Cleaning up with wildlife

Litter is an important issue onsite for a number of reasons, firstly it impacts on native wildlife and their habitat, it can cause injury or death with animals getting stuck in cans and bottles, broken glass can cause lacerations, wildlife can become entangled and ingestion can be fatal.

There are at least 77 species of marine wildlife found in Australian waters that are affected by litter and being so close to the coast this is an important issue. Secondly the presence of rubbish, particularly food waste attracts feral animals such as cat, fox, rats and mice.  These species are extremely opportunistic and will readily exploit human related food sources.  Poor waste management such leaving food scraps in the open, overfilling bins, using open top bins or not closing bin lids will attract these animals and allow them to breed and persist on site.  The increase in cat and fox can also result in increased predation of native animals within the project area.  In addition these feral animals can carry and transmit disease such as toxoplasmosis (carried by cats).  This disease can cause flu like symptoms in humans and in some cases can result in encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), neurological disease and can affect the heart, liver, inner ear and eyes.

Maintaining clean work areas, putting rubbish in closed bins and not leaving food scraps out we can look after our wildlife and help reduce the impacts of feral animals.

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Plate 1. Varanus acanthurus caught in can

Plate 2. Recovered Varanus acanthurus

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Plate 3. Cat caught near site

Plate 4. Cat caught near construction site tip


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