Cane toads

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©2004 web site Constructed by Dean Goodgame of Kimberley Specialists



I came to Kununurra, as a vet, in 1991, and after 14 years in the Kimberley I hold grave fears for the future of our wildlife. The variety of creatures that I see through the doors of my vet clinic is vastly reduced, as is the number of individuals that we have presented. A reduction in numbers of injured animals is a good thing, per se, but I have no doubt that it is a reflection of the reduced numbers of the totality of all the different species out there.

During the time that I have been practicing in Kununurra and surrounds, wildlife treatment and rehabilitation in the Kimberley has been largely funded by my veterinary clinic. This has enabled us to provide them with full veterinary examination and care, before either handing on non-injured individuals to our small group of carers, or housing at the clinic any permanently crippled or non-releasable creatures.

At the present time at the Kimberley Vet Clinic we are caring for 1 non-releasable(NR) Wedge-tailed Eagle, 2 NR Kites, 1 NR Tawny Frogmouth and 1 NR Northern Boobook Owl. As a group they require a significant amount of feed (and the money to buy it with), much time for their care and maintenance, but most of all they require more appropriate housing.

We also have 3 NR Blue-Winged Kookaburras with other carers, as well as a great multitude of releasable and non-releasable small birds such as doves, finches , Bower birds, Jacanas and currently 6 joeys.

Over recent months we have released A Blue-tongue lizard which had recovered from a fractured jaw, an injured Flying Fox, 2 Corellas which had recovered from wing injuries, and a Brown Goshawk that was immature when found. Unfortunately the goshawk released itself slightly earlier than we had intended, which would not have happened if we had had more appropriate cage facilities.

We also currently have 3 Northern Boobook Owls in care in Margaret River, at Phil Pain’s raptor rehabilitation centre “Eagles Heritage”. These 3 babies were found in their nesting hollow in a fallen tree, at Ivanhoe Crossing on the Ord River. Due to the significant chance of them being eaten by goannas, they had to be removed from their home. As we were unable to hand-raise these babies to a releasable state, they were sent to Margaret River for rehabilitation, and will soon be returned to Kununurra for release.

Once we have a functioning Sanctuary in Kununurra, we will no longer have to put these creatures through the stress, and the expense, of sending them away for rehabilitation.

Kimberley Wildlife Rescue Inc(KWR) is the body that has evolved from the need for more extensive wildlife care for our Kimberley creatures. We have been incorporated since 2000, and our group is a not-for-profit organisation that has been striving to develop a wildlife sanctuary in Kununurra.

To date Argyle Diamonds has provided us with our only external financial support with the creation of a soft-release site for our hand-raised marsupials at Argyle Mine(ADM) itself. This enclosure was entirely funded and built for us by ADM. The only other income for the group comes from various fund-raising events.

In 2003, the Shire of Wyndham East-Kimberley(SWEK) leased KWR a 2.55 Ha triangle of land, on the edge of Lake Kununurra, in order for us to create a Wildlife Sanctuary. As this area of land was initially planned to be developed as a Botanic Gardens, we plan to call our sanctuary development the Kununurra Wildlife Gardens (KWG).

To date SWEK intend only to lease us the land, and are not presently budgeting to contribute to the development of the 3

Gardens. Currently the land is completely undeveloped, having only a small bridge and a rotunda on site, which was all the progress that was made in the development of the Botanic Gardens. Unfortunately this is not even useful as an aviary, though will make a nice viewing platform over the small wetlands that is in the middle of the land.

To create a Sanctuary on this site we need to: fully security fence the whole area, create individual habitats for our different Raptor

( bird of prey) species, build a “creche” habitat for our hand-raised joeys before they are released at ADM, and build aviaries for the multitude of bird species that we always have in our care. This is just to start with…….. Long-term we plan to build a kiosk, shop, wildlife hospital and a food barn.

We plan to develop the Kununurra Wildlife Gardens as an education centre for the general public, as well as its role as a pre-release site for the rehabilitation of all our releasable creatures. We also see it as having potential for use by members of groups such as the Ministry of Justice, to provide a positive environment for the re-education of their participants.

With the imminent invasion of the Cane Toads in our area, we now feel that there is an even more urgent need to create a site from which we can educate people about the great need to care for and conserve our precious wildlife. Every person that we can inform or this need is another soldier in our army of fighters to protect our dwindling fauna. Every person that is aware of the need to control the numbers of cane toad in our environment, is another crusader to directly help protect our incredible Kimberley creatures.

To achieve all of this , we need help.

By joining our group you will be kept informed of our ongoing progress in the development of this sanctuary, and are welcome to become an active wildlife carer, or purely a supporter of our group. The greater number of members that we can acquire will increase our chances of being accepted for registration as an Environmental organisation, which will then allow us to qualify for charity status. This will encourage people to make financial donations to our group, as the donation will become tax deductible.

At present we receive NO external funding. Please help us to so more for all our wildlife by becoming a member of Kimberley Wildlife Rescue.

Thank you.
Dr Sarah Brett
President, Kimberley Wildlife Rescue
PO Box 1442
Kununurra 6743
March 2005
0407 691229

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