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Take action to keep EPBC with federal government

Last Updated on 29 November 2012

endangeredThe government is planning to hand over environmental approval powers to the states through COAG, thereby weakening our environmental law reforms, and threatening unique Australian ecosystems and species. This would mean project approvals could occur without federal oversight. Unfortunately, the states can't be trusted to look after the environment. State governments have a track record of putting short-term gains ahead of national interest when assessing development proposals. 

Your action can make a difference! Contact  the Prime Minister, the Federal Environment Minister The Hon Tony Burke MP This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Queensland senators to express your concerns.

Make it clear what you are asking for:

  • No handing over of environmental powers to the States
  • Strengthening our environmental protections, not weakening them
  • Survival of our recently listed koala depends upon retaining federal protection
Read more...
 

Flying Foxes need our help

Last Updated on 30 September 2012

flying-fox   Which wildlife group would  endorse government policy to cull Flying Foxes - even as a last resort?

Queensland Bat Advocacy and campaign group Don't Shoot Bats certainly does not.  Speaking for the Don't Shoot Bats campaign, Dr Carol Booth condemned the move as retrograde, anti-conservation and cruel and remarked on the irony of releasing the statement on National Threatened Species Day.  Grey-headed and Spectacled flying-foxes are listed as vulnerable under national environmental laws.

LACA cannot agree when the Environment Minister says he is taking a 'balanced' approach. Species are listed as threatened when their future is in the balance, so what is balanced about shooting them? There is nothing balanced about sanctioned cruelty.

Great suffering will result from the re-introduction of shooting: it is inevitable that some of those shot will die slowly of their wounds, and young deprived of their mothers will die of thirst or starvation.

Fruit growers have cost-effective alternative methods of crop protection. Most do the right thing and protect their crop by nets and other non-lethal means. It should be expected of all.

Just three months ago the Queensland Agriculture Minister said  'It's important every Queenslander understands animal cruelty is never acceptable.' See his statement here.

Read Shooting threatened flying-foxes legalised on Threatened Species Day media release here.

, Policies and Campaigns Manager, Wildlife Queensland reports that shooting has been demonstrated to be ineffective and Horticultural experts advise that netting is the only effective method to prevent significant economic loss.

"Killing listed species, particularly when population numbers are not known with any certainty, is a major concern. Where will it stop? What will be next?" Read Wildlife Queensland here 

You can help by completing online survey and writing to your local council and state representative.

We can also become more informed of issues relating to threatened species.

 

 

Permit to kill flying foxes on Threatened Species Day

Last Updated on 30 September 2012

FlyingFox-qccThe announcement on Threatened Species Day of a permit to kill flying-foxes is not well received by concerned wildlife groups and animal welfare groups. It is unbelievable spin by Environment Minister Andrew Powell that "This is about giving greater control to farmers over managing their crops while striking a balance with animal welfare and conservation."

Humane shooting [at night], agreed limits with quotas per species, no impact on the long term survival of the four flying-fox species, DMPs  only issued as an absolute last resort.

The Australasian Bat Society (ABS) condemned the move, saying that it is worrying that native species can be considered as pests and subjected to inhumane methods for control. The ABS does not support the shooting of flying foxes in any situation.

Dr Booth, a biologist from the Don't Shoot the Bats Campaign, says flying foxes are nocturnal feeders and most shootings are likely to occur at night. You can't patrol an entire orchard all night with a shotgun. Proper netting, with tiny holes, is a much more humane and far cheaper solution.

The correct netting is essential as many flying foxes die an agonising death trapped in loosely draped black throw-over netting . There were more than a million gray-headed flying foxes on the east coast last century but numbers had fallen to about 300,000.

Each bat spreads 60,000 to 90,000 seeds in our national forests so without these guys our forests are in big trouble.

Read about importance of flying-foxes here  and damage mitigation permits here both on EHP WEBSITE.

Fruit growers may be happy but non compliance of any policy is usually up to community being the watchdog. The future of our flying-foxes and forests they pollinate are now in jeopardy.

According to Minister Powell these new laws have been developed with input from growers, conservationists and animal welfare advocates and he is confident they've got the balance right. this writer is very sceptical of that spin.

Learn more abouts bats at Australasian Bat Society and their facebook page

 

Have you seen a spotted-tailed quoll?

Last Updated on 02 July 2012

quollsn logoQuolls are endangered nationally and need our help! Sightings have been received from the Jimboomba / Logan area as well as other areas of former Beaudesert - Greenbank, Park Ridge and more. This is an opportunity to come along and find out if quolls really do live in your area, and what you can do to help them.

Sunday 5 August 10am – 1.00pm at Caddies Community Care Centre 19-33 South Street, Jimboomba

Leading quoll researcher Dr Scott Burnett will give presentations and answer questions about quolls, threats to their survival and what can be done to prevent these animals from becoming another extinction statistic.

Come and meet a live spotted-tailed quoll courtesy of Martin Fingland from Geckoes Wildlife Presentations.

RSVP: 31 July 2012 to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone Alina at Wildlife Queensland on 3221 0194.

Logan and Albert Conservation President Anne Page has been collating and reporting sightings of quolls for several years. A reported sighting is always followed up to confirm veracity of sighting. Two road kill about 2005 were first sightings for 70 years.

These cryptic nocturnal creatures cover wide ranging bushland areas to feed and breed. Their continued existance is threatened by loss of habitat - clearing for development and roads and our road traffic.

Come along and learn more to help save them from local extinction. 

 

Teviot Downs residential DA 'controlled action'.

Last Updated on 12 March 2012

Teviot Downs residential DA  declared  a 'controlled action'.

quoll-fprintA decision on 12th October last week by the Federal Government on the Teviot Downs residential DA has declared it a 'controlled action'. This means that the proposed development now requires assessment and approval under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act ( EPBC Act) before it can proceed.

The controlling provisions included were listed threatened species and communities ( section 18 and 18A EPBC Act) and Commonwealth land ( sections 26 and 27A in the EPBC Act) . One of the threatened species of significance in the area around the proposed Teviot Downs residential estate is the federally endangered spotted tail quoll.

The Federal government will now assess the preliminary documentation for the proposed development and the Federal Environment Minister, Mr Tony Burke, will make a decision on whether to not approve, approve or approve the proposed development with conditions.

LACA's President, Anne Page, welcomed the decision by the Federal government. She said, "The spotted tail quoll is listed as an endangered species under the EPBC Act. Residents continue to report sightings of quolls in our local area and this decision highlights the importance of residents reporting wildlife sightings in our local area."

 

GREENBANK QUOLL WORKSHOP INFO DAY

Last Updated on 12 April 2015

quoll3_000GREENBANK QUOLL WORKSHOP INFO DAY

Wildlife Queensland would like to invite you to a special Quoll Seekers Network event!

What: Quoll Discovery Day

When: Sunday 30 October 2011 from 10am - 1.00pm

Where: Greenbank Sport and Recreation Club, 720 Middle Rd, Greenbank, Logan City, south of Brisbane.

Who: Leading quoll researcher Dr Scott Burnett; QSN project officer, Alina Zwar and a live quoll or 2 with Martin Fingland from Geckoes Wildife Presentations.

Why: To share knowledge about local quoll sightings and find out how to get involved with the surveys.

RSVP by 24 October to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone Alina or Ewa on 3221 0194.

View or download FLYER here.

The spotted-tailed quoll is a cryptic creature - unlike its northern cousin which is highly visible in its habits and habitat close to humans. Our local quoll has been unseen in this area for over 70 years until road kill was taken by a local cyclist to the Queensland museum for identification a few years ago. This was positively identified as spotted-tailed quoll. Not a lot is really understood about these local wildlife creatures except that they are extremely elusive and shy. They are carnivorous, feed on road kill and have become road kill, are great climbers and are attracted to chickens, which has also lead to their death by angry farmers before they were listed as nationally endangered by the federal government under the EPBC Act.

Unfortunately there are many threats to the long term survival of many of our local wildlife within the bushland areas of Logan. Loss of habitat is the greatest threat as we clear bushland without adequate flora and fauna studies. There is as yet no legislated necessity for adequate connected core habitat to be conserved. Wild dogs and foxes - and our baiting methods to controll them are also a threat. The introduced cane toad also causes death of quolls.

ADOPT-A-QUOLL program offers one way to help. Find out about it here

 

Balancing life with bats - how can we achieve this?

Last Updated on 12 March 2012

TEEB-value-nature-flying-foxHeadlines and articles in papers almost always report our human fear of the flying fox or fruit bat - our important pollinator for gums and rainforests.  The emotive language used in a recent post The battle brewing over bats, the pariah of Australian wildlife does little to settle fears.

The fear of bats is being exploited by many press. Death directly related to flying foxes is minimal - 6 since 1994 while more than 30000 children die daily from polluted water supplies. More horses have died from other causes eg culling and toxic weeds in the paddock than have died from Hendra. Understanding the ecology of natural systems and the interaction of all the biodiversity interacting together - biodiversity infrastructure - is critical to our human survival on the planet.

TEEB The Economics of Ecoysytems and Biodiversity  a tool which places a monetary value on the services and goods that nature provides humans on a global scale. Yet we fail to consider these seriously when politicans and planners make decisions about human settlement and our creature comforts. We have cleared great swathes of land that would have provided habitat. The value of these services are being considered internationally - but not locally or at state level.

Elsewhere in the world urban dwellers are learning to live with brown bears and understand that what we do can attract them and also distract them away.

ff_icu_smweb   Baby bats in care are raised in a nursery situation and are cute and cuddly - if you've been vaccinated. Dogs with rabies is a health threat    currently in Bali but travellers take the precaution of vaccination.

  Learning to live with our native species - our wildlife - is critical for our human wellbeing on our one planet. Drastic actions to interfer with the ecology of other species may bring about unwanted and unplanned reactions.

  The folk at Gayndah may have displaced some species of flying fox - or did they move of their own accord? I believe the black flying fox is now looking for a roost in the area.

   Teaching with cruelty and fear is a method many of us have discarded. Respect for all species and their niche in the global system is long overdue.

 

Flying fox forum 'Flying foxes, your animals and you'

Last Updated on 12 March 2012

FlyingFox-qccThe Queensland Government is running an online discussion forum on Friday 23 September from 12 pm to 1.30 pm. The forum, titled

'Flying foxes, your animals and you', will be streamed live online on the flying foxes and Hendra virus online information session page and on the

Biosecurity Queensland Facebook page.

Watch a panel of experts address the myths and clarify the facts around flying foxes and Hendra virus.

Submit a question for the expert panel or find out more information from the flying foxes and Hendra virus online information session

Avoiding Hendra is easier than killing bats and pending release of a vaccine against Hendra virus, managing the immediate risk to horses and humans is simple – follow simple hygiene and feed management practices that reduce horse and horse feed exposure to bats and their excretions. Hendra virus is a zoonotic disease, which means it can transfer from animals to people. Hendra virus can cause disease in horses but only rarely causes disease in humans. See links to detailed information about Hendra virus from QG DPI website

The panel experts coming together to answer your questions are:

Mr Clive Cook, General Manager, Department of Environment and Resource Management

Dr Michael Cleary, Queensland Health's Acting Chief Health Officer

Dr Rick Symons, Biosecurity Queensland's Chief Veterinary Officer

Dr Hume Field, Biosecurity Queensland's Principal Scientist 

If you have an urgent enquiry or suspect a possible Hendra case, notify Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23 (business hours) or

 the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888 24 hour hotline

 

 

We need our bats - we love our horses - Hendra fear

Last Updated on 30 September 2012

flyingfoxThe flying fox is at the forefront of many newspaper stories since the 2011 outbreak of Hendra. All horses that are tested positive are euthanized if they do not die of virus first. This is because of difficulty of keeping the large animal within required biosecurity framework.

While it is a tragedy to lose any human life ,4 of 7 people exposed to Hendra have died - all men, it is understood that Hendra cannot be transmitted directly from the bat to a human - the horse is needed as an intermediary for the human to contract the virus. Why are communities more upset about this possibilty than deaths on roads, death from air pollution, deaths from accidents in hospitals, deaths from coal mining accidents to name just some of many.

Do we assume that when humans cause death from accidents it is an unavoidable part of living in our society? We can contract may illnesses directly from animals such as cats, dogs, cows, pigs and more. These are called zoonoses. Zoonotic diseases can spread through a variety of means such as working closely with livestock, household pets, exhibited animals or wildlife, by coming in contact with soil or water contaminated by animals.

Practising good personal hygiene, wearing protective clothing, maintaining healthy animals and undertaking vaccination where appropriate, can minimise the risk of some animal-borne diseases infecting people.

DPI have information about protection of horses on their website here.

Flying foxes often visit properties where native eucalypts, bottlebrushes, lilly-pillies, figs and melaleucas are flowering. Blossoms are their primary source of food. They will also feed on palm seeds and exotic fruits when native food is less abundant.

Horse owners should follow these steps to reduce the risk of their horses becoming infected with Hendra virus:

  • Place horse feed and water containers under cover if possible.
  • Do not place horse feed and water containers under trees, particularly if flying foxes are attracted to those trees.
  • Do not use feed that might be attractive to flying foxes if they are known to be in the area. Fruit and vegetables (e.g. apples, carrots) or anything sweet (e.g. molasses) may attract flying foxes.
  • Remove horses from paddocks where flowering/fruiting trees are attracting flying foxes, and return horses only after the trees have stopped flowering/fruiting and the flying foxes have left.
  • If removal of horses from paddocks is not possible, restrict their access to the areas where the flying foxes are active and for the period of time they are present (e.g. under trees while flowers and fruit are present).

Australian Bat Lyssavirus is caused by a bite or scratch from an infected bat. Carers pay over $200 of their own money to be vaccinated so they can care for injured / orphaned bats.

 IT IS ESSENTIAL YOU DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CATCH OR MOVE FLYING FOXES / BATS UNLESS YOU HAVE BEEN VACCINATED.

You can read more about Zoonotic diseases at DPI website here.

 

A 300,000-strong bat colony is set to be "moved on” from Gayndah in the next five weeks – but where it will go, nobody knows. North Burnett Regional Council workers will start cutting branches from the trees where the animals roost in about five weeks time. It is a move that will pave the way for future flying fox colony relocations, with the Department of Environment and Resources pouring $40,000 into monitoring the impacts of dispersing the animals and the risk of spreading hendra virus. "We have to wait about five weeks until the little bats are able to fly before we move them on,” Mayor Joy Jensen said. "Where are these bats going to go? No one knows. But the permit has been granted for the full township of Gayndah so at least we know we can work on them until they leave.” Ms Jensen said residents were sick and tired of the bats, which not only posed a health risk but had caused "immeasurable” damage to the town’s riverbank since they arrived in September last year. A number of businesses had also been hit hard by the "smelly” and "noisy” colony, particularly the ones located along the river. "There has been no explanation as to why they’re in such large numbers. It’s an unbelievable sight to see that many bats hanging in so few trees,” Ms Jensen said. Anyone who couldn’t understand why residents were so distressed should come and have a look for themselves, Ms Jensen said. "It hasn’t been a pleasant situation and it’s driven a lot of people to say and threaten to do a lot of things they wouldn’t consider under normal circumstances. "Residents feel the bats were given priority over them.” *Fraser Coast Chronicle

 

SPOTTED-TAILED QUOLLS share our bushland habitat.

Last Updated on 30 September 2012

quoll3_000The elusive cryptic spotted-tailed quolls are around with many sightings recorded in Greenbank, North Maclean, Chambers Flat and nearby areas.. Wildlife Queensland have a QUOLL SEEKERS NETWORK. The image is that of a quoll in captivity at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary on the Gold Coast.

Australia has four species of quoll: the spotted-tailed, the northern, eastern and western quoll. The spotted-tailed quoll and the smaller northern quoll are both found in Queensland. Spotted-tailed quolls are Australia's largest native marsupial carnivore.

QSN Quoll Seekers Network is free to join and welcomes and encourages new members. There is also a quoll sightings form which LACA encourages you to use.  We also ask that if you see a spotted-tailed quoll in Logan or Scenic Rim areas you contact LACA President Anne Page This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. This species is federally protected under EPBC Act which means that development which could potentially impact on the survival of the species should be referred to the federal government.

Location map for species is available here. and the draft "significant impact" guidelines can be accessed here.

Read more...
 

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