5 Tips to Help Wildlife in Spring

Animals Rescue Wildlife Posted Sep 4, 2023
As winter turns to spring, trauma season begins at the RSPCA Wildlife Hospital. With native Australian wildlife on the move there are potentially over 80 new wildlife hospital patients daily!

Jaimee Blouse, Business Development Manager for Wildlife at RSPCA Queensland, said there's a significant increase in the number of patients coming through in Spring and Summer.

"Spring is breeding season so a lot more animals are on the move, and they are getting themselves into trouble in the sense that they have to come into contact with humans a lot more frequently, passing over roads or yards."

Ms Blouse said at this time of year RSPCA Queensland saw thousands of baby birds brought in with apparent ailments, however, that is not always the case as they are still at the fledgling stage and learning how to fly.

"Leave them with Mum and Dad if they are still around but if they are injured, sick or threatened by domestic animals they definitely will need attention."

Here are five steps you can take in Spring to ensure you are looking out for all creatures great and small.

Slow down while driving in known wildlife locations

Sadly, sometimes wildlife like kangaroos, possums, koalas, birds, reptiles, and other animals are struck and killed or injured by motor vehicles.

Collisions with kangaroos and wallabies make up 90 percent of all animal road accidents in Australia.

So, it is important we all play our part to be extra careful - especially during warmer months and breeding seasons - to prevent road accidents.

There are steps you can take to significantly reduce the odds of having an animal related crash and safely live with wildlife.

Sadly, there may be times when you cannot avoid an animal when driving. If you hit an animal be sure to contact your local wildlife rescue group to assess the animal or take it away for treatment.

Check pouches

It's always heartbreaking to come across a deceased joey or other wild animal on our roads.

Whether you accidentally hit the animal yourself or someone else has hit them before you, it always pays to check if the animal has a pouch and if a joey is still on board and in need of rescue.

Joeys are known to survive in the pouch for several days following the death of their mother.

If you do find a joey still alive in a mother's pouch, if you can take the mother and the joey still in the pouch to your nearest vet, this will help ensure the joey gets to the RSPCA or a local wildlife carer who can care for them.

Tip: Do not attempt to catch injured adult kangaroos, wallabies, koalas or bats. They will need to be sedated before they can be handled. Call 1300 ANIMAL for assistance.

Avoid nesting areas of swooping birds

The main bird species that display swooping behaviour are the Australian Magpie, Crow, Magpie-larks, Noisy Miner, Grey Butcherbird and Masked Lapwing (Plover) although any nesting bird may swoop people who get too close to their nest.

Remember, do not try to remove bird nests yourself! In Queensland, the Wildlife Act prevents people from removing or destroying nests without a special permit and authority.

Note that very few birds from the total population show overt aggression towards humans, and of those that have become aggressive, very few have attacked humans.

Here are just a couple of things you can do if a bird is swooping in your area:

  • Avoid the nesting area if possible, during the incubation and raising the chicks.
  • Travel in a group; swooping birds target individuals.
  • Wear a broad-brimmed hat or other headwear to eliminate the risk of injury during attacks.
  • Wear glasses to protect your eyes.
  • When on a bike, wear a helmet and/or have a flag attached to your bike when riding through an area where birds are swooping. Alternatively, hop off your bike and walk it, rather than riding quickly.
  • Place warning signs outside of the swooping area to warn others, you can contact your Council for assistance.
Put some water out to support wildlife in your area

Leave bowls of fresh, clean water out in shady locations. Shallow dishes are better for smaller animals.

If you use a large container, make sure to provide a rock or stick so that small animals can climb out.

Place the container in an area where animals are protected from predators when drinking e.g., near a shrub or bush and keep your pets away from this area so that animals can drink undisturbed.

Unless advised to by a registered wildlife carer or veterinarian, don't attempt to feed wild animals.

Save your local wildlife rescue number

If you see injured or sick animals, report them to the RSPCA's 24/7 Animal Emergency Hotline 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625)

Jacobbe McBride
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