SHARING IS CARING: Wildlife carer Rika Passier wants people to take more responsibility for sharing their environment with native birds by making small changes at home. Photo Mike Richards / The Observer
SHARING IS CARING: Wildlife carer Rika Passier wants people to take more responsibility for sharing their environment with native birds by making small changes at home. Photo Mike Richards / The Observer Mike Richards GLA040315BIRD

Developments drive native wildlife out of their homes

WILDLIFE carer Rika Passier is pleading with the community to be more aware of their natural environment.

She says new homes have been built on top of old ones, and the old residents - including pelicans, cuckooshrikes, pacific black ducks, lorikeets, boobeys and kookaburras - now had nowhere to live.

>> Watch: Tawny frogmouth enjoys a shower

The number of native animals brought in to Gladstone District and Wildlife Carers has jumped from 750-1000 in 12 months.

Ms Passier said that was a significant increase and it was due to a number of factors including land clearing for residential development.

"Most of the animals are coming from those new estate areas and Curtis Island," Ms Passier said.

"Our native corridors and bushland are becoming sparse and animals are coming into contact with cars, dogs and other pets more often."

In 2010 more than 1800 new urban lots were approved for development - that is on top of 1200 the previous year.

That number peaked again in 2012 with a further 1800 lots approved.

Now, as development has slowed and just 689 lots were approved across 25 development projects - the impact of clearing land to build those new estates remains.

Ms Passier said it was up to residents to take responsibility for catering to native birds where possible.

"It's not just about birds either," Ms Passier said.

"Its insects, tiny rodents, reptiles and all wildlife that were living in that tiny space of land are now homeless and have lost their food source.

"If people realised all the things we could do to encourage native species into our urban areas they might get on board with trying to share the space we have," Ms Passier said.

"How many people actually use the front footpath for native foliage?

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

  • Keep native plants in your yard: removing vegetation doesn't just take away a habitat it removes a food source
  • Build a home for possums or birds to put in a tree
  • Put a bird fountain in the yard: a water source supports life
  • Appropriately contain pets so that don't kill native birds
  • Get your neighbours on board to create a street where wildlife is welcome


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