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WILDLIFE REHABILITATION & ORPHAN CARE
Dr Tonia Cochran’s science and farming background and over 40 years of experience in wildlife care has furnished her with a wide range of skills that she uses to care for the diversity of animals brought to Inala’s door. The deep passion of Inala’s team for Tasmania’s fauna has resulted in countless animals of various species being released back into the wild in the Tasmanian ‘bush’ or on the Inala property.
The Inala Foundation enables wildlife care in several key ways:
Wildlife Rehabilitation & Orphan care
At any given time we have between one and a dozen varying ages of injured or orphaned animals in the facility at Inala.
These are often Bennett's Wallabies and Tasmanian Pademelons, but the list of rehabilitated species is varied and impressive and includes the likes of Brown Falcon, Tasmanian Pademelon, Long Nosed Potoroo, Echidna, Little Pygmy Possum, Brush-tailed Possum, Little Penguin, and even Blue-tongued Lizard! Our most famous success is a white Bennett’s Wallaby who was found at pinky stage (only 200 grams in weight) and went on to live out a long and happy life on the Inala Reserve.
- As well as the in-house work caring for wildlife, the Inala team works with Bonorong and DPIPWE to assist with the transport and care of injured and orphaned wildlife.
- Tonia is a mentor for those who are learning to become wildlife carers on the island and we facilitate the learning process for wildlife in their care journey, helping them grow their confidence with our support.
Sadly roadkill in Tasmania is very high and is the cause of most of the orphans that end up in our care.
Would you like to help?
Inala has a long and proud history in wildlife rehabilitation, caring for injured and abandoned animals.
Rose, was left an orphaned joey after her mother was hit by a car on Bruny Island. Raised by carers within the Inala team and released within the Inala property, she drops by the office occasionally and in the winter of 2020, introduced us to her second joey (pictured in Rose's pouch).
Community education and awareness:
- We visit the Bruny School and invite many local school groups to visit Inala to learn about the wildlife that lives around them and how they can best protect and respect the wildlife on Bruny and Tasmania.
- We participate in many community groups and local business organisations to assist with spreading awareness of wildlife protection issues and ensure that visitors to Bruny have the knowledge to act respectfully around all the wildlife they may encounter.
Roadkill reduction and management:
- We work with the Bruny Island Environment Network on methods of reducing driving speeds and improving driving behaviour (particularly at dawn and dusk when wildlife is most active).
- The whole Inala team collectively stop at every roadkill we see on Bruny and check the pouch of dead females for any surviving orphans. We then remove the body a good distance from the road. The reason for this is three fold: (1) it is safer for the vehicle traffic without a body on the road (2) it is safer for the scavenging mammals who may come to feed on the body at night and (3) it is safer for raptors that may come down to feed and get hit by vehicles before they can fly away.
- We worked with Pademelon Creative to make a one page information sheet for the community on how to act when they find an injured animal, with all the best numbers to call for additional help and suggestions on what supplies to carry in their vehicle to be prepared. Together we also produce red cellophane packs with information on how to visit and respectfully view the Little Penguins on Bruny Island, these are widely distributed around the key tourism locations on Bruny Island and have been very successful in raising awareness of using red light to reduce stress and damage to nocturnal wildlife.
Wildlife Habitat Preservation:
- When the orphans are ready to be released into the wild they are gradually soft-released onto the 1,500 acre inala conservation reserve where they can have a choice of suitable rich habitats with strong food and shelter resources we ensure that there is grass as a food source year round by keeping the open pasture areas well tended.
- We work to preserve remnant forest and bush habitat around Bruny Island and where necessary and appropriate we plant key tree and native shrub species.
Removal of Invasive Wildlife and plant species:
Invasive species, as the name suggests, can rapidly dominate an area. There are sadly many examples of invasive non-native species throughout Tasmania though thankfully Bruny Island has escaped some of them.
Inala actively manages and controls the presence and spread of many of these invasive non-native species that pose a real threat to native species, whether it be the encroachment of Blackberry (Rubus fruticosus) through native habitats and the increased fire risk they pose, or the presence of feral cats on the reserve that negatively impact many native species on a daily basis. Inala has a long term record of continual monitoring and control of invasive non-native species.
- we work in support of the local council on their Cat Management Program which is already showing hopeful results in reduced numbers of Cats and subsequent increased numbers of species such as Long-nosed Potoroo and Eastern Quoll, as well as the return of small native mammals such as Velvet-furred rat and Antechinus to the Inala property.
- The more we understand, the better we can help protect our wildlife. We encourage and support many research students from universities such as The University of Tasmania (UTas) and the Australian National University (ANU) who are working on diverse projects relating to the wildlife of Tasmania.
- Many of the integral supporters of the Inala Foundation come from backgrounds in academia, research, teaching and conservation; their input into the hive mind of Foundation knowledge is invaluable.