November 19th 2007
Sign helps wallaby diet
A new sign was erected last week at the Arcadia barge landing on Geoffrey Bay to help stop visitors and locals from feeding the wallabies which gather there, or, at least, get them to change the foods they use from those which are damaging to those which are suitable.
The sign titled, "How can you help the rock wallabies" was organised by Friends of Magnetic Island member, Rosie Whalen, and is worth quoting for the benefit of readers.
These wallabies have been artificially fed leading to an unnaturally large number of animals causing many problems.
For their well being it is preferable that you do not feed them.
Eating the wrong foods is detrimental to their health which can cause intestinal problems, blindness and slow death.
If you must feed them acceptable foods are: carrots, sweet potatoes, apples, paw paw, rockmelon or wallaby pellets.
NEVER feed them bread, lettuce, cabbage, rhubarb, parsley, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and common potatoes.
Rosie Whalen told Magnetic Times, 'There used to be a sign saying "definitely no bread" but it blew down after cyclone Larry. People have since fed them loaves of bread so I thought that if we can't stop them at least we should establish a sensible guide.'
Rosie commented that Magnetic Island's QPWS Ranger, Patrick Centurino, had advised that it is preferable that the wallabies should not be fed at all as it continues to build up the artificial population which is now about forty eight in number while the headland's natural vegetation would only support about four animals.
Many of the wallabies are considered to be in poor health and this is largely attributed to foods such as bread which, according to Rosie, makes the animal feel full but doesn't provide the necessary nutrition leading to illness.
Rosie was particularly thankful for the support of Fantasea Cruising Magnetic who sponsored the sign and hopes that a second sign may be erected towards the front of the shelter. She has also forwarded the wallaby-feeding information to Island accommodation houses for backpackers and tourists to learn about the animals needs in advance.
The correct wallaby feeding pellet packs can be purchased from the Nelly Bay Fish & Fuel shop on Mandalay Ave, Nelly Bay.
Photo: Friends of Magnetic Island members Kelly Marlin (left) with Rosie Whalen and Carol Pemberton beneath the new sign.
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