I'm a freelance writer based in Perth, Western Australia, who enjoys writing about the things I love: travel, nature-based activities, the arts, spirituality and creative, fun activities for children.
Published January 12th 2013
Do your bit to help our native animals and birds
Over the last few decades, the Perth metropolitan area has expanded at an unprecedented rate in every direction. To the north and south of the city, small coastal communities have become engulfed by the relentless march of suburbia, while farmland and native bush on the eastern fringes are steadily being gobbled up by canny property investors.
A rapidly expanding population requires more houses, roads, shops, schools and other services. However, such so-called growth and progress comes at a hidden cost, and it's not only humans who are effected by such changes. Many animal and bird species which are endemic to the Perth region are experiencing displacement due to the loss of their natural habitats. For those of us who love our native bushland and the animals which call it home, this is a great cause of concern, and one which various local groups are battling to combat.
Bilbies were once common in south-western Australia, but due to the loss of their natural habitat are now endangered. Image is from Wikimedia Commons (by stephentrepreneur).
The following is a list of wildlife rehabilitation centres and environmental groups around Perth which are dedicated to preserving our valuable natural heritage. Members of the public are encouraged to contact these groups if they find a sick or injured native animal or bird, as their experienced volunteers are specially trained to nurse them back to health and return them quickly to their natural environment. In addition, all groups warmly welcome volunteers, in a wide variety of capacities. Therefore, if you want to do your bit to preserve Western Australia's unique fauna and flora, why not consider becoming a wildlife warrior?
This image is from the Darling Range Wildlife Shelter website.
Situated on a 15 hectare parcel of natural bushland in Malaga, Native Animal Rescue is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of sick, injured, orphaned and displaced native animals and birds. Every year over 3,000 native birds and animals are cared for by the foundation before being released back into the wild. These include kangaroos, wallabies, possums, echidnas, reptiles and various kinds of native birds.
This image is from the Native Animal Rescue website.
Such a heavy workload requires many reliable volunteers who are willing to spend a few hours at the shelter, helping out in a variety of capacities. Some of the duties required of volunteers include tending the wounds of injured animals and birds, cleaning cages and enclosures and providing the animals with food and water. Although helpers are always needed to perform these direct services for the animals, volunteers with specific life or vocational skills are also greatly appreciated for chores ranging from general maintenance and admin work to driving the centre's rescue vehicle. Of course, for those who would love to help but are poor in time, donations are greatly appreciated as well.
Darling Range Wildlife Shelter Like the Native Animal Rescue, this wonderful wildlife shelter at Martin in the beautiful Darling Ranges cares for all kinds of injured and orphaned native birds and animals. As well as sharing heaps of information about their activities, their very comprehensive website provides extremely valuable guidelines about what to do and who to contact if you happen to find injured wildlife, as well as how to help our native animals and birds in your everyday life. Decisions such as keeping your cat indoors, providing a birdbath in your garden, and being vigilant of wildlife when driving at night are just a few of the many tips which they provide for aspiring wildlife warriors.
Image is from the Darling Ranges Wildlife Shelter website.
Volunteers are keenly sought by the Darling Range Wildlife Shelter. Consult their website for more information.
Kanyana Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre One of the most well-known wildlife rescues, Kanyana is situated up in the Perth Hills at lovely Lesmurdie. Their well-equipped centre is a veritable treasure trove of information for anyone who harbours the desire to help vulnerable native animals and birds, and is also home to a breeding colony of endangered bilbies. Kanyana's awesome Discovery Centre provides visitors with the opportunity to have close encounters with some of the animals, and also houses many interactive displays. Also popular are regular nocturnal tours of the centre which allow city slickers to gain a better insight into the lives of shyer and lesser known native animals such as bettongs, tawny frogmouths and sugar gliders.
This image is from the Kanyana Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre website
Situated in Mandurah, this organisation focuses on the rehabilitation of native seabirds. Some of the species which their volunteers have nursed back to health are the endangered Wandering Albatross, the Yellow-nosed Albatross, the Light Mantled Sooty, Petrels, Penguins, Gannets and Cormorants. Like all wildlife rescues, the WA Seabird Rescue is always on the lookout for dedicated new volunteers. Of course, cash donations are also greatly appreciated. Check out their website for more information.
Image is from the WA Seabird Rescue website.
Image is from the WA Seabird Rescue website.
Kaarakin Black Cockatoo Rehabilitation Centre Kaarakin Black Cockatoo Rehabilitation Centre is situated in the Perth Hills at Martin, at an old wildlife park. The aim of this non-profit, non-government organisation is to rehabilitate and eventually release sick and injured black cockatoos. Once common, with the depletion of their natural habitat, the three species of black cockatoos which are endemic to the Perth region (Carnaby's, Baudin's and the Forest Red Tailed Black Cockatoos) are now all considered to be highly endangered. Therefore we all need to do what we can so that future generations may appreciate these magnificent creatures.
Image is from the Kaarakin Black Cockatoo Rehabilitation Centre website.
As we're all aware, rivers and waterways are a crucial part of our natural environment. Without water, no life can survive on earth, and therefore keeping our waterways healthy is absolutely essential. River Guardians are friends of the Swan and Canning Rivers, and are dedicated to preserving their natural ecosystems. By becoming a River Guardian, you can participate in regular working bees and special events, as well as discover loads of fascinating information about the Swan and Canning Rivers, and how to preserve them. River Guardians are also welcome to join the Dolphin Watch project, which specifically focuses on observing and recording data about the dolphins which live within the Swan River system. This is a great project for families, and one which teenagers who have an interest in the natural sciences will especially want to be involved in.
Australian Marine Conservation Society
This organisation is the only national charity dedicated solely to protecting Australia's unique ocean wildlife. Donations are greatly appreciated so that they can continue to do their valuable work and raise public awareness about protecting our fragile marine ecosystems. To find out more, check out the Australian Marine Conservation Society website.
The above wildlife rehabilitation centres are just a few of many which are scattered throughout Perth's metro area. Unfortunately, in a short article such as this it's impossible to write about all of them in depth. The following are a few more places which wannabe wildlife warriors may wish to contact, and perhaps volunteer their time and expertise: Native Arc in Bibra Lake, Express Wildlife Rescue in Wanneroo and Malubillai Wildlife Carers' Network in Victoria Park. For those with an interest in birds of prey, the the Society for the Preservation of Raptors also provides a wealth of information, including the contact details of specially trained carers.