RELEASED: Seized birds set free near M’boro
Three tawny frogmouths seized from the Fraser Coast Wildlife Sanctuary last year have been released back into the wild.
The controversial decision to take the tawny frogmouths was made by the Department of Environment and Science.
In addition to the birds, a brushtail possum, an Eastern blue-tongue lizard and a laughing kookaburra were also seized.
The lizard and the kookaburra were euthanised because of deformities that impacted on their quality of life.
“After being seized last year, the tawny frogmouths have undergone extensive health checks, with the department’s wildlife vet ensuring the animals are able to hunt and thrive in the wild,” a spokeswoman from the department said.
The tawny frogmouths were released in suitable habitat near Maryborough.
Southern Wildlife Operations Program Coordinator Warren Christensen said many animals that are seized in compliance operations cannot be returned to the wild.
“The risk of disease being transmitted to the wild population could be too great, or they have lost skills from a period in captivity,” Mr Christensen said.
“Some animals we rescue are unable to survive and thrive, or they are simply too unwell or injured to be released.
“Thankfully the three tawny frogmouths exhibited strong instinctive skills that would ensure their survival in the wild.
“Our vets looked them over thoroughly, and we kept them in a suitable environment that ensured they could rehabilitate after being illegally kept in unsuitable conditions,” he said.
Fines for keeping native wildlife without a wildlife authority for a Class 1 offence can be up to $400,350, or two years’ imprisonment.
“Anyone who comes into possession of a native animal suspected to be from the wild should immediately call the department on 1300 130 372.
“Taking a native animal from the wild is illegal and can have a detrimental impact on local populations,” Mr Christensen said.
“It is illegal to take or keep native animals from the wild, however, with the appropriate wildlife authority, it’s possible to keep a native animal bought from a registered seller,” he said.
The tawny frogmouth is listed under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 as a species of least concern.
“If people want to keep native animals, they must be sourced from a person or business who has permits to keep the animal, along with movement permits to prove the origins of the animal.”
If anyone has any information about the illegal take, keep or trade of wildlife, they should call DES on 1300 130 372 or the police.