Request to Access food sources for wildlife carers

From BEIPA.

Dear Reader

As you are no doubt aware the Wildlife Carers in the Moreton Bay Region are being overwhelmed with the impacts of Climate Change, drought, extreme summer temperatures and devastating fires, not to mention the toll exacted on our highways, byways and urban areas.

Our Region’s Wildlife Carers are being stressed to their limits, physically and

financially, as they endeavour to care for and rehabilitate the increased numbers of injured and ailing adult and baby birds, flying foxes, koalas, wallabies, echidnas, possums, reptiles, etc that are being brought into their homes for attention.

Our wildlife carers are volunteers who depend on donations and the good will of the public to continue their work.

BIEPA has just received a request from one of the Wildlife Rescue Queensland

carers asking ……

“Do you know anyone who has a Moreton Bay Fig tree that I can harvest the

figs to cryovac & freeze for birds?? Thank you in advance - N.”

BIEPA will be sending this request out to the BIEPA membership as well.

However, there are many Moreton Bay Fig trees on public lands and parks in

the Region, so we are asking if wildlife carers could harvest the trees and what

protocols they would need to follow to be able to do this.

We would appreciate your prompt attention and advice regarding this request,

because there is a dire need for food caused by the prevailing adverse conditions in our fragile natural environment.

BIEPA has been advised that many drought stressed native trees did not blossom during the normal winter/spring season and those that did, did not produce pollen.

This has left flying foxes, birds, bees and insects without their normal sources of food supply.

Our Region’s bat carers are reporting that under the extreme temperatures, starving, heat stressed flying fox mothers are prematurely aborting their babies. The “bat carers” are out each morning checking the “maternity camps” saving as many of the surviving aborted babies that have fallen to the ground.

The following is an excerpt from a koala carer responding to a newspaper article:

“I have worked with and for koalas since 1993 right up to the present moment. To add to that level of expertise, I am also an Environmental Scientist whose major focus has been and continues to be native wildlife and its ability to survive within a human environment. Koalas actually prefer mature eucalypts because they offer a range of food choices from the tender, fresh tip at the tops of the trees, to the mature leaf often chosen to assist the digestive processes to old leaf favoured by koalas with kidney related health issues. Young eucalypts contain high quantities of phenols and toxins that discourage predation by a range of insects and arboreal animals. Young eucalypts want to grow into big trees so by loading their leaves with less palatable chemicals they won’t get eaten and therefore retain high photosynthetic opportunities encouraging growth.

In many areas habitat loss and fragmentation has forced koalas to eat younger trees because they were left being considered less dangerous from a falling limb

perspective. The fact is that koalas are also suffering from ongoing droughts, heat

waves and bush fires which has reduced and/or destroyed their crucial food source.

Koalas are searching to find suitable shelter in the heat and these days they are often found cooling off in camphor laurels and other non-natives because they are large enough to provide shade. To make the challenges of survival even greater, eucalypts are shedding excess leaves in their attempts to reduce water loss which results in higher toxicity of the leaves koalas and other arboreal animals need to survive which may affect their health in the long term.

Right now, koalas are being admitted into wildlife medical facilities suffering from

dehydration, malnutrition and diseases some of which are brought about by a

compromised immune system. Instead of arguing about how this climate catastrophe came about everyone should be looking at solutions and finding the means to ameliorating what are now facts.”

As you can see, there is an urgent need for the Moreton Bay Regional Council to address the loss of habitat and food sources for native wildlife.

It is extremely distressing for caring environmentalists to be constantly reminded of these facts and needs and we hope that the Moreton Bay Regional Council can be of some help to assist the wildlife carers who are working so hard to ensure the Region’s iconic and fragile native fauna and flora survive into the future and are not consigned to extinction because of our lack of action.

Many thanks

Sincerely

Diane Oxenford

President for BIEPA

Cc CEO, MBRC.

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