Cane Toads found in Wauchope

The discovery of a suspicious-looking amphibian in Randall Street Wauchope on Monday (12 June) triggered a call to the FAWNA Wildlife Rescue Hotline.  FAWNA responder, Cheyne Flanagan, an experienced amphibian rehabilitator, confirmed the discovery as a Cane Toad, Bufo marinus, an introduced pest that is not normally found as far south as Wauchope.

It is hoped that this Cane Toad was a hitchhiker on a southbound train, or on a freight vehicle making a delivery to one of the many businesses near that part of Wauchope.  FAWNA’s President Meredith Ryan asks that people are vigilant and if they see an unidentified and suspicious looking amphibian that they place a container over it weighed down by a brick or rock and call the FAWNA 24 hour Hotline on 6581 4141.  People should not handle cane toads without gloves as their skin is toxic to humans and animals.  Provided gloves are worn the cane toad could be picked up and put in a bucket with a secure cover. The wildlife group asks that people do not kill or handle without gloves any unidentified amphibian as it might be an important local frog.  The hygienic handling of all amphibians is important in preventing the spread of the deadly chytrid fungus.

Cane Toads were introduced into Queensland sugar cane fields in 1935 in an attempt to combat the harm caused to crops by the pernicious cane beetle and its larvae.  The introduction was a spectacular failure and the cane toads thrived and have since become a major pest species spreading widely into northern NSW western Queensland and as far west as the NT and WA.  The toads are toxic to native animals, birds and reptiles that might predate upon them, and domestic pets are also at risk.  Several cane toad aversion studies are being undertaken in an attempt to lessen the harm caused to wildlife by this introduced pest.

For more information on FAWNA’s work with wildlife go to

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Cane Toads have venom-secreting poison glands (known as parotoid glands) or swellings on each shoulder where the poison is released when they are threatened. If ingested, this venom can cause rapid heartbeat, excessive salivation, convulsions and paralysis and can result in death for many native animals.

NWC Grants now open

Wildlife rehabilitator enclosure and equipment grants program for 2017 – 2018 opens 10 JUNE 2017

Announcing the opening of the 2017-2018 wildlife rehabilitator grants program, NSW Chair, Audrey Koosmen said:

“how pleased my committee and I are that Representatives and Alternates present at the NWC May General Meeting voted to increase both the maximum grant amount and to double the total Grant Budget for 2017 Grant applications”.

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FAWNA Autumn 2017 Newsletter

Autumn 2017 Newsletter

Welcome everyone to our Autumn newsletter, I would like to discuss a few points in the introduction to our newsletter.

Firstly, thank you to all the members who responded to the Office of Environment & Heritage/NPWS Rehabilitator Survey. FAWNA was one of the highest responders from all the rehabilitation groups in NSW; I hope this reflects our belief in how important our voice is to what finally happens to the structure of the wildlife rehabilitation volunteer sector under Regulations in the new Biodiversity Conservation Act.

Currently, Veterinarians and related personnel are responding to a survey of wildlife rehabilitation in NSW and once completed we can expect results will be published from all the surveys and interactions.

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Wedge-tailed Eagle survives dunking in the Hastings River

Wedge-Tailed Eagle

This wedge-tailed eagle is on the mend and ready for release after bridge workers rescued the floundering bird from the Hastings River.

Thanks to the quick-thinking of two LendLease bridge construction workers on the Oxley Highway to Kundabung Pacific Highway upgrade, a wedge-tailed eagle has a chance of a free life again.

While working on the bridge over the Hastings River, two bridge construction workers saw a large bird floundering in the water, and their recovery protocol was put in place with a call to the foreman, then his call to environment co-ordinator, Clive Wightwick, on site.

“The intrepid rescuers went into the river and managed to wrap up the bird in a life jacket and bring it ashore where it was wrapped up further in an all-weather jacket and taken to Port Macquarie Veterinary Hospital,” said FAWNA president Meredith Ryan. Continue Reading →