News and media statements

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Spring brings out wildlife in Esperance

Magpie
Magpie D.Mell, Parks and Wildlife

The arrival of spring and warmer weather means animal activity is on the increase around Esperance.

Parks and Wildlife nature conservation coordinator Stephen Butler said swooping magpies could be intimidating for children and adults alike.

“Magpies can swoop at people to deter potential or perceived threats to their eggs or chicks,” Mr Butler said.

“The department advises avoiding the site where magpies are known to swoop and try not to provoke or harass the bird, as this may make them more defensive.

“If you have to go through the swooping area you could deter the birds from swooping by wearing a hat, carrying an umbrella or holding a stick so it protrudes about 20cm above your head.

“Wearing sunglasses may help protect the eyes, but do not look up if you are being swooped as this could result in an injury to the face or eyes.

“Don’t run, keep moving briskly and be aware of the bird’s movements.”

Reptiles are also emerging and moving about looking for food and patches of warm sun to bask in.

Mr Butler said snakes prefer to avoid contact with people and bites are uncommon.

“When out in the garden or bush be alert for the presence of snakes,” he said. “A snake that feels threatened may hiss or rear up and the best thing a person can do is back away slowly and keep watching it.

“Do not attempt to handle or kill snakes as these actions are the main cause of bites.”

Mr Butler said Australian sea lions and New Zealand fur seal pups haul out on Esperance beaches from time to time, particularly following periods of large swells and rough seas.

“They come ashore to rest and recuperate and will return to the ocean within a few days,” he said.

“It is always best to leave these animals alone, observe them from a safe distance and notify the local Department of Parks and Wildlife office of their presence on the beach.”

Mr Butler also advised people who find young birds on the ground not to pick them up, as this may result in the nestlings having to be hand fed. Parent birds do not generally abandon their young and will in most cases continue to feed and protect them even when they have left the nest prematurely.

Any wildlife-related queries can be directed to the Esperance Department of Parks and Wildlife office on 9083 2100 or contact the department’s Wildcare Helpline on 9474 9055.

Media contact: Parks and Wildlife Media 9219 9999

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Twitter: @WAPARKSWILDLIFE

Last modified on Friday, 26 September 2014 11:18