After a COVID-forced interruption to FAWNA's training schedule, 19 FAWNA volunteers gathered on the Mid North Coast on October 27 for a day learning about water, sea and shorebirds in practical and theory sessions.
Trainees came from Green Point to the south and as far as north as Port Macquarie for the training day in Tuncurry.
"We are so lucky to have Cathy Gilmore from Australian Seabird Rescue on the Central Coast come to the FAWNA area to show our volunteers the tried and true methods to catch the birds that get into trouble. We were called to 39 pelicans in the last financial year," Wendy Bawn, southern seabird co-ordinator for the region's wildlife rescue group, FAWNA, said.
Pelicans in particular are a much-loved species and regularly become entangled or ingest marine debris and discarded fishing tackle. They present real difficulties if they are still able to swim and fly, making rescue and treatment extremely challenging to wildlife volunteers.
Swallowing or entrapment by fishing lines and hooks will usually result in a slow and painful death if not rescued and treated.
The rookie rescue team was welcomed at Big4 Great Lakes Park at Tuncurry.
Thanks to the good folk at Tuncurry's Monin Seafood Wholesalers the trainee rescuers were able to tempt the pelicans closer with donated fish frames.
If you see a pelican or other wildlife in distress, call FAWNA's 24 hour rescue line 6581 4141.