WIRES Mid South Coast
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WIRES Mid South Coast Branch Covers a large area between Milton and Tilba, our small band of volunteers receive rescues from rural areas, each year our branch rescue snakes and other reptiles, orphaned possums/gliders, kangaroos, birds and all forms of wildlife. We are lucky to live on the nature coast where wildlife is abundant.
Our branch is often asked to assist forestry and the council whilst they are clearing trees to help ensure native animals are not inhabiting particular trees and we have members on sight who take shifts in these circumstances as a precaution. Also in the event of any major events of injured or endangered wildlife we are called to assist National Parks, recently our branch worked in shifts with National Parks to monitor a rare baby elephant Seal.
We need more volunteers to assist with wildlife rescue and rehabilitation. If you are interested in joining us, please read our branchrmation about becoming a volunteer.
Yellow-bellied Glider, vocal and vulnerable
In October the female glider pictured above was found entangled in the barbed wire surrounding an electricity substation.
While she was being examined and treated for a tear to her patagium it was discovered that this glider was carrying pouch young, making it even more important to get her back to the wild quickly and fully recovered. These gliders are listed as vulnerable to extinction in NSW.
The patagium is the membrane that extends from the front paws to the hind paws and is used for gliding between trees. It is essential for survival and is one of the most frequently seen injuries in gliding marsupials who become entangled in barbed wire.
The Yellow-bellied Glider is one of Australia's six gliding marsupials. They are an active and vocal species and are not often rescued and in care. In the southern coastal region of the state, where this glider was found, only a handful have been rescued in recent years.
Known populations of this species occur in mature eucalypt forests and they feed on nectar, sap, pollen and insects. They live in small family groups and have a large home range where they forage for food.
It has a loud, distinctive call, consisting of a loud, high-pitched shriek, moans and gurgles that often subside into a throaty rattle. They can be heard up to 500 metres away and although to our ears it can sound like distress, it is in fact just the way they communicate. WIRES volunteer Sandy, who was caring for this glider tells us that as she recuperated she was often calling through the night.
We are very pleased to report the patagium tear healed well and she was released recently, to hopefully raise the pouch young she was carrying. Learn about Wildlife Friendly Fencing to help prevent barbed wire entanglement.
Superb Fairy WrenOne of our WIRES Mid South Coast volunteers made their way to Moruya to rescue three little unknown baby birds. Initially reported to be swallows. The chicks were very young, unfeathered and with their eyes barely opening.
Unfortunately on arrival, two had already passed away, leaving just one very cold and weak little chick. It was immediately obvious that the bird was not a swallow, as it had been found in a destroyed grass nest and swallows are well known to build hard, mud nests.
After being introduced to a heat mat and having her temperature monitored, not to mention constant feeding at 15 minute intervals (or less), the little bird began to thrive. For some time we had our suspicions, but what species she truly was seemed to be an exciting mystery until that very special little tail began to appear, and her earthy colours started to show through.
No later than 10 days and our little mystery bird was fully feathered and displaying all of the flitty, cheeky behaviors we suspected from nothing other than a Superb Fairy Wren.
Superb Fairy Wrens are beautiful little birds, widely recognized by the incredible blue colouring of adult males during breeding season. They are sensitive and high-energy, and often seen dashing through the undergrowth or catching insects off the lawn in small groups. You would not have known how incredibly, socially orientated these birds were until raising one from such a young chick.
Soon, she had began to clean the room of flies, spiders and any other insects. We experienced her unique little behaviours as they developed, which included waving her tail over the top of her head whilst she crept up on unsuspecting insects.
She spent larger amounts of time outside as she grew, and her carer Lilly, says she spent a lot of time catching grasshoppers and beetles in the grass with her as she became more independent and capable. When alone, she was enclosed where we knew the local wrens ‘hung-out’, and eventually we would open her door when they were nearby in an effort to introduce them to one another.
The wrens were very tolerant of her presence, and were quick to accept her into their small family group as a juvenile. For some time she visited us several times a day – sneaking her way in through a tiny hole in the fly screen. Very clever and as equally mischievous, she knew exactly where the mealworms were and would help herself to them quite frequently, before leaving and being on her way again.
Now she is a beautiful adult, she visits us occasionally for a mealworm, and never comes alone – always in the company of several other wrens. Lilly says she provided one of her most rewarding experiences as a WIRES member.