10YEARS AGO TODAY ... 10th January 2011... THE TOOWOOMBA FLOODS
10 years ago our region experienced devastating flooding - it’s hard to summarise an event like that . Leading up to this day- the heavy rain began on 19th of December and seemed to just keep coming. During this time I started to get a lot of birds in care that were either ‘waterlogged’ or hungry and struggling from not being able to find food. I had 10 baby Magpie Larks (Peewees) in care as their mud nests had all gone to slop and they kept being found on the ground, along with tawny frogmouths and a baby Galah. Many carers also had a lot of birds and rain affected animals.
From the actual floods however, we expected a lot of wildlife to require emergency care- but this was naive thinking on my part, having never experienced wildlife rescue in a natural disaster before, my expectations of animal survivors was unrealistic.
We were flooded in at our property for 2 days due to our normally dry creek flooding the road. Once it was clear on the 12th, Brendon immediately packed all his tools and equipment to go volunteer in the clean up at Murphy’s Creek and that’s where he would be for the next few months. Tony & Maree also went to Murphy’s Creek to volunteer helping organise emergency electrical work and also did this for a very long time. Most people we knew were doing something to help honestly.
For me at this time, My children were still young and I had been volunteering with my friend and wildlife mentor Clare, one to two days a week. I knew she would have been finding it hard getting branches for the koalas as they still need to eat despite the weather, and there aren’t any supplement foods that you can give! I set about cutting as much fodder as I could fit in my car from our own property and my children and I took it over to Clare to feed the 3 koala babies. At the time Clare never shared her wildlife work online, however she gave me permission to share these adorable photos of her three babies on my Facebook profile - as something to cheer people up during such an emotional time. I am re-sharing the photos on this anniversary as they still make me smile and remember her and how grateful I was for her trusting me and the experiences she allowed me & my family to be a part of- she changed my life for the better.
On this day we not only remember all of the animal lives lost, wildlife and domestic, but the human lives and families changed forever from this tragedy. Our daughter sadly lost one of her special kindy friends along with her friends dad... words can’t describe the awful devastation that occurred.
The couple of flood photos in this post were taken by Brendon on the morning on the 10th in Toowoomba. Locals will recognise these locations.
Let’s pray we never experience something like this again.
Male koalas are on the move and looking for love, as the koala breeding season begins in the Toowoomba Region. September through to February is the local koala breeding season and during this time, koalas in search for prospective mates can be seen in unexpected areas and are likely to be found crossing roads at unusual times of the day and night, entering people’s back yards and getting caught in dangerous situations. With this increased movement comes the higher risk of car trauma and dog attacks.
Increased koala movement during this time, is a natural part of the koala life cycle but due to increasing fragmentation of habitat, koalas often end up travelling along the ground and walking longer distances more than usual to find the next suitable habitat or mate. In the greater Toowoomba Region, there are now more people now living in koala habitat areas and they are a lot more likely to encounter each other during this time.
It is during this time is also when we see young juvenile koalas leaving their mothers and having their own independence, migrating into new and unfamiliar territories looking for their own place to live as they explore new areas. With this greater movement of young inexperienced koala populations, the public need to take care by making sure that their yards are koala friendly and keeping pets inside at night and abiding to speed limits on the roads and taking notice of wildlife crossing and awareness signs in areas where koalas are known to frequent.
Toowoomba Koala and Wildlife Rescue are urging the community to be mindful of the increase in koala activity during this time to make sure that no more koala lives are lost while looking for love.
Should you find a sick, injured or orphaned koala in the Greater Toowoomba Region, please phone 0458 155 177 or the RSPCA on 1300 264 625
On this website and facebook page for Toowoomba Koala and Wildlife Rescue, we choose to share the brighter side of volunteer wildlife rescue and rehabilitation. Sometimes when we don't have any updates to share, it is not because we aren't rescuing or helping wildlife, but rather because we choose to keep the sad rescue stories to ourselves. We feel that there is enough depressing news in the world without us adding to the stories. I do wonder though at times, if this is wise, as it may portray an unrealistic view of what wildlife rescue really entails and what we (wildlife carers everywhere) deal with on a regular basis.
There are often stories of wildlife rescues and particular animals, that I feel should be shared, despite their outcome, but this is something I have mostly refrained from doing to avoid anyone else being greatly distressed by the situation as we were. Australian people and its wildlife has suffered so much in recent times, with the long drought, dreadful bushfires, extreme weather conditions and now with humans dealing with the covid19 pandemic. We feel that by sharing positive stories and updates on how our animals in care are going, that this can brighten peoples day and prevent everything they see on social media being depressing.
The reality though, behind the scenes, is that we are still seeing the affects of a long drought with koalas in terribly poor condition requiring rescue on a regular basis. Koalas are still suffering from horrific domestic dog attacks and road trauma and others are suffering from distress and displacement from mass tree clearing in our region. We are already witnessing koalas losing their pouch babies due to these reasons and that is very distressing, especially for carers given the tough task of trying their best to save compromised tiny animals.
Going into winter now, we are approaching mating season for Echidnas which are on the move and are crossing roads more than normal. We have echidna specialists in our region, so please get in contact for a referral should you find one that you are concerned about.
While reptiles are heading into the brumation period, they are still venturing out into the sun on warmer days and being clipped by cars or attacked by dogs.
Kangaroos and wallabies are coming to the road edges to eat to look for a little bit of green as the grasslands dry out, and they are then susceptible to car trauma. We have already had numerous tiny pouch joeys being found alive or injured after their mothers have passed away.
Baby birds are still appearing after a particularly warm autumn season and they are being found blown out of nests onto the ground on windy days. Re-uniting them with their parents is the best option, but at times this isn't possible and they need to come into care.
Koalas are now at the end of mating season, but pouched babies are starting to appear. Please report any sick, injured or orphaned koalas to us as soon as possible. Small orphaned koalas should not be left to "fend for themselves" should they be found without their mother. There are various experienced and licenced koala carers in our network who can help raising them for successful return back to the wild.
Thankyou to everyone for your continued support and words of encouragement on the Facebook Page, it really means a lot to us. We are very grateful to have a wide network of wildlife carers, vets and rescue volunteers to network with and we continue to meet more people in this field all of the time, which is wonderful.
Toowoomba koala and wildlife rescue - koala awareness road signage project
One of our projects this year has been to secure appropriate temporary signage that we can install (and later remove) in areas where koalas have been seen crossing roads or narrowly avoiding being hit by cars, where no permanent wildlife or koala signage exists.
The signs are temporary and placed in a safe location (abiding to road advertising/ signage rules) to inform drivers and members of the public to take care in these particular zones, where they may not expect a koala to emerge onto the road. Similar signs have worked well in other regions and are used by Wildcare and Gympie Koala Action Group and they are also similar to the Cassowary sighting signs used in North Queensland. We also have some other informative signs for koala and kangaroo road trauma, which are a little more confronting. So far signs have been used at Highfields, Goombungee, Flagstone Creek, Meringandan, Murphy's Creek and Geham.
We are very grateful for the advice given by other Koala groups and the supplier details to have these signs printed at an affordable rate. We also appreciate members of the public letting us know about any koala incidents or crossing they have witnessed.
Unfortunately we are still witnessing regular healthy koala deaths & injury from road trauma - particularly on the New England Highway in between Cabarlah and Crows Nest in the Toowoomba Region.
Should you find a injured, sick, orphaned or under-threat Koala, please phone the RSPCA Wildlife Hotline on 1300 ANIMAL (1300264 625) to be put in touch with an experienced local koala rescue volunteer. To Report local crossings/sightings please message us through this page or on Facebook Messenger for immediate response. m.me/toowoombakoalarescue
Toowoomba Koala and Wildlife Rescue
HOW TO CELEBRATE WILD KOALA DAY - 3rd May 2020
Founded in 2016, Wild Koala Day returns in 2020 as a program of national community events, made possible through the collaboration of organisations and individuals committed to the conservation of wild koalas, and the education & empowerment of their human neighbours. This year in 2020, however the organisers have had to "think out of the box" with the current Covid19 restrictions in-place, and so some creative ideas have been put together as a way to still celebrate and support wild koalas in Australia.
Toowoomba Koala and Wildlife Rescue are proud to be a part of this event and we have compiled some of our own suggestions as well as those from the World Koala Day Committee below that you can easily do from home to feel like you are participating.
5 WAYS HOW TO CELEBRATE WILD KOALA DAY 2020 FROM HOME
For full list of official Wild Koala Day Activities please visit: http://www.wildkoaladay.com.au/
Happy Wild Koala Day 2020
Thankyou for your ongoing support of Koalas in the Toowoomba Region.
Toowoomba Koala and Wildlife Rescue
HOW TO MAKE AND DECORATE KOALA CUPCAKES
I have decorated these koala cupcakes a few times now to take to different wildlife events or get-together's with other wildlife carers. They are super easy, not expensive to make and very tasty despite having grey icing! They are a lot of fun to make and perfect to make to celebrate Wild Koala Day or any special occasion. Perfect for the kids to decorate themselves also. N.B. The recipe can be easily adjusted to suit food intolerance's by using gluten free or vegan alternatives in the cake, milk, chocolate options etc as you normally would.
MAKE THE CUPCAKES (Option 1 - Easy Version- Packet Cake Mix)
MAKE THE CUPCAKES (OPTION 2 - Make Cakes from Scratch)
VIENNA CREAM ICING (Rich and fluffy and easy to ice and add colour to)
HOW TO DECORATE YOUR KOALA CUPCAKES
We would love to see how your cupcakes turn out to tag us on social media! #toowoombakoalaandwildliferescue @toowoombakoalaandwildliferescue
You can support orphaned, injured and sick koalas during their rescue and rehabilitation HERE
Find out more about Wild Koala Day on 3rd May HERE
Happy Baking & Thank-you for loving our Koalas!
Toowoomba Koala & Wildlife Rescue
We are very grateful to Humane Society International & WWF-Australia for starting the ball rolling to have the Koala listed as Endangered instead of Vulnerable in Queensland, New South Wales and the ACT! We rely heavily on respected organisations such as these to speak for all of our concerns. We are grateful to have worked with both on different koala rehabilitation and education projects in the past. Fingers crossed!
koala trees for the toowoomba reigon
PLANTING A KOALA FEED TREE ON YOUR PROPERTY CAN HELP SUSTAIN WILD KOALAS INTO THE FUTURE IN THE TOOWOOMBA REIGON
We are often asked which are the best tree types for plant for koalas in the Toowoomba Region, so we have compiled their favourites in the image below. Please keep in mind that this list is just for the greater Toowoomba Region. Koala's are super fussy and they like different native varieties of eucalyptus trees depending on which are they live in. Please consult your local conservation group or nursery to check which are the best species for your area outside of the Toowoomba Region, for the best chance of tree survival and koala food source.
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND: Please be mindful that koala feed trees are large eucalyptus trees and not suitable for planting in small or city yards, under power lines or close to neighboring fences
WHERE TO BUY KOALA TREES: We suggest purchasing Koala Feed Trees for planting as tube stock from your local community nursery, where they grow the trees from local wild collected seed. In the Toowoomba Region, the Crows Nest Community Nursery and Peacehaven Park Botanical Nursery are two excellent options along with other local nurseries.
PLANT KOALA FEED TREES WITH LOCAL ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS:
Joining an environmental group to plant trees is another wonderful way to ensure a successful koala tree planting project. Please remember to return to water the tree in initial stages and care for it into the future to ensure it's survival.
In Toowoomba Groups that participate in tree planting projects include:
Happy Tree Planting & thank you for caring about our Toowoomba Koalas.
Toowoomba Koala and Wildlife Rescue
20th January 2020
KOALA "PERCY" FROM THE PECHEY HAMPTON BUSHFIRES ? - RETURNS TO THE WILD ?
We were recently blessed to be able to release beautiful boy Koala 'Percy' back to the wild, in what was a 'bittersweet moment'. Percy was the fourth koala that we rescued during the bushfires in in November last year, and the first one that was deemed viable to recover. Percy was starving, singed, traumatized, suffering from smoke inhalation and he had burnt feet and cried terribly on rescue, he was also found to have chlamydia which needed medical treatment. Percy's release however, went very well, he was strong and climbed well - he didn't fret and after taking a good look around, he ventured higher into the tree and began to eat leaf as we watched from afar.
We have to say a big thankyou to the combined efforts of the RSPCA QLD Wildlife Hospital and the Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors Wildlife Hospital for his remarkable recovery. We did hear that Percy tested a few of the vet nurses at the hospital and one has some scars to remember him by! We have shared Percy's story before so I will link those posts for those who may be interested, and I will also upload his release video. Best of Luck Percy from Perseverance- we love you and you will always have a special place in our hearts... ?our first bushfire survivor xxx ????
17th January 2020
Big thank you to Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors hospital for continuing Percy's treatment after he was transferred there from the RSPCA at Wacol. We were very excited to get a phone call update from Australia Zoo about Percy today and hear how fiesty he is and that he will soon be ready for return for release! Percy has been keeping the hospital staff on their toes and has bitten a couple of the keepers when they were trying to change his leaf or administer medications! Cheeky Percy!
14th January 2020
UPDATE ON PERCY FROM Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors - Wildlife Hospital
When Percy was found, his feet were singed from walking on burning ground. Now, more than ever, koalas need our help. In addition to the devastating fires, these gorgeous Aussie animals are threatened by cars, domestic animals and habitat destruction. Like Percy, many of the koalas we have admitted to the #AustraliaZoo Wildlife Hospital are diagnosed with chlamydia. We’re so proud of the research work the hospital is a part of to cure this disease!
Photos and words thanks to Australia Zoo.
28th November 2019
I was blessed to be allowed to visit Percy in Hospital at the RSPCA Wacol Wildlife Hospital. Percy looked comfortable and had beautiful leaf to eat and was improving daily. Very grateful to Lee and the Jaimee for being allowed to view him and see how he was going. I was thrilled to see how well he was looking - he was certainly lapping up the tlc and fresh leaf from the lovely team at the RSPCA.
23rd NOVEMBER 2019
MEET PERCY ? FROM PERSEVERANCE?
It's time we shared the story on Percy the Koala - another bush fire survivor that we rescued on 23rd November from the Pechey Hampton Fire Zone.
Percy was found by chance - sometimes things happen for a reason we believe. I had been called out to another koala rescue and missed the turn off to the property and had to drive further up the road to find a safe place to turn around... it was then that I spotted Percy in a road-verge tree in a very burnt section of eucalyptus forest. Percy was very high up and so I taped the tree with pink tape and wrote the word 'koala' on the tape to return with equipment to rescue him. Brendon and I returned the next morning with permission from the Council, Police and Rural Fire Dept to enter the closed road, and Percy was found still up very high in the same tree. He was terrified from his ordeal of being through the fires and was crying in the tree.. it was heartbreaking. ? The regular method of trying to flag him down was just too distressing and he wouldn't budge, the tree was also deemed unsafe to call in tree-climber rescuers and the ground was still way too hot and sloping to set a tree trap. We decided we would need to organise the hire of a cherry-picker to help. On the way out, we went and spoke to the Toowoomba Region Council tree crew who were working on the section of road, clearing burnt and dangerous trees and we told them about the koala, the pink tape and that we would have to organise equipment to help with the rescue and left them our number. Within a couple of hours we received a call that the council, had pulled strings and arranged for a cherry-picker to arrive on-site that afternoon so we could rescue koalas Percy and Penny who was close by. We were blown away by their kindness and quick organisation.
Brendon went up in the cherry picker with Kev the operator to rescue the distressed koala. Percy was given water, fresh leaf to eat and mild pain relief on rescue and was transported to Toowoomba to meet Michael, the wonderful volunteer RSPCA ambulance driver, who transported Percy to the Wildlife Hospital in Wacol.
We were thrilled to hear from the hospital the next day that Percy was being treated for his injuries, singed fur, smoke inhalation, dehydration and underlying illness.
We look forward to sharing Percy's return story with you in the near future. A big thankyou to everyone involved in rescuing Percy.
We receive requests through the facebook pages of Toowoomba Koala and Wildlife Rescue and Wildlife Carers Toowoomba Region all the time on how to become a wildlife carer in the Toowoomba Region, when there aren't any incorporated groups issuing permits. It is not impossible to still become a wildlife carer, but there is no short way to do so. If you are willing to put in the time to do the training, volunteer and set yourself up with required equipment, we can guide you on how to work towards gaining a wildlife rehabilitation permit for least concern species.
Caring for Australian native wildlife is specialised, and entirely different to caring for domestic animals. Wildlife carers are bound by legislation to the Code of Practice (see below). The main aim is to be able to successfully rehabilitate, raise and release Australian native animals back to the wild in perfect health.
Wildlife rehabilitation volunteers are expected to undertake appropriate training. We have a close working relationship with Wildcare at Nerang and they conduct regular training courses and workshops which cover an extensive range of topics from reptile care to handling and anatomy and physiology.
EXPECTATIONS OF A VOLUNTEER WILDLIFE CARER
REQUIREMENTS TO APPLY FOR A WILDLIFE REHABILITATION PERMIT
FURTHER INFORMATION ON HOW TO GET STARTED
A variety of experience and certifications are required to being your journey to gaining a wildlife rehabilitation permit in the Toowoomba Region. We have a tick list below with a breakdown of further information on things you will require proof of to apply for your carers permit.
We hope that this gives you some motivation to get started on the correct way to become a wildlife carer in the Toowoomba Region. For any further questions, please don't hesitate to Contact Us.
Toowoomba Koala and Wildlife Rescue
Judi Gray - Toowoomba Koala and Wildlife Rescue