Monday, January 2, 2017

2016 End of Year Overview from Jarowair

As the end of each year approaches, I often feel like I haven't achieved much of importance when it comes to saving the environment - but when I sit down to write this post and accumulate our achievements with our environmental work over the year gone, there are more successes that we give ourselves credit for.

This year we celebrated owning our little Land for Wildlife Property "Jarowair" for 10 years - and I gave myself a 'pat on the back' for continuing my blogging journey for this whole period, which I am really proud of, and now thoroughly enjoy looking back on our blog and checking on records and time lines of different milestones.

This year we welcomed visits to Jarowair from ABC Southern Qld radio journalist Belinda Sanders and Sandra & Donna from Queensland Murray Darling Committee. This visit resulted in an article in the Rural Weekly newspaper about our wildlife achievements and a radio interview on the ABC about wildlife caring, which was rather exciting.

This spring we have delighted in seeing the success of many birds raising young at our property including the Owlet Nightjars and Pale-headed Rosellas using Brendon's home made nesting boxes to raise their chicks.  The resident Tawny Frogmouths again raised three babies and Crested Pigeons were successful in raising a family for the first time here.  Sacred Kingfishers and Dollarbirds returned to their nesting spots on the property.

Some of the highlights from 2016 at Jarowair

  • ABC Southern Qld & QMDC visit Jarowair
  • Toowoomba Field Naturalists Group have day-outing at Jarowair
  • Birding enthusiasts Russell Jenkins and Mick Atzeni visit Jarowair
  • New Species - Ground Cuckoo Shrike witnessed a few times over Spring 2016 at Jarowair. A Red-naped Snake was also witnessed by Brendon with footage taken.
  • We re-discovered the Australian Coral Snake- having two sightings over spring 2016, after not seeing it for many years.
  • Three Bandy Bandy Snakes of all different sizes were seen over spring/summer after a 4 year absence of a sighting.
  • Brendon and I captured footage of two Rufous Bettongs 'playing' at night at Jarowair
  • Brendon had an amazing encounter with a wild Feathertail Glider, videoing the whole event.
  • Brendon continued with cane-toad eradication, taking on maintaining adjoining neighbours properties to reduce this invasive species spreading to our property.
  • Stage 5 Koala Tree plantation was planted in Summer 2016 -with 85 trees of a variety of species of Koala Feed Trees and Wattle planted in a fenced area with water sprinklers installed for continued maintenance of the trees.
Beyond Our Patch 2016
  • Our biggest highlight was visiting the Northern Territory in September, we crammed an enormous amount of sight-seeing and wildlife spotting into our week away, visiting Uluru at Yulara and Alice Springs.  
  • We took a short trip to Ballina in NSW to visit family and enjoyed the break away taking in the beauty of the water and surrounding mangrove areas.
  • We camped at Texas on the NSW/QLD border and enjoyed the birdlife that lives on the Dumaresq River - the platypus remained elusive to us, but other family and friends managed to see him!  My turn will come eventually!!
  • Brendon and I camped at a friends bushland property in November and did some night-time spotlighting for wildlife.


Environmental Work in 2016

  • I continued as President of the Toowoomba Branch of Wildlife Queensland and our small group organized a few successful meetings with guest speakers throughout the year, including a very popular bat night held at Amaroo Environmental Centre.
  • I was guest speaker at meetings for the Friends of the Escarpment Parks, The Toowoomba Field Naturalists Group and the Toowoomba Bird Observers Club events.
  • I had my biggest year ever caring for wildlife.  Just over 70 native animals were cared for at our property throughout the year, including two Eastern Grey Kangaroo Joeys, one black-striped wallaby joey and two red-necked wallaby joeys, two baby northern brown bandicoots, and plenty of birds, possums and lizards.  This year saw a huge influx of wildlife needing tlc, during the mass tree clearing for the Toowoomba range crossing.  All of the local carers are exhausted from this influx of wildlife needing care and are quite relieved that the clearing has now finished. I am very grateful to Eclipse Park Vets at Highfields and Gatton UQ Small Animal Hospital for their assistance in helping provide veterinary treatment for many of these animals free of charge.
  • Brendon and I both continued with our volunteer Koala Rescue work - rescuing many koalas all over the region. Sadly the statistics from this year are again dreadful and koalas on the darling downs are struggling terribly with the effects of habitat loss, disease, dog attacks and road trauma.  In 2017 we hope to raise enough money to be able to purchase our own rescue equipment, as currently we borrow it for every rescue and often this just isn't practical. I have lost track of how many koala rescues we have done throughout the year - I am guessing around 15.
  • For the first time in a really long time - I was able to assist in two koala releases.  The koalas mentioned had both suffered injuries, one from a dog attack and another from vehicle trauma in Toowoomba. Both were sent to the RSPCA wacol hospital and made full recoveries to be released back to the wild - it was refreshing to be a part of this, as not many of the ones we rescue ever make it back.
  • Brendon continued to work on  building a variety of amazing wildlife enclosures & aviaries for wildlife in care for Return to the Wild Koala Rescue.
  •  I continued to be involved with the Friends of Rogers Reserve, maintaining weeds at the Charles & Motee Rogers Bushland Reserve throughout the year.  I also organized the 3rd annual Clean Up Australia Day event for the bushland reserve and it was a great success - with less and less rubbish being found every year.  I am very grateful to the members of the community who take time out of their Sunday to help out with this important event.  I also conduced two guided tours for children through the reserve as part of the school holiday programs run by the Highfields Library. I thoroughly enjoyed these and received good feedback from my tours.
  • One of my photos of my children at the Palms National Park was chosen to be the cover image of the new 2nd Edition of Family Bushwalks in South East Queensland by Mark Roberts and Gillian Duncan.  I as well as my daughter also have a few photos of different local bushwalks featured within the book.
  • A photo that Brendon took of Bob Irwin & Amanda French during the 2015 Cape Croc Camp was published in Bob's autobiography - The Last Crocodile Hunter.
  • A close friend and I started out own small business making pouches and wildlife products for Australian animals in care, after seeing a need for these custom made products.  I have also made a large amount of pouches that have been made from up-cycled products to be donated to other carers, wildlife rescuers and local vets.
We look forward to what 2017 will hold and we will continue with our vision of doing what we can to save the environment in our local area and continue to rescue & rehabilitate injured Australian wildlife.  

Thank you to everyone who has commented on our blogs throughout the year - we really appreciate you taking the time to leave some feedback and thoroughly enjoy reading about every one's wildlife journeys as well.  Your photos all help to educate others about the many interesting and beautiful wildlife species that reside in our amazing country.

All the best for 2017 - and lets pray for rain!!

Judi & Brendon, teenagers and critters 
The Gray Family.

Gray Family - Jarowair - 2/01/2017

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Thank you for leaving a comment on Jarowair Our Patch - your feedback is much appreciated, Kind Regards, Judi & Brendon