Australia has some of the world's most diverse and unique fauna and flora. They inhabit our equally very diverse landscapes and natural environment. We have the world's largest assortment of marsupials and placental mammals. The rest of the world can only dream of having the same variety of beautiful and colourful birds that share our backyards and gardens or of our wonderful nocturnal animals that go bump because it's night.
If you see something inherently wrong with how our treasured native wildlife seem to pay for our so-called human 'march to progress' in the way of more housing or business developments in places that were formerly a safe habitat for them, be comforted in knowing that you can do something to help. If you have some time to spare, however minimally, there is something you can do to help against their endangerment and help prevent their extinction.
A good place to start is to be more aware of your environment and surroundings. Safely discard things that may pose a threat to the lives of these native animals. For example, do not use rat poison around your home or property. Although this might kill and destroy what you intended to kill in the first instance, these killed targets may then become food for our carnivorous wildlife, which may end up getting poisoned as well.
You can also use natural, biodegradable and chemical-free weed killer; termite protection; dishwashing products; laundry products; cleaning products and other care products for plants, trees and flowers in the garden and yard. In this day and age, there are other safer and more natural options to traditional methods for caring for and maintaining our homes and gardens. They're not only safer for everyone's environment, including our wildlife's, but think about how you would also be protecting yourself, your family and pets by becoming more vigilant with what you use around the home.
Another really simple thing that you can do is to call in to rescuing organisations any injured wildlife or those that are in danger of getting hurt. If you see or find an injured wallaby while out and about and you can see that the animal is clearly hurt and suffering, then call it in. Try to get someone to help place the injured animal out of more danger until help arrives. It goes without saying that any rescue attempt must be done with your own safety and other's in mind. If you have an injured highly venomous snake, you will need to leave it to trained professionals to rescue and handle it.
In addition, a birdbath on your front or backyard can sometimes mean life or death for a native bird, especially in the hot and dry months. Not surprisingly, birds die of dehydration where there is no drinking water to be had. Do place your birdbath where domestic cats and dogs have no or have only minimum access to it and replenish it with fresh water regularly.
If you're ready to take it one step further, volunteer. There are more than a few organisations all over Australia that make it their mission to care for, rehabilitate injured wildlife and prepare them for release back into their natural habitat. In Southeast Queensland, we have the RSPCA Queensland Wildlife Rescue, Wildcare Australia Organisation, Wildlife Volunteers Association 0r WILVOS, Wildlife Queensland, Orphan Native Animal Rear and Release Association or ONARR, Southeast Queensland Wildlife Rescue Group, Australia Zoo's Wildlife Warriors, and the Brisbane Area Rescue Network or BARN, to name only a few.
Volunteering with one or more of these non-profit organisations does not necessarily mean getting down and dirty with wildlife. It could be doing some administration work or making emergency calls. In some cases, these types of volunteer work can be done from home, so go ahead and enquire with the good people of these organisations; you'll never know what you can do to help otherwise. Trust me that they can more than use your help. If they're dollars you have to spare, then donations to these organisations are more than just needed, they are vital.
In the Sunshine Coast, we are favoured and blessed to have the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital. What many wildlife lovers and carers travel hundreds of kilometres to take their injured wildlife to, we have just around the corner. The Wildlife Hospital will take in and care for any injured wildlife that is need of veterinary attention. They too and their volunteers work tirelessly and are in need of the public's support and donation to continue doing their invaluable work.
Many different workshops to inform and prepare you to become a wildlife rescuer or carer are also on offer. They are mostly free to members or cost a very minimal amount to non-members. Check out annual membership costs with different organisations as they are very reasonable. If you join as a couple or family, they're mostly even less. With membership fees, you may even get a start-up pack, such as a logo t-shirt, cap and whatnot. And when you get to the point of rescuing or helping with rescues, do take care. Ensure your own safety, the public's and the animal's you are rescuing at all times.