Tag Archive | "Animals"

Plan to bring beach and other events back down to earth.

Cottesloe balloon ban

CHRIS THOMSON

The council that looks after Perth’s most famous beach would no longer allow helium balloons at its events under a plan floated by one of its elected officials.

At a meeting of Cottesloe council on April 26, Councillor Sandra Boulter will move that balloons be banned from Town of Cottesloe events.

“Balloons float up into the air and disappear from your thoughts, but not from the environment,” Cr Boulter reasons.

“Balloons and their string make ugly litter in even the most remote and pristine places.

“Dolphins, whales, turtles, seabirds and other animals have all been killed by balloons.”

Cr Boulter advises that even biodegradable latex balloons are a danger as they can take several months or even years to break down.

“Turtles are particularly at risk as they can confuse balloons with their jellyfish prey,” she continues.

“Mass balloon releases have already been banned by several local authorities in the UK, USA and Australia.

“Balloons can cause dangerous power outages.”

Council staff advise that applications requesting the release of balloons as a part of an event are few and it is not normally approved.

“Events with balloons that are filled with such gas as decoration for the event are more common,” the officials say.

“The intent at these events though is that the balloons be ‘taken home’ after the event, not released into the atmosphere.”

Base Cottesloe photo: Bram Souffreau, Wikimedia Commons

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Gun-toting bushy gets cocky.

Bogan shoots endangered cockatoo

STAFF REPORTER

An endangered Baudin’s (black) cockatoo found injured in Bridgetown had been shot using a shotgun, according to the Department of Parks and Wildlife.

The pictured cockatoo was handed in to the department with pellet wounds, and received treatment at Manjimup Veterinary Clinic before being transferred to Perth Zoo.

The big, black bird is now recovering at the Kaarakin Black Cockatoo Conservation Centre.

Parks and Wildlife officer Brad Barton, the Chair of the Forest Black Cockatoo recovery team, said the department was investigating the shooting and seeking information from the public.

“It is disturbing when specially protected native animals are illegally shot,” Mr Barton said.

Baudin’s cockatoo is one of three species of black cockatoo in Western Australia’s Southwest. All three species are threatened and are protected under the state’s Wildlife Conservation Act and the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

There are penalties of up to $10,000 for shooting black cockatoos under the Wildlife Conservation Act, and up to $250,000 for an individual and $500,000 for a corporation under Commonwealth legislation.

Mr Barton said Baudin’s cockatoos fly around the Southwest as part of their seasonal migratory patterns and are often seen at this time of year in Manjimup, Donnybrook and Bridgetown foraging for food.

“Parks and Wildlife recognises that black cockatoos can cause damage to trees and is able to provide advice to assist in managing the impacts of these birds,” he said.

To report an injured cockatoo or provide information about illegal shootings, contact the Wildcare Helpline on 9474 9055 or the Parks and Wildlife Manjimup office on 9771 7988.

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Two men pinged for 'just having a look'.

$8000 fines for crab pot tampering

STAFF REPORTER

​Two Halls Head men have each been fined $8000 for interfering with commercial crab pots.

On the night of November 26, a Fisheries and Marine operative saw two people in a small runabout travelling from the channel connecting the Peel and Harvey estuaries and around Ward Point into Cox Bay.

Aaron Pollard, 32, and Andrew Collyer, 31, have been ordered to each pay the $8000 fines for illegally pulling four commercial crab pots in Cox Bay under the cloak of darkness.

Last week, a Mandurah court heard the men had admitted, in a record of interview with Fisheries and Marine officers, to having pulled the pots with the intention of just having a look. They did not open any of the pots.

It was heard that when the commercial fisher checked his pots the day after the interference he found some of them upside down and others relocated from where he had set them. The pots did not contain any legal size crabs, whereas his other pots nearby, which had not been interfered with, did.

Department of Fisheries South Metropolitan Compliance Manager Ryan Parker said commercial fishers operating in the Peel and Harvey areas supplied their catches to the Perth and Mandurah markets and, as small operators, suffered major disruption if their pots were disturbed or damaged.

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Give your pooch the kiss of life this summer.

Uni first aid course for pets

STAFF REPORTER

Veterinarians at Murdoch University are offering first aid courses for pet owners.

Jill Griffiths of Murdoch University Veterinary Hospital says emergency treatment is more often needed over the summer months with snakebites and severe allergic reactions requiring immediate attention from owners.

“If your animal does have a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction or is struggling to breathe after being bitten by a snake, being able to perform cardiopulmonary cerebral resuscitation on the way to the vet can be life-saving,” Dr Griffiths said.

The hospital recently introduced a general first aid course for pets which will teach owners life-saving techniques.

The next courses will take place on Wednesday, February 17 and Saturday, April 9.

“One owner recently contacted me after a pet emergency to say the bandaging techniques learnt at our first aid course allowed him to get his dog to the nearest vet alive,” Dr Griffiths said.

Included in the first aid course is a practical session, including how to recognise what is normal and what’s not, how to place an effective bandage, and a cardiopulmonary cerebral resuscitation practice session.

“We identified that people were not comfortable giving first aid to their pets, but simple techniques like breathing for your pet and providing effective chest compressions are vital,” Dr Griffiths said.

The course costs $95.

For more info, call 9360 7824.

And tell ’em oneperth sent you.

Photo: ‘Peter’, Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons attribution 2.0 generic licence.

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Scarborough boy taken to Fiona Stanley Hospital.

Police dog bites ‘graffiti guy’

STAFF REPORTER

A 17-year-old ‘graffiti guy’ was bitten by a police dog last night and taken to Fiona Stanley Hospital.

Police spokesman Samuel Dinnison said that about 3am the constabulary received information regarding a crew of up to five people allegedly spraying paint onto properties along Canning Parade in Como.

The first police car to arrive was from the police canine unit, and the dog handler saw the crew allegedly spraying paint onto a wall near the corner of Canning Parade and Gentilli Way.

Mr Dinnison said the dog handler told the crew to stay where they were, or police dog Santos would be released.

The crew allegedly started to run and Santos was unleashed.

Santos took a boy, 17, of Scarborough, into custody by mouthing of one of his legs.

The handler caught up and told Santos to release the boy. He then told the boy to stay seated.

Mr Dinnison said the boy allegedly stood up and started running away again.

He was again told to stop, lest Santos again be released.

However, the boy allegedly keep running and Santos was again unleashed.

Santos caught up the boy and took him into custody by mouthing one of his arms.

The boy was taken to Fiona Stanley Hospital to receive treatment for dog bite injuries. Charges have not yet been laid.

A 20 year-old Alexander heights man was found nearby and arrested. he has been summonsed to appear in court on three counts of criminal damage.

Santos was not the only police dog to bite someone overnight. In Perth, a woman was bitten by Santos’ canine colleague Freddie after the driver of a purple Holden Commodore she was in allegedly absconded from a booze bus.

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Council official says 'no'.

Beehive attracts 16 objectors

CHRIS THOMSON

A single beehive planned for a Shenton park backyard has attracted 16 objections and been recommended for refusal.

In November last year, Austin Street couple Jess and Mike Kendall asked the City of Subiaco to approve a ‘Langstroth’ beehive, as pictured, to accommodate about 400 honey bees.

The Kendalls want to locate the hive in the middle of their 15.25-metre wide, 120sqm, backyard.

However, the council’s co-ordinator of environmental health has made the startling observation that “it is not possible to contain the bees on-site and they will leave the property at times in search of pollen and water”.

“While predictions can be made on travel patterns and flying distances, it is not possible to accurately predict how far or where the bees may fly and they are capable of travelling up to five kilometres,” the co-ordinator has advised.

“However, bees also play an important environmental role particularly with regard to plant pollination.

“The city does not have a framework to assist in the management or control of activities such as bee keeping and there are valid concerns regarding the undertaking of such an activity in a densely populated inner urban area where lots sizes are generally small with consequently limited pollen supplies.”

No fewer than 16 objections were lodged against the Kendalls’ beehive.

“Submissions received … indicate that within a 500 metre radius of the property at least eight people who either live or visit residents on a regular basis have severe reactions to bee stings requiring medical attention including several who have an anaphylactic reaction and live closer to the subject site,” the co-ordinator reports.

“While the proposal for a beehive could be seen as a proactive and innovative approach to environmental sustainability, this must be balanced against the potential impact on community amenity and safety particularly given the proximity of recreation areas and residents with severe allergies.”

The five-week consultation process on the beehive also attracted 14 letters of support.

But, the recommendation is for refusal. Subiaco’s mayor and councillors will decide the beehive’s fate at a council meeting on January 19.

Some of Perth’s 29 local governments, excluding Subiaco, have by-laws that outline general conditions for keeping bee hives.

Generally, one or two hives are allowed on a lot of less than 2000sqm, provided conditions such as setback distances from lot boundaries, public places and thoroughfares are met.

The Kendalls’ application was reviewed against the requirements of several local laws with approval deemed unlikely due to the inability to meet specified setback distances.

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Two of seven birds taken from wild succumb to respiratory illness.

Endangered ground parrots die at Perth Zoo

STAFF REPORTER

Two of seven critically endangered Western Ground Parrots recently transferred to the Perth Zoo from the wild have died.

The birds arrived at the zoo on November 18 and were captured before fires burnt the species’ habitat at Cape Arid National Park on the south coast of Western Australia, east of Esperance.

The zoo’s Acting Director of Life Sciences, John Lemon, said despite settling into the zoo “exceptionally well”, the ground parrots developed a respiratory illness and regardless of the best medical care and treatment, both birds died.

Mr Lemon, said that the loss of the birds was concerning for the future of the species, given the recent serious fires which destroyed a reported 90 per cent of the parrots’ native range.

“We have been working closely with the Department of Parks and Wildlife to understand the reproductive biology of the species with the intent to breed an insurance population,” Mr Lemon said.

“Perth Zoo will continue to care for the remaining five Western Ground Parrots at the zoo, which are monitored 24-hours a day and are all healthy.”

The team that cares for the Western Ground Parrots at the zoo has experience caring for and breeding an extensive variety of native and exotic parrots including challenging species such as Fig Parrots.

The post mortem results are pending.

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Woman to appear in court today.

Dogs die in alleged arson

STAFF REPORTER

Arson Squad detectives have charged a 25 year old woman after a fire at her home killed two dogs late last night.

Police spokeswoman Susan Usher said emergency services were called to the two storey unit in Daly Street, Belmont about 10:25pm after reports of a fire in the unit.

The woman received minor burns and was treated at Fiona Stanley Hospital.

Ms Usher said two dogs in the unit died in the fire.

The Belmont woman has been charged with criminal damage by fire, endangering the life, health or safety of a person and causing unnecessary harm to an animal.

She is due to appear in Perth Magistrates Court today.

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He may look cute, but ...

‘Do not approach Margs elephant seal’

STAFF REPORTER

Sightseers heading down to spot a large southern elephant seal resting at Redgate Beach near Margaret River are being urged to maintain a safe distance to protect the animal’s welfare.

Department of Parks and Wildlife officer Clare Forward said to make sure the seal remained comfortable and safe it was important that visitors stayed at least 30-metres away and ensured children were supervised.

“The animal might look cute and harmless but it is a wild animal and as such, it may be dangerous if approached or provoked,” Ms Forward said.

“To maintain the safety of both visitors and the seal, dogs must be kept away and people are advised not to get between the seal and the water.”

Ms Forward said the southern elephant seal was currently moulting and it was not unusual for the species to stop on mainland Australia as part of this process to drop their hair and skin from January through to April.

“The moulting animals may stay ashore for up to four weeks, during which time they do not require assistance from people, when they are ready they will return to the water,” Ms Forward said.

The southern elephant seal is the largest seal in the animal kingdom and gets its name from its huge size.

Adult male southern elephant seals have gigantic schnozes which they use to make extraordinarily loud roaring noises, especially during mating season.

Ms Forward said Parks and Wildlife staff would continue to monitor the seal.

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First sighting since 1998.

DPAW officer finds ‘extinct’ sea snakes

STAFF REPORTER

A photograph taken by a Western Australian wildlife officer on patrol in Ningaloo Marine Park has led to the rediscovery of a sea snake species previously thought to be extinct.

Western Australian Environment Minister Albert Jacob said the critically endangered short-nosed sea snake was last recorded at Ashmore Reef in the Timor Sea, in 1998.

“It’s an exciting discovery because this species has never been found on Ningaloo Reef before,” Mr Jacob said.

The short-nosed sea snake was identified by James Cook University scientists after a Department of Parks and Wildlife officer photographed an entwined pair of sea snakes on Ningaloo Reef.

The snakes (pictured) were photographed ‘courting’ and this indicates they could be members of a breeding population.

In a separate but equally important discovery, a breeding population of the critically endangered leaf scaled sea snake has been discovered in seagrass habitats in Shark Bay Marine Park.

This markedly increases the known range of this species, which was previously only thought to live in coral reef habitats much further north.

Photo: Grant Griffin, Department of Parks and Wildlife

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Gypsie, Sookie, Shaina, Melik and Conan stay with their mum after 145 supporters sign petition.

Woman fights to keep five dogs

CHRIS THOMSON

A Bentley woman has managed to have a council ban on her keeping five big dogs set aside after 145 people signed a petition in her favour.

Last week, State Administrative Tribunal member Peter McNab ordered Canning council to reconsider its decision to refuse Anne Black’s application to keep Siberian huskies Gypsie, Melik and Sookie, and Alaskan malamutes Shaina and Conan at her house on Mitchell Street.

Before hauling Canning council before the tribunal, Ms Black had lodged a 145-signature petition in favour of keeping the five dogs on her 705sqm property.

Prior to that, the council had sprung into action after receiving a single complaint about the dogs.

At the tribunal, Mr McNab preferred the argument of Ms Black, who represented herself and the dogs, over that of the council’s lawyers.

The lawyers had argued that the discretion appearing in the state Dog Act to permit the keeping of more than two dogs was effectively illusory, as Canning’s town planning scheme governed the fate of Ms Black’s application.

However, Mr McNab concluded the Act and planning controls could “comfortably work together”.

“Moreover, the city’s consideration of the matter had apparently ignored other authority which showed that planning controls contemplated that the ordinary domestic keeping of animals as pets or as a hobby was ancillary to residential use of land,” Mr McNab added.

“Further, the city having been sidetracked into erroneously considering planning issues, was yet to consider the matter on its merits in accordance with the guidance offered by the Tribunal’s other cases on the administration of the Dog Act 1976.”

Mr McNab invited the council to reconsider its decision, and ordered the matter to return to the tribunal for a directions hearing on January 22.

Photo: ‘SCMW’, Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 unported licence.

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$14.95 delivered to your door.

Zoo poo for Perth gardens

STAFF REPORTER

Perth residents are the only ones in Australia now able to have composted poo from the zoo delivered to their doors.

Perth Zoo is selling its excess animal manure and garden waste which has been treated, composted and packaged as ‘Creature Compost’.

The zoo’s animals produce about 600 kilograms of manure every day.

Zoo sustainability coordinator Daniel Baker says each elephant can produce 90 kilograms of poo a day.

An outfit called Nutrarich takes the zoo poo to a site in the Swan Valley to be composted according to Australian standards.

“What we don’t use on the zoo’s lush gardens we are now making available for the community to purchase,” Mr Baker said.

No other zoo in Australia makes compost available for gardeners.

“This product has helped us divert 500 tonnes of organic waste from landfill in the past 12 months,” he said.

“Burying organic materials produces large volumes of methane, one of the worst greenhouse gasses, so we’re thrilled to be able to reduce our environmental footprint even further.

“And it’s the product that just keeps on giving as funds raised from the purchase of Creature Compost helps with the running costs of the Zoo, which means we can divert more money into saving wildlife.”

A 10-Litre bag of Creature Compost can be bought for $9.95, while a 25-Litre bag costs $14.95, and the zoo poo is delivered to your door.

Bulk orders can be collected from Nutrarich at its Swan Valley depot, at 1118 Great Northern Hwy,
Baskerville.

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Parks and Wildlife says 'no'.

Thorny devil taken to show and tell

STAFF REPORTER

A reptilian show and tell for school became a thorny problem for the Department of Parks and Wildlife’s Midwest staff last week.

District wildlife officer Garth Grimsley said a thorny devil lizard, also known as a mountain devil, had been taken from the wild near Kalbarri, and kept in captivity, before it laid seven eggs.

“The family had intended taking the devil to school for a show and tel’ but when it laid eggs, it was brought in to our office,” Mr Grimsley said.

“We are attempting to incubate and hatch the eggs, but this is unlikely to be successful.

“In the wild the female will lay the eggs in a chamber up to 30cm below the earth surface.

“The incubation period for the eggs is 90 to 132 days so we will know whether there are any baby devils in about three to four months.”

Mr Grimsley reminded lizard enthusiasts that taking native animals from the wild and keeping them in captivity is an offence.

“It also places unnecessary stress on the animal, and in this instance, the thorny devil was carrying eggs, placing the eggs at serious risk,” he said.

Mr Grimsley said the thorny devil, which feeds solely on ants, would be released back into the wild in its natural habitat.

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Other rats look like mice by comparison.

The biggest rat that ever lived

STAFF REPORTER

Archaeologists with The Australian National University have discovered fossils of seven giant rat species on East Timor, with the largest up to 10 times the size of modern rats.

Julien Louys of the ANU School of Culture, History and Language, is helping lead the project and said the fossils represented the largest known rats to have ever existed.

“They are what you would call mega-fauna,” Dr Louys said.

“The biggest one is about five kilos, the size of a small dog.

“Just to put that in perspective, a large modern rat would be about half a kilo.”

Researchers are now trying to work out exactly what caused the rats to die out.

Dr Louys said the earliest records of humans on East Timor date to about 46,000 years ago, and they lived with the rats for thousands of years.

“We know they’re eating the giant rats because we have found bones with cut and burn marks,” he said.

“The funny thing is that they are co-existing up until about a thousand years ago.

“The reason we think [the rats] became extinct is because that was when metal tools started to be introduced in Timor [and] people could start to clear forests at a much larger scale.”

Photo: Dr Louys with jaw bone of modern rat, right, and fossilised jawbone of one of the East Timorise rats.

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