Parrot (Photo June Lahm) Owl (Photo June Lahm)

The island is still home to many different native birds, animals and reptiles, however, the presence of people and domestic animals has decreased the number of species. Ring-tailed possums, koalas and small birds can no longer be found on Scotland Island.

You may have already noticed the increased number of sick brush-tailed possums as well as rainbow lorikeets and cockatoos suffering from parrot viruses known as ‘runner syndrome’ and ‘beak and feather’ disease respectively.

All these symptoms can be directly attributed to the actions of people. We need to protect our biodiversity by co-existing with the species that remain. Here’s help in how to do it.

Tips for living with native animals

Please do not:

  • Feed native birds and animals! Food supplied by well-meaning people results in:
    • increased sickness from calcium and other food deficiencies eg. lean beef or mince, is very poor in calcium and many of the birds and suffer from calcium deficiency; i.e. soft beaks, brittle bones and poor feather growth
    • an over-abundance of some species and the disappearance of others, which can have a serious effect on small bird populations. You may have noticed we have many large birds, but very few small birds such as finches or wrens.
  • Let your pets run free: Cats hunt and kill birds and other small wildlife — it’s in their nature to do so! Dogs can attack possums and harass echidnas.
  • Destroy the native plants on your land.

Please do:

  • Protect the natural habitat
  • Protect your property against bushfires
  • Plant native species in your garden
  • Control your pets
  • Help any injured bird or animal you find by:
    • catching it safely by throwing a towel over it
    • handling it as little as possible
    • putting it in a box so that it can’t escape, and placing the box in a warm, quiet, dark room
    • Calling WIRES Sydney Rescue Office on 8966 3333 (24 hours — 365 days a year) The Sydney Rescue Office will arrange for a rescuer to contact you and organise a place for you to take the animal.

Planting appropriate native plants can help to restore the balance between wildlife and humans. See Planting and Weeding for more information.