Every year thousands of animals are injured in inappropriate netting of fruit trees, or in discarded netting. It entangles birds, lizards, snakes, bats and even possums.
The netting cuts their mouths to ribbons as they try to bite themselves free, and wraps so tightly around them that circulation is cut off and tissue dies, days or even weeks later.
The animals die of thirst, starvation, strangulation or outright pain and fear in the nets. Many of those ‘rescued’ die later as a result of secondary infection, or are euthanased because they are unreleasable.
The nets go on killing year after year even when they have become tattered to the point they are no longer protecting fruit. Many landowners leave fruit to fall on the ground and rot, or the fruit are of such poor quality they do not eat them anyway – yet the nets remain killing wildlife.
Netting should always be disposed of carefully as animals such as snakes and lizards are very easily trapped when it is left lying on the ground. They are like ghost nets in the ocean, discarded fishing nets that trap and kill marine life.
Cheilospirura gymnorhinis is often referred to as the throat worm of juvenile magpies. It can be mistaken for Gape Worm (Gape Worm is red; Throat worm is white).
Throat worm occurs in the oral cavity and in the pharynx of magpies, butcher-birds, currawongs, magpie-larks and black-faced cuckoo shrikes. C. gymnorhinis burrows its head into the mouth and throat of the host species which then responds by creating a nodule around the parasite.
In severe cases these nodules can cause blockage of the glottis, prevent ingestion of food and cause severe debilitation and death of the host bird.
Manual removal of the parasites by tweezers is recommended in conjunction with the use of Ivermectin oral anthelmintic (drench), available from rural produce store or veterinarian. Euthanasia should be considered as the most humane option for severe burdens of Throat worm.
A colour-mutant magpie chick from Port Macquarie. This young bird is suffering a debilitating burden of Throat worms as evidenced by photos of some of the many hundreds of worms painstakingly removed.
Story Meredith Ryan, FAWNA (NSW) Inc.
Throat worms taken from Magpie Chick. Photos by Andrew Ryan
Womdata is a research database compiled from many sources. Wombats are little studied and research is urgently needed as their numbers decline. You can help.
Research is becoming more urgent in the fight to save the three wombat species (Northern hairy-nosed, Southern hairy-nosed and bare-nosed wombats). The range of this, the largest burrowing animal in the world, has declined due to human impact over the years. This includes habitat loss, shooting, and infestation with introduced mites (mange). Collecting all data into a central database can help the research effort.
We need your wombats’ blood test results.
Do you have any blood test results from wombats? It doesn’t matter how old. The data will be collated and used to assist in wombat research. We don’t only need blood test results: Any other data can be entered into the database. Talk to us if you have some ideas – help us save the wombat.
Australia has one of the largest numbers of wildlife carers in the world. But sadly there is a lack of vets, particularly in remote and rural areas willing and able to provide care.
Wildlife carers are the guardians and saviours of our precious wildlife, working round the clock to rescue, care for, rehabilitate and release the sick and the injured. But when disaster strikes, such as a bush fire, there is often a lack of available qualified vets on hand to treat the affected wildlife.