Maranoa Kangaroo Harvesters and Growers Co-operative Meeting October 2010

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By , October 29, 2010 9:03 am
On Tuesday 26 October 2010, Australian Wildlife Services met with members and prospective members of the Maranoa Kangaroo Harvesters and Growers Co-operative (MKHGC) in Mitchell, QLD. The group included landholders running various operations, Landcare members, Roo harvesters, QLD game meat processors, Government and NRM body representatives and the media. Discussions were also held with reps of the University of Queensland, Gatton Campus. MKHGC is a 'Sustainable Wildlife Enterprise' (SWE). A SWE is a commercial business based on conservation through sustainable use and collaborating across boundaries. It seeks to generate incentives for landholders, harvesters, meat processors and tourism businesses including financial incentives, improved land management and resilience, improved soil health, biodiversity values, carbon and biodiversity credits and market opportunities. By better management and training, quality assurances and product tracing, landholders and harvestors collaborate to produce a higher value product and increase margins for coop members, thus placing a value on the kangaroo (often seen as a pest) and management of ecosytems to support them. There are also signficant carbon market incentives for coop landholders. Opportunities and directions were discussed at the meeting. Download the SWE summary for more information: Sustainable Wildlife Enterprises Summary (1151 downloads) The SWE model can be applied Australia wide. Other regions interested in are encouraged to contact Australian Wildlife Services.

Australian Native Mammals as Pets

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By , October 21, 2010 5:32 pm
Recently, Dr George Wilson, AWS, contributed to the RIRDC study and publication "Australian Native Mammals as Pets: A feasibility study into conservation, welfare and industry aspects" (RIRDC Publication 10/072) as an expert advisor. The report assesses the feasibility of keeping native mammals as pets as means of conserving Australia's mammal biodiversity. Australia’s biodiversity is in crisis, and innovative alternatives are urgently needed. Threats to survival of mammals in the wild in Australia have prompted the proposition that keeping native mammals as pets, rather than the current suite of primarily exotic predators, could contribute to conservation - for example, a child would keep a Spinifex Hopping Mouse instead of the exotic house mouse. While the keeping of certain native reptiles, birds and amphibians as pets is reasonably well-established across Australia, keeping native mammals is currently prohibited in most States. The RIRDC study sought to strategically inform the potential development of an industry based on use of native mammals as pets in a way that helps to ensure positive conservation and welfare outcomes. AWS believes that if this difference is based on concern for animal welfare then that topic should be the focus of discussion and not confusion about animal rights.

Reptile surveys on Angas Downs IPA record 38 species

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By , October 12, 2010 3:40 pm
In October and December 2010 and March 2011, AWS and Angas Downs rangers surveyed reptiles and small mammals across Angas Down's landscapes. Surveys were conducted using pitfall and funnel traps and active searches. The surveys were completed between 2-9 October, 7-9 December 2010, 8-9 March 2011. 38 reptile and 4 frog species were recorded. Of note, Simoselaps betholdi (Jan's Banded Snake), Suta punctata (Little Spotted Snake), Demansia psammophis (Yellow faced whipsnake), Tiliqua multifasciata (Centralian Blue Tounge), Ramphotyphlops endoterus (Interior Blind Snake), Pygopus nigriceps (Western Hooded Scaly-foot), Nephrurus laevissimus, Nephrurus levis levisMorethia ruficauda and Egernia inornata (Desert Skink) amoung others were recorded. The Reptile checklist can be downloaded   Angas Downs Reptile Checklist (897 downloads) . The surveys also found 6 species of small mammals - Echidna, Kultarr, Wongai Ningaui, Spinifex Hopping Mice, Sandy Inland Mice and Lesser Hairy Footed Dunnart. Some can really bite - see photo.