A Focus on Fawna

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For Australian wildlife needing aid.

I joined FAWNA two years ago and after training in wildlife rescue and care, I am mainly a possum and bird carer. I joined the committee last year. My major project right now is organising a 30th anniversary fundraising evening at The Westport Club in Port Macquarie on Saturday 1st June. 

We are inviting the community to celebrate with us, to support FAWNA into the future and to gain a better understanding and appreciation for our beautiful native wildlife. Local businesses have been very generous in donating some wonderful prizes for the event. We are proud to be sponsored by John Oxley Motors, The Westport Club, Eastern Air Services, Eastern Tour Services and Billabong Koala and Wildlife Park.

The local not-for-profit wildlife rescue rehabilitation and release group FAWNA (NSW) Inc. is celebrating its establishment 30 years ago. From humble beginnings in June 1989 with six inaugural members operating in Port Macquarie, the Camden Haven and Kempsey, the volunteer group has grown to a member base of 275 spread south to Bulahdelah and north to Grassy Head and West to Mt. Seaview – an area of 18,000 sq km.

FAWNA’s wildlife rescue line 6585 4141 fielded 11,450 incoming calls last year from Port Macquarie-Hastings, Kempsey and MidCoast, and the group provides a 24 hour seven day a week wildlife rescue service for native animals.  

FAWNA relies on public donations to help augment its own fundraising activities to buy specialist wildlife care foodstuffs, pay vet bills and run the group. Last year’s food bill alone was $21,500, which is about half of total annual expenditure. FAWNA has no formal funding, apart from a small grant from our licensee National Parks and Wildlife Service. Proceeds from our dinner will go to the wildlife food fund.

FAWNA is blessed by the support of local vets, some of whom give of their time and skills to help wildlife, but the volunteers are the life blood. They come from all walks of life and have that common thread of concern for the environment. Our wildlife faces many challenges: climate change, extreme heat events, and competition from humans. Housing, infrastructure, schools and roads all take what once was wildlife habitat. 

FAWNA regularly receives large numbers of bird nestlings that fall to the ground, making it difficult to be reunited with their parents. When kangaroo, wallaby or possum mothers are killed on the road or attacked by predators, there is often a live joey in the pouch; FAWNA has to nurture them until they are ready to be released back to the wild. Pollution is affecting our marine fauna. Flying-foxes and microbats come into conflict with netting, fencing and powerlines, but birds remain the largest group of wildlife needing FAWNA’s help. 

We take all wildlife except for koalas that are licensed to our good friends at Port Macquarie Koala Hospital and by the Taree-based Koalas in Care down south. In the 2017 – 2018 year, FAWNA helped 3,560 animals, with a good release success rate.

It takes dedication to be a wildlife carer and learn what foods to source that closely mirror the native diet. It’s not just a case of buying something from the shop; we need to grow certain types of food, including rodents, insects, and mealworms and going out in all weathers sourcing leaf tips and blossom. We can’t treat our natives like we do domestic pets; they must be dehumanised and ready for their life in the wild.

Please purchase tickets by 20th May by contacting Louise: louise.fawna.nsw@gmail.com

FAWNA’s next training course is in Wauchope on 7th July – see www.fawna.org.au

Editorial provided by Louise Moore.

THE PLUG

FAWNA’s Night Out 30th Anniversary Fundraising Dinner
Saturday 1st June, 6:30pm, The Westport Club.Cost: $75 pp includes arrival drink and two course meal and silent auction Enquiries: Louise 0407 646  370 or email louise.fawna.nsw@gmail.com

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