local products and crafts, with lunch and teas available. Please come along and say hullo to the FAWNA members, or if you are one - please call Suzanne Strapp (0417 937 184) if you are able to volunteer/help out on the day! Where: Uniting Church, 47 Kent Street, Western Australia
Basic Course in Wildlife Rehabilitation
Metropolitan course registration form available here.
Regional course registration form available here.
Call to save native habitat
The BD Times reporsts that the City of Busselton is building a 'wildlife corridor' along the foreshore. FAWNA's Linda Falconer voices her concerns about the loss of habitat in the area:
Concern over West Street kangaroos future
Two newspspar articles report on the kangaroos that graze on West Street in Busselton. You can read Laura Newey's report here, and Emma Kirk's report below:
Biodiversity Bill 'too vague'
Reactions to the West Australian Government's biodiversity bill have been varied. A feature on the ABC News website calls the bill "full of loopholes" - read the webpage here. Chloe Fraser of the Busselton Dunsborough Times (July 8, 2016) reports that "Capes environment groups have welcomed WA Labor's rejection of the proposed Biodiversity Conservation Bill, amid concerns it is tpp vague."
2016 Fundraising - Entertainment Book
Stuck for ways to entertain the kids these school holidays?
The New Entertainment memberships are JAM PACKED with offers to amuse the kids across Perth, South West WA and now BALI! With offers from Bounce Inc, Western Force, Waterbom Park, Chipmunks, Timezone, Inflatable world and so many more, this year’s edition is sure to keep the kids smiling all holidays!
PLUS! $13 from every membership contributes to our fundraising! To purchase your copy today visit: https://www.entertainmentbook.com.au/orderbooks/9r19789
2016 Western Ringtail Tally - A community Ringtail Possum count
The Western Ringtail Tally is an annual survey of ringtails over a four week period from 18th April to 18th May. The public are asked to record sightings of ringtails at least two evenings a week (possums may have several nesting places they use) and enter the data onto a Report Form that is submitted for counting. The Tally event aims to build a reliable set of observation data to improve knowledge about where these endangered ringtails are found and in what numbers. The Busselton-Dunsborough area is considered to be the last 'stronghold' for the Western Ringtail Possum. See Get Involved for more.
WRP Bioblitz presentation - Friday 6th May
To learn more about the endangered Western Ringtail Possum, make the most of this wonderful opportunity - register by calling 9757 2202 (Tues, Wed or Thurs):
Online predator watch in WA
As reported in the Busselton-Dunsborough Mail in an article on 4th May 2016, "The Department of Parks and Wildlife will begin using an online citizen science project with a worldwide network of volunteers to assist in a recovery program." To read more about the project go to the Department Parks and Wildlife newspage here.
To participate in the Western Shield Camera Watch project visit the following site:
Students help FAWNA with release of possums (BDTimes 10th June 2016)
Nest boxes for the western ringtail possum
The City of Busselton has donated $300 towards materials used by the Busselton Men's Shed volunteers to make 31 possum boxes:
Road widening habitat destruction
Residents are concened plans to widen Puzey Road could lead to a detrimental clearing of endangered western ringtail possum and black cockatoo habitat:
FAWNA AGM (in brief)
The FAWNA AGM was held at the Men's Shed, Roe Terrace, Busselton on 2 April 2016. Most of the office bearers retained their roles, however, some positions are under renewal and waiting to be filled. The following is an extract from the President's Report:
Another productive year has passed and another AGM is upon us. Positives FAWNA has gained some wonderful new members and carers ; we have a pleasing reserve of funds for our insurances and ongoing costs; our FAWNA resources are the best they have ever been and the relationships with vets, agencies and the community has never been better.
Sadly, but inevitably to achieve this, the workload for myself and a number of others, has increased considerably. I regret this, particularly as I have not adequately remained in contact with newer members let alone the existing ones, and as a result they (you) may feel left out or under utilised, but also we may have missed new opportunities. To alleviate this, I believe FAWNA, with its increased membership, should facilitate an increased number of positions within the committee to address our collective needs. The sharing of the workload is what volunteer, not for profit organisations are all about. Nothing happens without people contributing their time and energies.
A case in point is a NEW MEMBERS` COORDINATOR who could provide direct support of resources, mentoring/training for those new to the organization and indeed to wildlife rehabilitation. FAWNA also needs a person(s) dedicated to help ferret out some of the essentials for our operations such as possum bags to be sewn, nest boxes to be constructed, discussions with interested community members with related issues e.g “What to do with a possum in our roof?”, helping people with releases, working bees when necessary and so on.
Following the terrible bush-fires in the Yarloop/Waroona/Harvey area, volunteers who had been involved held a debrief and agreed that a team ready for when the next fires break out would be invaluable. I have already started the process of resourcing this. Can you help?
Another example of what we have often talked about, is trying to support carers by subsidizing their ongoing food costs and fuel. If we had a dedicated subcommittee addressing this, everyone would benefit. To do it we need new fund-raising methods, new acquisition processes and people to enable distribution. Can you help?
FAWNA needs someone to assist in taking calls from members of the public on our emergency phone The only way we can continue to deliver the terrific service we provide is to have members step forward and assist. I look forward to having some new members step up and help in these ways or with whatever comes our way.
New blood on the committee should mean perhaps further improvements to how we operate and even some new initiatives. We are now operating out of our shed where you will find our fantastic resources. The sharing of these with carers and others are what we are all about. The last 5 to 6 years has seen a massive growth in our positive reputation and in what we are able to do, however there are still many initiatives that require completion such as the often talked about mobile yards for pre-release mobbing up and acclimatization of macropods on properties. We need volunteers to help however if these things are to happen. If everyone offered to help on the committee in some small way and supported one small part of our work it
would make life easier for all.
If you are not convinced of the need for your increased support please go onto Facebook and ask the question
“How is all this enabled?” Please volunteer some time.
A big Thanks to all those people who have pitched in over the year, some of our newest members have given
the most and I cannot express enough my appreciation. Jeff 5 March
Joey and Pelican Facility
The 900 square metre Joey and Pelican facility run by Marg Larner at Beverley and Phillip’s property at Wonnerup has been in full swing for 2 seasons. So far 37 joeys, 2 wallabies, 1 ringtail possum, 1 pacific gull, 1 penguin and 2 night herons have been cared for within the facility. This includes a joey and a juvenile kangaroo from the recent Waroona/Harvey fire. Through the amazing generosity of material supply businesses it has been possible to not only complete the enclosure but also construct three curved roof shelters to provide shade to the array of animals within the Joey and Pelican Facility at Wonnerup.
The compound fencing is 1.8 metres high and is covered in shadecloth. It has personal access gates, a machinery gate and is fox proof. The facility is providing an excellent venue for the rearing of joeys until they form a mob and can be relocated to their final controlled-release site.
It is timely, if not overdue, to sincerely thank and acknowledge the businesses that contributed to the construction of this excellent facility. Please support them - they are supporting FAWNA:
· Koppers Wood Products - Graham donated the six 3 metre long treated pine poles that strain the corners and gates
· Busselton Security Doors - Rob custom made and donated a personal gate into the compound
· Gale Pacific - Michael donated and significantly reduced the cost of 120 metres of shadecloth for the perimeter and internal fencing
· Bunnings, Busselton - Zoe donated over 2,000 cable ties to secure the shadecloth
· Busselton Rural - Paul donated and significantly reduced the fencing wires, chicken wire and mesh that make up the perimeter fencing
As FAWNA members, Beverley and Phillip were happy to donate their time and machinery to construct the compound in support of Marg’s amazing efforts in raising joeys and FAWNA’s overall goal in supporting wildlife.
There are further plans to subdivide and irrigate the compound… stay tuned.
Through the amazing generosity of material supply businesses it has been possible to construct three curved roof shelters to provide shade to the array of animals within the Joey and Pelican Facility at Wonnerup. The joeys (and Marg) are already making the most of them!
FAWNA sincerely thanks the following businesses for their invaluable support:
· Bendtech (Maddington) – Phil Wibberly donated the supply and rolling of the curved pipe which creates the half circle shape of the shelters
· Orrcon Steel (Mandurah) – Doug Ellis donated and delivered the straight pipe which was welded to the rolled pipe to hold the shape of the shelter. He also donated the galvanised weldmesh sheeting that was welded to the pipe so that the shadecloth had something secure to attach to
· Gale Pacific (Canning Vale) – Michael donated the shadecloth with provides the cover for the animals (and Marg!)
Phillip and Beverley manufactured the shelters and installed them. All FAWNA members are encouraged to support these businesses - they are helping tremendously with providing top class facilities for wildlife care.
Waroona Bushfires - FAWNA support and updates - Appeal for help
The recent and ongoing fires including Myalup, Waroona and Yarloop have been the worst fires seen in WA in 50 years. Yarloop lost 1/3 of its property in only 7 minutes. The speed and intensity precluded much wildlife escape except for the fastest birds and roos. ABC News on wildlife here. In these circumstances, wildlife are largely destroyed and, as with the Margaret River fires, the animals on the outskirts who had a chance to escape are the only ones likely to survive. Even these often only escape with burns and/or other injuries.
FAWNA has received numerous calls from both members and the public over the last few days regarding assistance for injured wildlife. Please be aware that in extensive, devastating fires such as this, the likelihood of survival of wildlife is very low but we are determined to do whatever we can. Jeff has been in close contact with Wildlife Officer Pia Courtis of the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) to ensure an effective and co-ordinated response and for advice on when FAWNA will be allowed to have access to the DPaW/DFES control site in Waroona. It has been confirmed that the fires are under the control of FESA - DPaW is a support agency. Standard and common protocols are in place and no untrained and uncertified people can be involved without the direct approval of FESA. The first priority for FESA is human safety, the second is property safety. Other matters then follow eg: farm stock roads etc etc. Access to wildlife for the purpose of rescue or care follows somewhere later.
The recommended access point for any support would be through the control centre on Waroona oval, but nothing probably can be actively done by volunteers and carers for many days... and more likely weeks. The fire is still not under control nor contained. Some wildlife groups are working from the North and we will be supporting vets from the south. Any animals found affected on the perimeters should be taken to Vets although hopefully from early to mid-week, all being well, animals can also be brought to our van at the Waroona show grounds. Here they will receive initial assessment and treatment and may be temporarily housed before being sent away for ongoing rehabilitation. Pia Courtis (mentioned above), who is central to the wildlife efforts and our link to FESA, is arranging for a powered site for us at the control centre and will also discuss with the fire workers the need to bring animals found to our van.
Helen Marwick, Marg Larner, together with Jeff and Linda prepared the van on Saturday morning for travel to the fires in case it can be of value. They removed all unnecessary items, cleaned and added extra medical supplies to ensure it is ready.
The on-board vet was then given the task of towing the van away to further prepare for its transport to the Waroona Control Centre to be used for emergency care as needed. We have one vet on board so far but two other vets have also offered their help. Marg continues to co-ordinate the veterinary support and other groups such as Possum centre NAR etc., should be in contact with Marg. Ali Holt will be setting up a roster of FAWNA volunteers to be in the van, to support the ongoing work and to possibly ferry animals back to rehabilitators. We believe at least two members on any day will be required on our roster. The FAWNA members will also be liaising with members of the public and the vet staff, and may also be able to provide ongoing feedback to members. Ongoing record keeping is also vital.
PLEASE HELP - As in previous fires, we need not just your time - consumable supplies are always in demand as well as cages etc for housing the injured animals. Ali is therefore also co-ordinating all offers of help with supplies (medical, towels, animal food etc, homes for the recovering wildlife, carry cages or monetary donations to purchase anything needed. She has been very busy taking calls and recording the names of volunteers and equipment offered. Would all members please send Ali your list of cages and indicate which ones may be available for use with the fire victims. Sizes and suitability for use (species) would also help. If you are already full and unable to assist, please still let Ali know that anyway to save us having to ring around.
Time may be critical. If there is anything you can do towards the fire effort with FAWNA, please let Ali know. Many thanks to those of you who have already offered equipment and help – it is greatly appreciated. This is a huge effort and may not have huge outcomes but again FAWNA has been there to support the community in the best way we can.
Kangaroo and Macropod Rehabilitation course - March 2016
A one/two-day course focusing on kangaroo and macropod rehabilitation is being held at Murdoch University on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th March, from 9am to 5pm. This course will be of interest to anyone who is a current or aspiring wildlife rehabilitator, with reduces costs are available for FAWNA volunteer wildlife carers (Saturday $55, SUnday $66, both days $110). The course includes morning tea, lunch and a Macropod Rehabilitation manual. Flier can be dowloaded here.
FAWNA Busy Bees
Due to the hot weather, FAWNA decided to hold their next Busy Bee later in the day from 4pm-6pm on Wednesday 20th January at the FAWNA shed in Roe Terrace next to the Community Garden. There are always a variety of jobs to be done so if you are considering coming to a FAWNA Busy Bee in future, please don’t presume you haven`t the skill required!!
Tasks typically include:
Sorting and organising boxes of materials/fabrics, making up new carer packs, putting together joey stands (gluing), laying slabs/bricks, cleaning equipment, mending/fixing equipment, making water stations. (Image: Marg sorting FAWNA supplies for bushfire rescue)
In Australia, there are on average 1200 snake bite victims per year requiring treatment. For the most up-to-date and effective fisrt aid for Australian snake bite see information sheet issued by the Naturaliste Reptile Park here.
Reporting injured or dead wildlife
The Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPAW), together with input from Department of Agriculture and Food, require information on wildlife injuries and death in order to build a profile of the health of the wildlife in the area (western ringtail possums in particular - see map for main locations in Vass/Abbey areas), with unusual deaths are investigated.
If you find a dead possum, please place in a plastic bag and refrigerate until you can deliver it to Busselton Vet Hospital for the attention of Felicity Bradshaw. If the possum is injured, as per normal protocol please take to the vets asap. Please also complete a FAWNA report form and hand to Felicity who will pass this on to DPAW.
FAWNA Animal Nursery - Busselton Agricultural Show
FAWNA hosted the Animal Nursery once again at the Busselton Show (31 October). The day was a tremendous success raising funds for ongoing rescue supplies and raising awareness about the wildlife in this area. The Bunnings workshop, possum visitor and the new children's activities were all hugely popular. Alongside static displays there were lots of live participants - possums, joeys, Phascogales, spiders, snakes, lizards, ducks, swans, pigeons and many more domesticated critters.
Image: Marg Larner`s joeys and black glove wallaby were extremely popular with all visitors. FAWNA member Candice took an opportunity to have a cuddle.
Jess Berry, FAWNA member and Caring for Reptiles South West brought two south west carpet snakes, one of which is a baby. Jess also brought along a tiny turtle oblonga and a large bobtail which has been in care. Jess currently has eleven bobtails in care due to dog attacks, lawn mowers/whipper snippers and cars.
Many thanks to Bunnings for providing personnel and materials for our children`s activity making bird feeders. Judy travelled from Bunbury with the western ringtail possum in her care. Judy visits local schools to educate students and teachers about the plight of the WRT possum. Tiani and Julie also brought the possums in their care to show visitors.
Peter and Carol travelled from Kirup to bring a brush tailed phascogale (wambenger - below right) and a bandicoot (quenda - below left) to show members of the public. Many people had not seen or heard of a phascogale
FAWNA is launching a series of workshops on wildlife rescue and rehabilitation. The workshops will enable both new and existing members to share rescue experiences, develop a better understanding about local issues in connection with fauna and their native habitats and learn about the work involved in caring for rescued wildlife and working towards rehabilitation and, wherever possible, release back into a suitable environment.
Initial Care of Rescued Wildlife
The first workshop, held on Sunday August 30th from 2-4pm at the brand new FAWNA shed in Busselton, provided essential information on what to do in a rescue situation, and the early stages of care. The free event proved very popular with around 50 FAWNA carers and members of the public attending, together with six kangaroo joeys, one wallaby joey, orphaned ducklings and a considerable number of baby possums.
FAWNA shed - next to the Busselton Community Gardens, located on the corner of Strelly Street and Roe Terrace in Busselton.
The workshop set out to explore issues relating to the initial care of rescued wildlife, concentrating on kangaroos/joeys, ducklings and the western ringtail possum. Experienced FAWNA carers shared their knowledge, highlighted key issues critical to the early care stage of a rescue and rehabilitaiton situation, and answered questions from the audience. Some of the carers brought along their current critters for a 'show and tell', and one carer brought examples of possum dreys.
Linda Falconer's letter to the mail:
"South West wildlife community groups are urging residents to report anything unusual after increased reports of dead ringtail possums... To trap or kill possums is illegal. Offenders can receive a $10,000 fine. Moving or relocating possums is also illegal... If anyone does see anything unusual, contact the Department of Parks and Wildlife helpline on 9474 9055."
Discarded fishing line
"The number of wildlife injured or killed due to anglers' negligence has increased in Busselton... birds have been entangled in fishing line... If fishers hooked birds they should not cut the line, but instead reel them in and take them to a vet. The hook will cause infection and will only kill the bird slowly. If you see a bird tangled in fishing line contact FAWNA on 0433 526 660 or contact your local vet clinic."
Purpose built kangaroo enclosure
The new enclosure is already home to a mob of rescued kangaroos, all under the care of FAWNA's roo care of the roo care specialist Marg Larner. One of the joeys Marg has cared for recently is this handsome boy, Linus (below), a western red from the north west of the state. Linus was one of the stars of the FAWNA display at the Busselton Show in November. Linus will be taken to a property near Perenjori, inland from Dongata, for the next stage of his rehabilitation.
Wildlife suffers in summer heat
In a feature printed in the Busselton Dunsborough Times (6/2/15), FAWNA asks local residents to look after native animals this summer, having had "daily calls about dehydrated birds, possums and reptiles suffering from the warmer weather". FAWNA president Jeff Falconer: "There are many small things people can do in their own backyard to help native wildlife struggling in the heat."
Look after native animals this summer
Jeff Falconer talked to the Busselton Dunsborough Times about ways to help wildlife:
"Leaving pots of water around your backyard or hanging in trees os a way to help birds, lizards and possums keep hydrated. Cutting a bit of PVC pipe and burying it in the ground for lizards to seek shelter will help protect them from the heat. If a possum is sitting in your backyard and trying to keep cool, it's a good idea to bring dogs and cats inside to aviod them attacking the possum. We all love enjoying summer and a good barbecue, but it's important to remember that possums will run along tables and your hot barbecue. We've had four come in with third-degree burns this week, which will take three months to heal, so it's important to remember to cover up your hot barbecue. It's important to protect our native animals where we can, especially western ringtail possums, which are listed as a vulnerable species."
Remember: If you find an injured or sick native animal, take them straight to the vet. All Busselton vets will treat native wildlife free of charge.
It has been another interesting year, one of highs and the inevitable lows for FAWNA members and wildife rehabilitators. Lows when things do not go as hoped or cannot be improved, and - more often - highs when a critter has come into care and is successfully released. Early in November, for example, three ringtail possums were rescued but two did not survive due to their age, and the third had to be euthanased due to the severity of damage. Every save, however, makes FAWNA's efforts worthwhile.
Three decades of caring for fauna: Reflecting on 30 years of rescue, rehabilitation and release
On Saturday 6th December at a special celebration the City of Busselton acknowledged the work of FAWNA members since 1984. The Mayor of Busselton made a formal presentation to the founding members, president, committee, members and dedicated volunteers who continue to care for wildlife with passion and dedication.City of Busselton Mayor Ian Stubbs presented a certificate of appreciation and donation to FAWNA at the 30th celebration in December, and praised the amazing achievement (event reported in the Busselton-Dunsborough Mail, 10th December 2014):
"The fact that the group hs remained strong for 30 years is testament to the commitment of volunteers and committee members... The role requires a love for animals but it also requires patience, resilience and the willingness to impart knowledge onto others."
FAWNA's president Jeff Falconer - Busselton-Dunsborough Times' Feature Face
The article describes how Jeff arrived both in Busselton and in the leading role at FAWNA.
Extract: Jeff received five to six calls a day to rescue and rehabilitate injured birds, possums and joeys. "Probably the most intense time was when we had eight possums in one week in care. With very young ones, some of which may be furless, they need two-hourly feeds day and night... the workload can be overwhelming... What's the joy in it? Knowing you've helped keep wildlife on the planet. The western ringtail possum is endangered and in our lifetime we may see it disappear." FAWNA is in desperate need of carers.
Bunnings Activities Assist Wildlife
Bunnings is a great supporter of FAWNA and our work with wildlife. We have been the recipient of many donations through their community program from flat pack aviaries through to materials for cages and very practical supplies such as hundreds of cable ties.
We think our latest partnership has been the best ever. We were looking for a hands on activity to be included in our Animal Nursery at the Busselton Show this year. Athie, Bunnings Events Coordinator, designed and supplied the materials to make bird water feeders that children visiting the show could put together and take home to hang in trees in their back yards. The water feeders are also a boon for our thirsty Western Ringtail possums!
Bunning staff, Stella (the new Events Coordinator) and Helen, came along for the day to demonstrate the making of the feeders and to assist children with the activity. The activities table was surrounded all day and lots of happy kiddies were seen proudly carrying their feeders around the display area.
Our thanks go to Bunnings for once again offering their fantastic support. Thanks to Stella and Helen for their happy smiles and practical skills. We also wish Athie a great future in the big smoke!
Image: FAWNA Vice President Beverley Sykes with Stella and Helen preparing for a busy and creative day ahead.
FAWNA is seeking expressions of interest for enrolments in a proposed Snake Handler Course to be held in the beautiful Southwest city of Busselton. The 8 hour course will cover such areas as the psychology of fear, dress code, correct catching techniques and much more.
If you can see yourself helping out our environment, safely and confidently being able to relocate our native venomous reptiles whilst educating our community then seriously consider this course.
Above: FAWNA Assistant Secretary Ian Watson with one of the slippery stars of this year's Busselton Show.
Below: Busselton-Dunsborough Times 17 December 2014.
Show Day success!
The FAWNA Animal Nursery was once again a huge success. An estimated 2,000 guests poured through our entrance to see the cuddly, the interesting and the scary critters on display.
FAWNA carers delighted in speaking about their animals on display, their experiences of caring and giving tips to what to do when you find wildlife in need of assistance. Our ‘back up crew’ the domestic animals continue to be a draw card – who can resist a squeaky pink piglet or a trio of snowy white kids?
This year we added to our display a number of hands on activities for the kiddies. The activities tables were surrounded by eager, interested children ready to get stuck into the clay and get their hands on the tools!
As part of FAWNA’s 30th Anniversary celebrations, we had the honour and great pleasure of hosting the founder and person who named our organisation in 1983, Amy Cocker. Another founding member, Bethwyn Hastie also attended this special celebration. Both ladies dedicated many years of the lives caring for wildlife.
Our warmest thanks go to all those who supported the FAWNA Animal Nursery for 2014 – we will be sure to be back next year!
Images: (Above) One of the many animals on show at the FAWNA display was this gorgeous western ringtail possum who was brought along by her carer, Suzanne. (Below) FAWNA President Jeff Falconer formally opening the 30th birthday celebrations and preparing to cut the cake, with (inset) Linus a delightful 11 month old red kangaroo, who was brought along by his carer Marg and spent the whole day having cuddles.
FAWNA vice-president and ducklings invite you to join the birthday celebrations! FAWNA vice-president Beverley Sykes and three maned ducklings on the front page of the Busselton Dunsbourough Mail inviting show-goers to join FAWNA's 30th celebrations:
FAWNA's 30th year celebrated with a new home!
Busselton City Council has granted FAWNA a new lease for an area of land which will become it's new centre of operations. The site, located on Roe Terrace, is next door to the Busselton Community Garden. The FAWNA site can accommodate a shed to house the wildlife emergency response trailer and other supplies.
President Jeff Falconer hopes the shed will be finished and ready for use by the end of the year, "this is our 30th year of operation and to finally have a home like that would be fantastic".
Busselton Agricultural Show
This year FAWNA is once again hosting the very popular Animal Nursery at the Busselton Agricultural Show on November 1st, with a range of domestic animals and wildlife on show. You can find the FAWNA display, which includes free children's activities, at the Carey Street entrance to Churchill Park.
FAWNA Animal Nursery - 1st November 2014
M&B Sales Donates Materials for Possum Boxes
It is truly amazing how many organisations are quietly chipping away at supporting organisations such as ours. M&B Sales of Trumper Drive Busselton collect damaged and packing timber to assist with the construction of possum boxes. This ongoing donation means that FAWNA can provide possum boxes to the community.
Our possum boxes are very popular and are distributed far and wide in Western Ringtail habitat. A box placed in a tree in your backyard not only provides a safe and dry nesting area for possums, it also assists in keeping possums out of your ceiling and shed areas!
Thank you to Greg Hodson, Glen Butler and the team at M&B for their ongoing support.
Busselton Agricultural Services Donation for Cygnet Safety
FAWNA’s Black Swan Cygnet Facility has been operating now for six seasons with over 300 cygnets sleeping safe and sound in the overnight enclosures. Our fox proofing has stood up to wily Mr Fox – until this season. Foxes have become more prevalent in the Wonnerup area and it became apparent that higher security was needed.
Paul and the team at Busselton Agricultural Services of Bradman Street Busselton came to our cygnets’ rescue by donating galvanised wire mesh to fox proof our overnight cages.
Thank you Paul and team for your generous donation. Mr Fox can dig and dig and dig – but he is not going to get our babies!
Total Eden Donates Materials for Joey Stands
You may remember last year Total Eden of Strelly Street Busselton donated PVC pipe and fittings to construct 10 joey stands. Well all of those stands have been distributed to our members and are currently in use keeping our orphaned and injured joeys safe and comfortable in their carer’s homes.
The stands have been very popular and with the rising number of joeys coming into care it was decided to approach Total Eden for assistance again. Annie and the team have come to our aid with materials to construct another 10 joey stands.
We will be having a working meeting to cut and glue all the components ready to be distributed to our members for the care of joeys.
Thanks again Annie and team for your very practical donation.
Equipment Available to Members
We had a quick look in our store recently and we were pleasantly reminded that we have lots of really cool stuff!
Cages are in good supply – from carry cages to transport little critters through to walk in aviaries. We have pouches for possums and pouches for joeys. We have joey stands. We have heat pads and incubators. In fact, if there is something we don’t currently have in stock there is a very good chance we can access that ‘something’ you require.
FAWNA works hard to raise funds to purchase specialised rehabilitation equipment to be made available to our carer’s at no cost. The equipment remains the property of FAWNA and is listed on our Assets List so we may keep a track of where it is housed.
Changes to FAWNA’s Administration
FAWNA now accesses a file sharing server called Dropbox to store and synchronise data that is important for the day to day running of our administration.
It is registered and run by FAWNA and ensures security of information as well as the ability to archive important information for the future. Only nominated members of the Committee and Support Team have access to the service. Our Record Manager, John will continually monitor the use and operation of the service to ensure FAWNA data is managed appropriately.
A training meeting was held in February 2014 to introduce the service to the Committee and the Support Team to ensure we all understood the changes and the benefits to our organisation.
FAWNA Annual General Meeting
FAWNA’s Annual General Meeting was held on Saturday 22nd March 2014 just across the fence to what will soon to be our new home!
FAWNA is entering into a lease agreement with the City of Busselton for the ongoing use of a block of land to locate our new shed (see soon to be posted updates on shed location).
It was decided that alongside ‘our block’ would be a marvellous location for our AGM. So there we were sitting on the veranda of the Pepi Cafe with the bush as a backdrop and coffee and cakes – everything you would need for a wildlife rehabilitation group!
There were only a few changes to the Committee and our Support Team (see the Contact Us page on the website). We have had some members step down and others take up the challenge. You can be assured that our team is here to assist our members and the community in the care of injured and orphaned wildlife.
We anticipate the two main highlights for this year will be the construction of our new shed/home and the celebration of our 30th Anniversary. Yes the first official meeting of FAWNA was held on the 8th March 1984. So put your thinking caps on for a suitable celebration toward the end of this year.
Thanks go to the Busselton Community Garden and Donna, new leasee of the Pepi Cafe, for providing us with such a delightful setting.
Life Member Passes
It is with saddened heart that we report that our beloved Life Member Peter Bell passed away on Monday 10th March 2014. He was farewelled by family and friends at a service in Busselton and afterward with a gathering at his family home. It was very fitting to celebrate his life amongst the garden he nurtured – a garden that was the home to many a rescued native animal.
I am sure you will be pleased to hear that Mabel is coping well and is surrounded by her big family and crew of close friends.
Our love goes to you and yours. Pete will be remembered as a quietly spoken, gentle man with a huge heart for his family, friends and wildlife.
FAWNA mobile emergency rescue facility visits Margaret River: 1st June 2013 [Saturday]
As a thankyou to all the wonderful residents of Margaret River who donated their time or money to help FAWNA after the bushfires, FAWNA will be bringing down their new Emergency Response Caravan to Margaret River. The caravan will be situated at The Farmers Markets between 8am and 12am and it is hoped that as many locals as possible will come and look through it. There will also be a raffle for a large crayon picture of a possum. Everyone is very welcome!
The President of FAWNA, Jeff Falconer applied for funding in 2012 and was able to obtain a DEC grant for the caravan. The purpose built caravan was purchased from an interstate organization, Help for Wildlife. The caravan is housed in Busselton but can be taken to any emergency involving wild life. It will mainly be used for educational purpose and for displays at shows: FAWNA Caravan