Tuesday, April 25, 2017


The   plight  of  wildlife  on   Magnetic Island  is  often  brought home   at  monthly meetings of  the  Magnetic  Island  branch of  the  Australian  Labor  Party . Secretary of  the  branch , Linda  Wootten ,   a  longtime wildlife carer , on occasions   brings  along  an  animal   to  feed ... a possum ,  Friar Bird  and  so  forth .   Recently she   turned up  with a  young , bedraggled  looking  Rose-crowned Pigeon  in  a   cage  . These birds  are found in  coastal north-western Australia  and  north-eastern  Northern Territory, Flores  and  Timor and frequent  fruit  and berry -bearing  trees.

Proceedings  slowed  momentarily   as  she gave the bird  a  two  hourly  feed  with  raspberries from the  IGA store on the island . This  involved  taking  the bird  out  of  the  cage, holding it in a  hand  and  manually  placing  the  raspberries in  its  beak .  Branch president  Mal McLean , below ,  carried on  for  Linda  while  she   fed  the  lucky bird . 
 Invigorated,  the bird  went   for a  flutter   about   the  venue , at one  stage  sat on  Linda's shoulder , beaming at  the salt of the earth  ALP supporters  who are out to capture the  pigeon fanciers'  vote  at  the  next election .   The  young   bird  had  been  looked  after  by  a  person who  in  turns   needed  a  break , so  it  was  passed on  to  Linda  .

Linda  keeps  a  book  in  which  she  lists  details  of   the  large  number  of  critters she  has  retrieved , some of which  are  kept at her  residence in  a variety  of   cages . This  work involves   her  in  round  the  clock  feeding and calling on a local  vet  . In  addition , she  feeds  a   large  number  of   birds  and  wallabies  that  come  to  her  house .

The  roadkill  of  wildlife  on  Magnetic  Island   is   exceptional . While signs  warn of koalas  and  vehicle  crash sites on the island  , there is an obvious lack of  signs   in  parts  where   people  resort  to  placing  hand  made signs , especially  in the  Horseshoe Bay area , urging  motorists  to  slow down, watch out for  other animals , wallabies   and   Curlews   in  particular .
The  lack  of  signs  and  a  much  needed   centre  to   look after and   revive  wildlife  on  the  island ,   instead  of  loading  up   caring   islanders  through the  Magnetic  Island  Fauna  Care Organisation   with   much  of   the  responsibility  is   obvious.  MORE ON  THIS  SUBJECT LATER .