Beau and Monique, Dogs, Dog, Travel, Australia, Photos and Pictures

Monday, June 29, 2009

Can the Wild Koala be saved ?????

 pauls place

Can We Save our Wild Koala?
The Conference

Friends of the Koala, also widely known by the acronym FOK, certainly know how to deliver a memorable conference.  As the town of Lismore was declared a natural disaster zone and the Wilson River peaked at an incredible twenty centimetres below the town levee (nearly eleven metres), koala conservationists from around Australia braved the elements and gathered for the Koala Conservation Conference, the first of its kind in Australia. Unfortunately, due to the treacherous weather conditions and flooding many of the conference delegates had to leave Lismore in the early hours of the morning and with them several of the guest speakers for the day, including Professor Frank Carrick and Dr Bill Ellis of the University of Queensland who were to respectively deliver the Keynote Address and a paper on Climate Change and the Koala. Also making an emergency departure was the Conference Opening Guest Speaker, Colleen Wood of Southern Ash Wildlife Shelter in Victoria who is currently caring for the famous koala Sam, who reached world wide fame by those amazing photos showing her drinking from a fireman water bottle while holding tightly onto his hand.  The FOK Team re-planned with ease however and the conference was launched with Mark Graham of Coffs Harbour City Council with his paper Are Our Laws and Policies Knocking North Coast Koalas Out Of Their Trees?  Which I must admit set a rather depressing atmosphere to the start of the conference. which unfortunately seemed to last the entire day through as more and more speakers verified Mark’s words.
Habitat Loss Mark painted a very grim picture for the future of our koalas, particularly those in the northern areas of NSW, an area which is drawing more and more sea-changers who see the beauty of the north as prime human habitat.  Sadly, as more humans migrate north massive urban development follows resulting in habitat destruction for our precious and vulnerable koalas. Development, so it would seem, is today top priority and it comes at the cost of many of our native animal species.  Numerous loopholes exist in current state and local laws that allow indiscriminate broad scale clearing of native vegetation and many of the agencies that are responsible for the koala, including the Department of Environment and Climate Change, Department of Planning and the Catchment Management Authority are turning a blind eye and are not pursuing breaches of the legislation designed to protect the koala and its habitat.  We are seeing local extinctions of the koala as a result, even in areas where the koala has quite recently been considered abundant.The State Environmental Planning Policy No 44 – Koala Habitat Protection (or better known simply as SEPP44) as outlined by Sue Higginson, a solicitor with Environmental Defenders Office, is a law that was introduced to New South Wales in 1995 after recognising critical problems in koala conservation. 
It would seem though that today, 14 years after the policy commenced, we are not seeing improvements in koala conservation and SEPP44 is not considered as a useful or effective tool in the management of koala conservation.  Part of the reason for this is because SEPP44 is not valid for land sizes under one hectare and much of the koala habitat in northern New South Wales is located on land parcels that are under one hectare and so SEPP44 is not relevant.  As a result large areas of koala habitat are cleared in a patchwork manner and nothing can be done about it. SEPP44 is also not recognised on land dedicated or reserved under the National Parks and Wildlife Act or the Forestry Act, and as mentioned above government agencies are not interested in pursuing relevant legislation breaches when it comes to native animal protection and so these areas seem to fall into a black hole.
SEPP44 encourages local governments to implement a Koala Plan of Management (KPoM).  However the wording within the policy is vague at best, stating that plan of management may be prepared for the use of the word renders the policy redundant as it is merely a suggestion not an enforcement.  The word must surely would have been more useful terminology in a policy aimed at protecting a species. Out of the 106 local government areas listed in SEPP44 (areas with known koala habitat) only one has implemented a Koala Plan of Management and that is Port Stephens.  Coffs Harbour was the first council to implement a KPoM but it has since been audited and was found to have failed in its objective.  Taree’s council, we were told by Christeen McLeod of Koalas in Care, wrote a KPoM some years ago but it has never been implemented.Sue Higginson writes that State Environmental Planning Policies are necessary and important, but there is dire need for policies such as SEPP44 to keep up with changing pressures and growing knowledge.  SEPP44 needs to be monitored and assessed in order to be able to be considered and measured as an effective species protection tool. The long awaited and welcomed recent approval and release of the NSW Recovery Plan for the Koala makes specific references to the need to reform SEPP44, which arguably do not go far enough.
Disease Jon Hanger, of the Australia Wildlife Hospital at Australia Zoo, presented his paper “Infectious Disease in Koalas: Implications for Conservation” which seemed to deepen the depressed mood of the conference.  Jon discussed how, along with habitat destruction, koala diseases are undoubtedly one the of most critical threatening processes contributing to their dramatic population decline in New South Wales and Queensland.  Two of the most troubling diseases for the koala is Retrovirus (KoRV) and Chlamydia which are both still relatively misunderstood.
John told us that “Koala Retrovirus are fragile organisms that are able to integrate their own genetic sequences into the DNA strands of the cell that they have infected.  In doing so they are able to hijack host cell processes to produce many more virus particles in effect, turning the host cell into a virus factory”.  Scary!  While in this process the virus may also “accidentally” switch on genes of the host cell, and this in turn may cause cancer.
The following conditions may by caused by infection with KoRV
• Leukaemia (a cancer of the blood)
Myelodysplasia (abnormalities in production of blood cells)
Immunodeficiency syndrome (koala “AIDS”)
And other cancers, including lymphoma, osteochondroma and mesothelioma, and more.
Jon believes, based on current research, that 100% of the koala population in NSW and Queensland are effected by KoRV at some level.  Interestingly, it would seem that the prevalence of KoRV in Victorian and South Australian koalas is considerably lower, but that result may be due more to the lack of study in that region.  The reasons for such a high prevalence of KoRV is that it is a genetic disease, inherited from parent to offspring, but it also spreads from koala to koala in close contact, similar to the spread of other viruses.
Jon told us that it is still unknown where the virus came from and what kind of impact it will have on koala populations.  Studies into this continue.
It is considered that Chlamydiosis is now more common in koalas because of KoRV.  Chlamydia affects most mainland koala populations and many islands ones too, but it is more common in the northern koalas of NSW and Queensland. 
Some of the symptoms of Chlamydia include:
Cystitis
Conjunctivitis
Reproductive tract disease
Infertility
Again it would appear that southern koalas are not affected by these illness as much as the northern koalas are.  Chlamydia in southern koalas is relatively minor and rarely cause debilitating disease where in contrast severe chlamydial disease is commonly reported in their northern cousins. Koalas that are infected with Chlamydia and KoRV may not show any outward signs of illness, and therefore some believe that these diseases are not as prevalent as they really are. It is clear that more research into koala diseases is paramount to saving the species.  Jon strongly urged all to lobby government to reach this goal and even suggested that as our past and previous government seem very lax on native animal research - and indeed saving species from decline – that we should all be “voting green”!
Conclusion
In conclusion, it would appear that these two key issues that threaten the survival of the wild koala – habitat loss and disease – really need to be fused into one very big important issue.  If we as a nation focus on habitat protection only and comprehensive disease research is not funded and quickly implemented then we are simply wasting our time.  And vice versa.
We need to see more laws that protect the koala – better laws that don’t have loopholes or can simply be ignored by a lazy government.  We need to see legislation breaches pursued.  We need to see the rehabilitation or construction of wildlife corridors for ease of movement for the koala and we need to implement a comprehensive public education program – disturbingly there is still so many people who share the koalas home that don’t know enough about the koala, how they live and what threatens them.  And we need to see comprehensive and in-depth research carried out on koala diseases – and we need to see it NOW! The state of koala is in a very bad way.  Along with these two key issues there are the others that threaten all of our wildlife including predator attack and road kill and injury.  It is clear that there is much work to be done to ensure the longevity of these beautiful Australian icons.
The question is…. can we save our wild koalas in time?

This report is written with the help of Jon Hanger and Mark Graham. Colin Wood kindly forwarded their conference papers to me.  Many thanks to all of them.

Sources:
Are Our Laws and Policies Knocking North Coast Koalas Out of Their Trees? – Cr Mark Graham
Infectious Disease in Koalas:  Implications for Conservation – Jon Hanger, Australia Zoo
State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) No. 44 – Koala Habitat Protection

posted by Monique at 2:18 pm  

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Stevie worries

 Stevie Hall_Mcleods_daughters

Jaz is taken back when Lily reveals her dad Frank is talking about proposing to her. Jaz thought she’d put the kiss with Frank to bed — it happened in the heat of the moment, but now knows she was wrong. Meanwhile, Frank’s hopes for a stable family life take a pounding when he learns that his ex-wife has a new job in Queensland and intends to take Lily with her.Ben’s ex-girlfriend, Monique is playing on his mind. He tries to contact her with no luck, and resigns himself to another day in the district without her. Meanwhile, Marcus has been looking for a new overseer for weeks. Clashing constantly with Ben, neither of them can accept that Ben is right for the job. Marcus isn’t offering and Ben wouldn’t take it — or so they say. With the district yard dog trials approaching, Ben is unexpectedly befriended by a border collie dog. Marcus, however, is unaware of this, and unwittingly denies any knowledge about the dog to its irate owner, the burly, heavily tattooed Trevor. When Marcus finds out, he insists they  take the highly trained dog back. But when Ben steals the dog back, believing it’s being abused, Marcus is furious — Ben has got them into even more trouble. After finding Annie, her showjumping horse from Europe, grazing in the windmill paddock, Jaz is surprised to discover she has been personally delivered by Misha, her friend from Europe who happens to be a wealthy prince. The others are stunned to discover he is also Jaz’s ex-boyfriend, and they went out for two years. Jaz is thrilled to see her beloved horse, and riding Annie again reminds her of exactly what she is missing with her career, but she has no evidence to prove her innocence before the hearing in Europe. Tayler invites her new study-buddy, Wolfgang, to the ball. But later Wolfgang lures Tayler up to the homestead, and his intentions are not at all honourable. This time Tayler decks him, just as Patrick is coming to the rescue again. Patrick can’t win though — Tayler can look after herself, and Patrick needs to back off. When Ted Franklin, the boss of Fisher Meats, pulls out of a lucrative deal with Drovers, Stevie is shocked to discover it is because Ted believes she is having a relationship with Marcus. Via Beth Martin, Stevie discovers the rumour has spread all over Gungellan because of a photo of them dancing at the ball which has appeared in the local paper. Stevie is furious, especially when Marcus makes matters worse when he ends up in a fight with Ned Ford after Ned comments on the rumour. Stevie is angry and upset that everything seems to be out of control — it brings back painful memories of the impact that small town gossip had on her when she was pregnant with Rose. She and Marcus fight over how to handle things — she wants them to spend less time together, while he wants to carry on as before.

posted by Monique at 9:31 am  

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Scooby Doo

Noelle

Langs deze weg wil ik toch iedereen nog eens waarschuwen voor de eigenaren van de dieren winkel Scooby-Doo in Tegelen. Dit zijn echt geen dierenliefhebbers. iedereen in mijn vrienden lijst heb ik het verhaal al door gemaild. Ik heb op 30 januari een pup gekocht. Dit pupje was te koop in Montfort bij Roermond. Toen we het adres gingen opzoeken op het internet bleken deze mensen een kennel te hebbne met Deense doggen en Mastino’s. Dus dachten we dat moet wel goed zitten. Noelle was een pup van hun huishond werd ons verteld. Ze was een kruising tussen een shi-tzu en een sharpei. Eenmaal daar aangekomen, de vrouw stond al raar te kijken wist van niets, kregen we 2 pups te zien, een was dus Noelle en de ander was een reutje, kruising jack russel. Dus uit een ander nest. Deze zag er redelijk uit, maar Noelle was extreem mager. We vonden Noelle zielig, het was zo’n klein dingetje maar och zo vriendelijk, dat we toch besloten om haar mee te nemen. Och jee toen konden ze haar dieren paspoort niet vinden, en dat voor  een kennel, hard werd er gezocht en uiteindelijk hadden ze het gevonden. (achteraf twijfel ik dus of dit wel Noelles papieren waren) Nou wij blij met Noelle naar huis, en ze voelde zich meteen thuis, niet gejankt, alleen maar blij gekwisspel, daarom noemde wij haar Happy Chappi. de volgende dag ging het al mis, er zat bloed bij haar ontlasting. En bij daglicht was zo toch wel erg mager, je kon haar knookjes zien, vooral bij haar nekje. Het was een zondag maar we namen geen risico en zijn meteen daar de dierenarts met haar gegaan. Deze schrok bij het aanzien van Noelle, en naar een test te hebben gedaan was de schrik nog groter. Dit hondje, dat zo klein was, ze woog 1.8 kilo, zat onder de parasieten, zoveel parasieten had de dokter nog niet in een hondje gezien, het beestje moest vreselijke buikpijn hebben. Nou kuur mee naar huis en hopen dat het daat mee over is. Thuis gekomen en haar eten gegeven, bleek ze een rare eet gewoonte te hebben. Ze pakte een brokje uit haar bakje en liep naar een hoekje om het daar op te eten. dat was zo’n zielig gezicht. Nou na die eerste kuur heeft ze er nog 3 moeten hebben om van de parasieten af te komen. Toen bleek onder tussen ook dat ze jeugd schurft heeft, welke zich bij haar openbaarde omdat ze helemaal geen weerstand had. Nu moest ze ook nog met een of ander chemisch middel behandeld worden. om de 6 dagen en in het flesje zat genoeg voor 6 beurten. Ook hier moest een 2e juur op volgen. Ik moet zeggen dat ik na de 1ste dokters bezoek die mensen van de KINGSMILL heb gebeld en ze me met €50.00 tegemoet kwamen. Noelle moest ook nog haar puppie spuitje krijgen. Nou bleek dus dat diezelfde mensen, Kelly en Danny heten ze geloof ik een dieren winkel begonnen in Tegelen. Nou wilden wij wel eens weten hoe het nou kan dat als je een Kennel runt, en vaker per jaar nestjes hebt, je niet kunt zien dat een hondje zo ziek is. dus wij er heen om verhaal te halen. We gingen niet voor geld, we wilden alleen weten, hoe kan dit nou…… Danny schrok zich al een hoedje toen we binnen kwamen, ik  vroeg of zij de KIngsmill in Roermond hadden en hij eh nee… ik zei Montfort dan, eh ja. Ik leg hem uit waarom we daar waren en over de toestand van Noelle. En zijn eerste slimme reactie was, hoe kan dat nou… Toen kwam zijn vrouw binnen en dit is de tante hoor waar je voor moet oppassen. Ze gooit met termen waar het je van duizelt. Nu bleek Noelle dus geen pup van hun huishond te zijn maar uit een nestje van haar moeders hond. Waarop wij zeiden dat doet er dus eigenlijk niet toe, die had het ook kunnen zien en er wat aan moeten doen. En we hebben haar bij jullie gekocht en je moeder wisten we niets van en hebben we ook niet gezien. Toen was het ja maar mijn moeder is al 67 en zit aan de zuurstof, maar wou graag een nestje maar kon er niet voor zorgen. Waarop susanne zei, daar hebben wij als klant geen boodschap aan. Toen zei de Kelly, nou als Noelle bij ons was gebleven dan hadden we haar laten inslapen, want je hebt als kennel je naam hoog te houden, en dat doe je dus door zieke pups niet te behandelen en extra zorg te geven waar dat nodig is, nee dan laat je ze inslapen.Dus had de dierenarts gelijk, als ze bij hun was gebleven had ze het niet overleeft. We waren verbrouwereerd. Ja zegt ze als je een nestje hebt dan zie je niet dat een het wat minder doet, waarop wij zeiden dat we vonden dat je dat dan juist wel moest kunnen zien. Maar goed we hebben het hier bij gelaten en zijn naar huis gegaan. Heb Noelle nog eens extra geknuffeld en iedere keer als ik haar zie dan denk ik, goh ben zo blij dat we je hebben mee genomen. Maar we waren toch ook wel erg boos, en hebben toen een reactie achter gelaten op buurtlink, waar zij een advertentie hadden gezet onder “een leuk nieuw dierenwinkel geopend” Nou niet veel later werden we via die zelfde buurtlink bedreigd en voor rotte vis uit gemaakt. Na verder zoeken waar dit nou vandaan kwam, bleken we toch weer op De Kingsmill uit te komen. Ze lieten reacties achter onder verschillende namen, en deze fitieve mensen bleken dus zijzelf te zijn. Dit ging zo ver dat ik via    mijn eigen hotmail adres, een echte dreigement kreeg. Dit adres konden ze alleen hebben van hun webside, waar ik destijds op gereageerd had omdat we ze telefonisch niet te pakken kregen, om verhaal te halen over Noelle. Dus het is wel duidelijk wat voor mensen dit zijn. Kijk dus goed uit als je hier wat koopt, het zou me niet verwonderen als het “goedkope”dierenvoer wat ze verkopen over de datum zit of zo, en kijk vooral uit met het kopen van dieren bij hun, je weet het maar nooit dat zie je wel weer. Dierenliefde staat bij hun hoog in het vaandel. Is het geen snoesje………. En ze is dus op deze foto echt geen 2 en een halve maand als we haar papieren moeten geloven, maar maakt allemaal niet uit, ze is van ons

Noelle

posted by Monique at 9:31 am  

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