A WILDLIFE ROAST ! – Helan Reid

Now that fire restrictions have been lifted it is a good time to burn that pile of garden waste, grass clippings and other rubbish you may have built into a decent sized bonfire.

Over a 2 week period on perfectly still mornings I have pulled my bonfire apart making a small controllable fire, just in case the wind was to spring up as often happens at this time of year. As long as it stays calm I continue to pull debris from the big pile to feed my small fire, raking the edges all the while.

Why did I not just set fire to the big pile?

When I got to the bottom of my pile what I thought was an old piece of carpet actually moved and there was an echidna. I was ever so thankful that I had taken the time to pull apart the big pile and not just take the easy way out by throwing a match into it.

It pays to remember that many of our unique wildlife species such as lizards, snakes, turtles, echidnas and birds often take shelter under our piles of leaf litter and other debris.

 [Ed. note : we have a number of bird sp that also build their nests in the tangle of branches, bark, leaf litter, etc that we accumulate during the warmer months so vigilance is always needed before lighting fires, taking the time to rake apart this accumulation as Helan did will, without fail, save some species. In years past we have received echidnas,larger skink sp and legless lizards that have become victims of either burning off vegetation or burning accumulated debris].

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