Apart from planting trees, we are also wildlife carers, and together with a loose-knit but dedicated group of carers in the area, we will soon be forming Daintree Life Wildlife Care. Our main focus is on bats, but as you can see from these photos and stories, we also care for a wide range of other wildlife from our region. Pictured here are three orphaned baby Northern Brown Bandicoots. All were successfully soft released once old enough. If you live in the Daintree Area or surrounds and find an animal in trouble, please phone:
07 4098 9056
“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”
- Albert Einstein
FLYING-FOXES: nature's foresters
Often badly maligned in the media because of perceived fear and false information, flying-foxes are both a joy to care for and being long-distance pollinators and seed dispersers are absolutely vital to healthy Australian forest systems. Here in tropical north Queensland we get two species into care: the Spectacled Flying-fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) and the Little red Flying-fox (Pteropus scapulatus) - both orphans each year, and adults - predominantly from barbed wire entanglement. All our carers are vaccinated against ABLV and you can only catch this disease from being bitten or scratched, so as always, our take-home advice is do not touch or handle bats. Call a wildlife carer.
little Raj, the baby TURTLE
Little Raj was a baby Krefft's River Turtle (Emydura macquarii krefftii) who came into our care from a local wildlife park as a tiny hatchling weighing just 3 grams. Starting in a small tank on a diet of goldfish flakes, he soon progressed to a much larger filtered pond and was then fed finely chopped raw prawn, fish and chicken. He also liked liked pondweed which was added to his pond, chopped up native Syzygium fruit and all the live insects and spiders dropped in. His two favourites being cockroaches and Katydids (a type of grasshopper). Little Raj was an absolute joy to have in care and was released many months later, weighing 163 grams, into a suitable creek location at Miallo.
Lewis, the orphaned WALLABY
In care with our good friend, Jess, this was Lewis, an orphaned Agile Wallaby joey (Macropus agilis), who was orphaned when his mum was unfortunately hit and killed by a car. Agile Wallabies live in northern Australia and New Guinea, and Lewis was raised with two other Agile orphans on a special substitute Kangaroo milk replacer. Soon progressing from pouches to a safe covered grassy yard, they learned to eat grass and other vegetation for some time before progressing to a soft release facility near Cooktown. If you see car-hit Kangaroos and Wallabies on the side of the road. Please check pouches of females, as joeys can live for many days.
Ares the lesser SOOTY OWL
In care with our good friend, Jess, this is Ares, a Lesser Sooty Owl (Tyto multipunctata) who sustained a bad injury to her wing -rendering her unable to be released back to the wild. These medium-sized owls are endemic to the wet tropics region and are not overly common. The good news for Ares is that she adapted extremely well to life in care and ate really well from the start. After discussions, it was decided that she would go into care with a local wildlife park, and from there into a zoo captive breeding program. All in all a good result for this beautiful owl, who otherwise would have needed euthanasia.
BATS: flying-foxes & microbats
Our primary focus is on bats, and in Australia, we have around 90 species, which are broadly divided up into the large fruit and nectar-feeding megabats and the smaller insectivorous microbats. Our large megabats include flying-foxes, with wingspans up to 1.2 metres, as well as the much smaller tube-nosed and blossom bats. Microbats use echolocation to find prey, which includes insects, spiders, small fish and even other microbats. All Australian bats are vital to our environment, but also carry a small but real risk of carrying Australian Bat Lyssavirus (ABLV)- which can be fatal. All bat carers are vaccinated, and if you find a bat in trouble, DO NOT TOUCH. Call your nearest wildlife rescue group.
MICROBATS: pest controllers
In Australia, we have around 80+ species of insectivorous microbat, with around 25 species commonly found in the wet tropics. Pictured here is just one - a baby Eastern Long-eared Bat (Nyctophilus bifax). Hollywood, myth and folklore have a lot to answer for in generating fear because these little guys are nature's natural pest controllers, and vital for our environment. Just one adult microbat can eat up to 600 mosquitoes per half hour and farmers around the world are starting to realise the full value these winged bug munchers play in protecting crops as diverse as potatoes to coffee from damaging insect attack. As with flying-foxes, please do not touch or handle microbats. Call a wildlife carer.
A SMALL SELECTION OF ANIMALS WE
HAVE HAD IN CARE
Karrkay EASTERN TUBE-NOSE
One of the most endearing characters we have cared for was little 'Karrkay' an orphaned baby Eastern Tube-nosed Bat (Nyctimene robinsoni) - a small fruit-eating megabat which lives in northeastern Australia and New Guinea. Karrkay arrived into care weighing just 10 grams on a dead mother from barbed wire entanglement and was named Karrkay, which is the local Yalanji word meaning 'little one'. Karrkay was unusual and extremely entertaining with his antics. After weaning he loved his diet of apple, pear, rockmelon and native figs. He was in care for several months and was soft released at 43 grams into an area full of multiple fruiting fig species.
'CJ' the grassland MELOMYS
CJ was an orphaned Grassland Melomys (Melomys burtoni) - an Australian native rodent. Rescued at Cape Tribulation (thanks Mandy from CJ's), he came into our care weighing 15 grams. Starting on a milk replacer/farex slurry, he soon progressed to native grasses, grass and sedge seed, and fruit and vegetables - rocketing to 38 grams in just 14 days in care. Melomys grow very fast and he was released at our place just after dusk in an area of dense grasses and sedges, with support food put out in the area for several nights. We love this photo as he loved holding the syringe with his front paws. Go well little guy.
HELP US continue our work
Caring for our wildlife is an expensive business, and you can help by donating for food, veterinary care and supplies. This photo is just one week's fruit supply for 80 orphan flying foxes. Choose from bank EFT or the orange PayPal button.
Bank: Commonwealth Bank
Name: Daintree Life
BSB: 064 835
Account: 1020 1397
Swift Code: CTBAAU2S