Christmas time and commonsense – caring for wildlife - The Community Leader and Real Estate New and Views

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Summer is a-coming in, holiday makers are gearing up for long trips and wildlife is stirring. The Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland (WPSQ) warns that hot summers and increased traffic contribute to threats for wildlife, so extra vigilance is in order.

“Dehydration is a major summertime problem for many wild animals,” says Matt Cecil, Project Manager of WPSQ.

“In dry periods any night-time moisture tends to drain off to the side of roads, encouraging green growth which in turn entices animals like wallabies to feed, so it’s a good idea to be super-alert behind the wheel, especially at dawn and dusk.

“Animals like koalas and greater gliders get most of their water from leaves; when leaves dry out the animals suffer. Putting bowls of water around the property can help all thirsty wildlife but wherever you place them you need to make sure that animals coming to drink are safe from cats and dogs – managing our pets is a major consideration.”

That consideration is echoed by Steve Homewood, volunteer and President of the Bayside branch of WPSQ.

“Ideally, wherever possible we should create a haven in our yards, somewhere safe from predators, supplied with shade and water. Shallow dishes close to the ground will serve lizards and the like, and standing birdbaths are ideal for purpose. Just be sure that water containers don’t pose a risk to the family and keep an eye out for mozzies.”

Steve says that creating shaded, moist environments will attract insects and birds, especially if native trees and shrubs are encouraged.

Any increase in road traffic brings with it an increased risk of injured animals; how to deal with any incidents calls on a combination of compassion and common sense.

“If a marsupial has been killed there’s always the chance, if it’s a female, that there may be a joey in the pouch,” says Steve. “If the animal is alive but injured attending to it could entail risks, from the animal and from traffic – so it’s best to ring one of the animal welfare groups in the area and follow their advice.”

Caution and compassion are the keywords when dealing with snakes and goannas, whether injured or as unexpected house guests seeking shelter and water. Again, there are the experts – including some local vets – just a phone call away.

For the Redlands 24-hour Wildlife Rescue Service and Redlands Wildlife Ambulance, call 3833 4031.

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