FAQs About Wildlife
Q. Is Pilbara Wildlife Carers Association funded by the government to rescue native wildlife?
No. PWCA does not receive any funding from the government. We rely totally on donations received from the community and sponsorship from Industry to continue the work of rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing wildlife. There are grants available, however these time consuming to apply for and we are never assured of the outcome. Currently we receive dozens of calls every day. If you would like to make a donation to help provide service, please click here.
Q. How many calls does Pilbara Wildlife Carers receive?
During busy periods in October and February, PWCA receives up to 30 calls a day. In total PWCA receives about 5000 calls a year.
Q. Is wildlife protected by the law?
All native wildlife is protected under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2018. It is an offence to harm native wildlife or move them from where they are found. PWCA is here to rehabilitate wildlife that is orphaned, sick or injured for release back into the environment. For further information regarding the protected status of native animals please contact the Regional Office on 9182 2000 during office hours.
Q. What do I do if I can visibly see the animal is injured?
If it is safe for you to do so, please pick up and wrap the injured animal and then call the mobile number and consider taking the animal directly to your nearest wildlife carer for assessment. Here in Western Australia most vets are untrained on wildlife and are not able to charge to treat native wildlife so often will not attend to wildlife, or only attend to them after hours. Use a towel or blanket to cover the animal, pick it up gently and firmly, and place it into a well-ventilated box for transport. Please keep the animal warm, in a dark and quiet environment. Do not transport the animal in the boot of your car or attempt to give any food/water. Please see our “What to do when you find injured wildlife."
As these animals are wild, some can be dangerous when injured or stressed. This includes larger animals and their young such as kangaroos, wallabies, also fruit bats (flying-foxes), snakes and birds of prey. These animals should only be handled by an experienced rescuer or wildlife carer to avoid injury to youself or further stress and injury to the animal. Please call our Emergency Phone Service on 0438 924 842 ASAP. If you are able to do so, please stay with the animal and keep an eye on it from a short distance away while you wait for a volunteer to arrive.
Q. Does Pilbara Wildlife Carers Association deal with non-native animals?
Yes. If you have found a non-native animal such as a pigeon or a fox, please be aware that Pilbara Wildlife Carers Association is available to assist with non native animals in accordance with the DEC rules and regulations. We also provide assistance with non-native animals, including domestic animals such as sheep, goats, horses, ducks, geese, donkeys or camels.
Pilbara Wildlife Carers Association does not take care of cats or dogs, please contact SAFE on 91854634 or your local council.
Q. Is native wildlife allowed to be kept as pets?
No. It is not allowed under the wildlife act, and as an Association we do not condone the keep of native Wildlife passed the point that they are ready for release.
Q. What do I do if I have found a young or injured bird?
Wrap it up and keep it warm and contact the associations mobile 0438924842.
During October and November, many of the Pilbara’s young birds are going through the fledgling stage of their development. When fledglings emerge out of their nest, they can spend up to 2 weeks or more learning to fly and hunt for themselves. During this period, they are still being fed by their parents and should not be interfered with unless obviously grounded, which leaves them open to attack by cats, or injured. Many swooping birds that people perceive as aggressive, are simply trying to be good parents. This protective behaviour lasts only a few weeks. You can protect yourself by wearing a hat or carrying an umbrella while in the area. Baby birds have differing needs, so identification is necessary, however the most important element is warmth, which can be difficult to understand in the Pilbara’s harsh climate, but airconditioning can seep through a box and chill a bird so make sure birds are kept somewhere like the laundry.
Q. What do I do if I have found a quoll?
If you have found a baby quoll and its parents are nowhere to be seen, please call Emergency Phone Service on 0438 924 842. The quoll can be wrapped in something warm and soft and placed in a box in a quiet, dark area. You can keep it warm by filling a hot water bottle or drink bottle with hot water from the tap (not boiling water from the kettle), wrapping the hot water bottle in two layers of towel and placing it underneath the baby quoll. Please do not attempt to feed the baby. An adult quoll that has been brought in by your cat or dog will need to be assessed, even if it is not visibly injured. Quolls have very sharp teeth which can and will inflict painful wounds, so please handle with extra care!
Q. What if I find an injured echidna on the road?
Echidnas can travel up to 10km from their burrows per day, leaving their young behind for 5 to 7 days in search for food. If you see an echidna, please keep your dog inside the house. If the echidna is not injured, it will move on within 24 hours, so please be patient. If it’s injured, please call the Emergency Phone Service on 0438 924 842. Echidnas can be pickup with welding gloves, but must be kept securely as they are excellent climbers and escape artists.
Q. What should I do if I find an injured bat?
These amazing animals are close to primates in intelligence. Unfortunately all bats are capable of carrying and transmitting, Australian Bat Lyssavirus. IMPORTANT: Please DO NOT handle a sick or injured flying fox or microbat.. Call the Emergency Phone Service on 0438 924 842 for assistance and wait for a trained rescuer to arrive.
Bats are essential to our eco-system and many trees depend upon them for survival. If there are fruit bats feeding from trees in or near your garden, they are attracted to the temporary food source while the trees are fruiting or flowering and are not likely to be around for more than a few weeks. Netting, thrown loosely over trees, can often causes fatal injuries when fruit bats become entangled and struggle desperately to escape. Wildlife-friendly alternatives are available; click here for a brochure on wildlife friendly netting options. Microbats are reported to consume 110kgs of insects per annum and are rarely seen as they are small and fast flying
Q. What do I do if I have found a snake or a reptile?
As the weather warms up means that snakes and other reptiles often come out to bask in the sun. Pilbara Wildlife Carers Association are not licensed to handle or relocate snakes so please contact a licensed snake handler. If you require contact details of a snake handler, please call Dept Environment and Conservation on 9182 2000, or Karratha Snake Catchers Facebook page.
Q. What is the main cause of native animals coming into care?
By far the biggest cause of injury to native fauna is from Motor Vehicle Accidents. The second most common cause of injury is from domestic animals such as cats or dogs. Even if the animal appears to be uninjured it is important that is properly checked over, contact us and bring it into care.
Pilbara Wildlife Carers encourages responsible pet ownership, through the use of cat shacks/enclosures, proper double door aviaries and the clipping of pet birds’ wings. Clean water, good nutrition, plenty of sunshine and exercise.
If your cat has brought you a native animal or bird, it will need immediate attention, even if no injury is evident. Please contact us our Emergency Phone Service on 0438 924 842 for further assistance.
Q. What do I do if I have found a turtle?
If you find a turtle on the beach that is not dead contact a wildlife carer immediately and transport it to them as quickly as possible. Take care to make sure that there is adequate padding underneath them as they can bruise very easily. DO NOT put a wet towel over the turtle. This will quickly cool and chill the turtle.
The same applies if you have found a turtle floating in the water that is unable to dive. Turtles become dehydrated when they float, so it is important to get them into care as soon as possible.
Q. What if I find a dead animal?
If you find a dead animal lying beside the road and you can safely do so, please pull over in a safe spot on the side of the road. Many of our native animals are marsupials which means they carry pouch young. Even if the adult animal has been killed, there is still a good chance that her pouch young may have survived, can be rescued, rehabilitated and released back to the wild.