Threatened Species Day was declared in 1996 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the death of the last remaining Tasmanian Tiger at Hobart Zoo in 1936.  This is a day to reflect on what has happened in the past and how similar fates could await other native plants and animals unless appropriate action is taken. 

Australia is home to more than 500,000 animal and plant species, many of which are found nowhere else in the world. In NSW alone there are close to 1000 species at risk of extinction.  Saving threatened species is important for a healthy and diverse environment.

The day also celebrates the amazing work that is being done by passionate conservationists, researchers, volunteers and community experts.

Activities this year are limited with lockdown, but there are still ways to get involved:

SEED Citizen Science Hub 

  • Explore environmental projects
  • Stay up-to-date with science projects and events
  • Tune into their live -brush-tailed rock-wallaby cam
  • Help animals from home by getting involved in online activities, quizzes and planting trees for our threatened wildlife.



 Yes, it can be done!

People are often surprised to learn that rabbits are more than capable of learning how to use a litter tray.  Rabbits are naturally very clean and will instinctively use a designated place as a toilet, just like cats.  The advantage of toilet training your rabbit is that you will be able to let it roam free around the house without worrying about accidents.

Rabbits need at least 30 hours per week to run and explore outside of their cage. This socialisation, while out of their cage also makes training easier.  Start with a designated toilet area, preferably a corner, with a tray filled with a suitable litter.  This may be straw, hay, natural fibre or paper pellets. Do not put litter anywhere else as it can cause confusion as to where the bunny loo is. 

In the first week only change the litter when it is really dirty-it needs to be impregnated with your rabbits smell to encourage your him to use the same place in the future.  Initially your bunny will be shy and hide, but then become more curious and want to explore its environment.

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In the current rat and mouse plague, extra care needs to be taken to help protect our birds of prey, natives and pets from accidentally ingesting rat sac.

Rat baits are dangerous and potentially deadly to animals and people that consume them.  The baits are normally flavoured to make them more attractive to rodents and these can also entice other animals to eat them. 

The clinical signs of rat bait poisoning vary considerably depending on the size of the animal and how much and what kind of rat bait they ingest. 

There are different kinds of rat bait available, the most common are anti-coagulant poisons that stop the blood from clotting normally, resulting in excessive bleeding.  

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Everyone reading this is a mammal and one of the things that pegs us as mammals and unites us all is……breasts.  Yes, even the men and boys.

It still seems to shock people to learn that dogs, cats, rabbits, rats and a host of other domestic species can get breast cancer too.   The aim of breast cancer awareness is to raise understanding for those who can’t speak for themselves and raise awareness of mammary cancer in companion animals.  We need to educate owners that breast cancer and mammary gland cancer are the same disease, it’s just called by a different name in other species. 

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Using dogs’ powerful sense of smell to detect people with Covid-19 could revolutionise how the disease is identified and tracked.  A German veterinary clinic who works with an armed forces school for service dogs, has trained sniffer dogs to detect COVID -19 with 94% accuracy.  The dogs are conditioned to scent out the “corona odour” that comes from cells in infected people. These sniffer dogs have been used in airports in Finland and Chile to detect the virus among flyers.  At the moment, a 3-year-old Belgian Shepherd and a 1-year-old Cocker Spaniel are two of the dogs being trained at Hanover University to detect COVID in human saliva.

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