The long wait for the Education Centre is over and the building is complete and ready to function in 2013. Our mission statement spells out exactly what we are aiming to achieve, and we look forward to providing many opportunities for students to learn more about the care and protection of endangered species and all wildlife in Tasmania.
This purpose-built Education Centre is an amazing, octagonal structure, with an inspiring steel eagle sculpture by Keith Smith adorning the top of its glass turret. The Centre has been designed to not just fit into the natural bush setting, but to captivate and hold the imagination of young and old alike.
Inside there are surprises as well, with one-way glass viewing windows to three slatted aviaries. These windows are set into three walls fitted with sound, acoustic grade insulation. This innovative idea will allow viewing of birds with appropriate temperaments at close quarters. The aviaries themselves, where birds are undergoing rehabilitation before being released back into their natural habitat, will not be accessible.
Plans are on the drawing board for eagle, owl and smaller raptor species cameras, which will provide a direct feed into the Education Centre, not only to show these magnificent creatures without disturbing them, but also as a means of assessing and monitoring their behaviour and progress.
Late 2011 and 2012 have been exceptional years for releases, with many birds making it back to the wild after periods of rehab here. These periods ranged from weeks to many months, but the result of releasing a bird back to the wild still remains a source of many “tingly” feelings. Every release is a fantastic outcome for these birds that have been injured mainly due to encounters with some of the tricks and traps created by “us humans”.
A few of the birds released have been, Wedge-tailed Eagles, White-bellied Sea-Eagles, Brown Falcons, Swamp Harriers, Southern Boobook Owls, Masked Owls and Grey Goshawks. Check out some of these release photos that are proudly shown on our website.
About the refuge
The Raptor & Wildlife Refuge of Tasmania Inc. has been established by Craig Webb on a 20-acre property overlooking Kettering and the D’Entrecasteaux Channel. In 1997 Craig returned to his birthplace of Tasmania after many years in the Kimberly working as a veterinary nurse and involved in all facets of wildlife care, he registered as a licensed wildlife carer with Nature Conservation branch of Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE).
This inspiring Refuge clearly reflects our dedication to caring and protecting Tasmania’s natural wildlife, and the proximity of the Refuge to the birds’ natural habitat is a great advantage to rehabilitation. The planting and mulching of many native trees also provides a more natural bushland setting and privacy.
The outstanding feature of this facility is three of the largest raptor flight aviaries in the Southern Hemisphere, purpose-built to flight train Wedge-tailed eagles, Sea-Eagles and other birds, during their recovery from injury. The third massive flight aviary has increased flight facilities considerably, as we now have an in-house policy not to mix Sea-Eagles with Wedge-Tailed Eagles not to mention that these birds need a lot of care and often considerable time for rehabilitation.
Along with the three huge flight aviaries there is a large owl aviary and nine slatted aviaries to house many and varied species of raptors, with one bank of aviaries built solely for quarantine purposes. These aviaries are proving to be a wonderful facility, and the water catchment plan is highly successful, providing a much needed resource for the Refuge.
A wildlife drop-off box is situated at the entrance to the Refuge, to cater for the many animals that are dropped off by members of the public. It has a clipboard for details of the animal’s history as well as pet packs inside and information on contact details for Craig. It’s a simple idea but is working well, with many animals already being left for care. We aim to provide the best possible care to injured raptors and are proud to have Dr James Harris, one of the leading vets in the avian field, as our contractual vet.
Volunteers are important in the operation of the Refuge. Check out the Volunteers page if you can help.
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