masked owl with prey

Photo S Castan

Photo K Majer

Poisons are poisons; we use them at the peril of ourselves, our pets and our wildlife


poison alternatives

Alternatives to Second Generation Anticoagulant Poisons. Photo B Wykes

Anticoagulant rodenticides are formulated for palatability and are therefore also attractive to animals other than rodents. Domestic pets can also ingest rodenticides if given access and children are also at risk.

Vets assess and treat wildlife but by the time poisoned animals are sick, injured or weakened enough to be presented, they are often debilitated to a point where successful rehabilitation is difficult or impossible. Vitamin K is administered as an antidote but the animal may also require a life-saving blood transfusion.

Second generation rodenticide poisoning requires four to six weeks of expensive vitamin K therapy.

  • Use methods other than baits to control rats and mice.
  • If resorting to a bait, use only those that are least harmful.
  • Thoughtfully store and place baits so that children, pets and wildlife such as possums and quenda in your garden can’t reach them.


Wildlife found dead, euthanised by vets and and those that don’t recuperate under care can significantlyl contribute to conservation research even in death.

We at Owl Friendly are keen to receive reports of deaths and all good specimens of local wildlife, particularly of our three owl species, the Boobook, Masked Owl and Barn Owl.

The Boobook is our ‘sentinel’. ECU researcher Mike Lohr’s extensive rodenticide testing of this abundant, widespread species provides a baseline for monitoring changing levels of rodenticides in our wildlife, hopefully revealing a positive trend.

masked owl road victim

Tanya and Eden with Masked Owl road victim. Photo B Wykes

Reports of Masked Owl and Barn Owl deaths and freshly dead (not too squashed) specimens are needed for rodenticide testing while we continue to investigate the poorly-studied populations of these rodent specialist predators in our region.

All good quality specimens will be lodged with the WA Museum. The days are long past of museums obtaining representative specimens of wildlife species and populations through direct collecting. Now specimens are obtained through public ‘donations’. Corpses that are relatively ‘intact’ and frozen before significant decomposition provide reference and education skins, tissue samples for genetics, and opportunity to match external characteristics of measurements and plumage with age and sex confirmed by internal examination.

  • Wrap the body in paper towelling, seal in a plastic bag and freeze as soon as possible.
  • Contact Boyd Wykes on 0439941753 or to lodge reports and offer specimens. Key information needed is cause of death, date, location and POC.


Advice and assistance with sick or injured wildlife can be provided by FAWNA, the Wildlife Helpline or your local vet.

Contact details and more information are provided below.

First stop for any injured bird should be a veterinary check, either dropping off directly or through FAWNA.  If after hours then FAWNA often manages until getting to a vet.

Be very careful when dealing with an injured animal should you find one, particularly the larger birds and animals including owls and raptors. If in doubt, wait for professional help.

Note that the Biodiversity Conservation Act (BC Reg 124-6) anyone possessing fauna (not just taking it to a vet) is required to release it, give it to a wildlife officer or registered carer or report it to DBCA within 24 or 72 hours (depending on the conservation status of the species).

FAWNA: Fostering Assistance for Wildlife Needing Aid

FAWNA is a south-west WA not-for-profit, government-approved wildlife rescue and rehabilitation organisation for sick, injured and orphaned native fauna, operated entirely by volunteers.

debilitated masked owl

Debilitated Masked Owl in care, no external injuries. Photo B Wykes

FAWNA care centre contacts in our region are:

  • Augusta Karen Northcott 0420656846
  • Busselton Suzanne Strapp 0438526660
  • Margaret River Linda Moyle 0403533367
  • Yallingup Helen and Sean 0407441308

These contacts will provide guidance and advice on the care of animals including drop off points for taking in casualties, giving first aid and obtaining veterinary treatment.  They may care for the animals or transfer to another FAWNA member.

  • FAWNA advises that if you find sick or injured wildlife:
    • Note the location, time of day and condition of the animal where you found it;
    • Phone the nearest designated FAWNA contact or the Parks and Wildlife (DBCA) Wildcare Helpline on (08) 9474 9055 and follow their advice;
    • Contain the animal securely so that it does not injure itself further or injure you – use a towel or similar to pick it up and place in a secure, well ventilated box in a quiet, dark place;
    • Do not feed the animal or give it water unless you have been advised to do so;
    • Be careful of teeth, claws, beaks etc. when approaching and handling wildlife – some injured animals can be very dangerous when frightened or stressed.

Volunteers at the DBCA head office operate a Wildcare Helpline:

wildcare helpline logo


Care and recuperation for our sick and injured wildlife is reliant on the work of volunteers and donated funding.


Support FAWNA through donations, becoming a member, caring for injured wildlife, supporting the carers.


Margaret River’s FAWNA Wildlife Carer Linda Moyle with patient. Photo B Wykes

Veterinary Clinics

All WA veterinarians provide pro bono emergency care for injured and sick wildlife but need support from donations to cover expenses and volunteer carers for ongoing treatment. Look for a donation tin on the Vet clinic counter to express your gratitude.  Donations in our region are passed on to FAWNA, which in turn directs funding to help clinics cover material costs.

Ivy the Barn Owl greeting Ira Hicks-Willcox at Eagles Heritage. Photo S Hicks

Eagles Heritage Wildlife Centre

Eagles Heritage is best known for public displays and aviary exhibits that foster appreciation and understanding of birds of prey, underpinned by a strong conservation message.  Behind the scenes, the centre’s 3 hectares of bushland hosts the largest collection of eagles, hawks, falcons and owls in Australia – injured birds being rehabilitated for return to the wild and disabled birds which due to the nature of their injuries are unable to make a sufficient recovery for release plus offspring bred in captivity.

Facilities include a hospital and specialised accomodation for treating sick, injured and orphaned birds. You can help by:

  • heading along with family and friends to enjoy a display, learn more about these magnificent birds and know that by doing so you are supporting the work of the centre;
  • enrol for training and support as a volunteer wildlife rehabilitator  assisting at the centre.

Eagles Heritage also offers education opportunities for animal health professionals and students seeking to expand their skills.

Eagles Heritage is associated with the Society for the Preservation of Raptors (Inc.), a not-for-profit association dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and conservation of birds of prey and owls.

Photos S Castan and B Wykes

These pictures tell the story of successful rehabilitation and release of a female Masked Owl clipped by a car on the Busselton bypass road, rehabilitated  by Busselton FAWNA’s Emily Feather and released in July 2018.

By the supporting the carers you can help more wildlife to achieve a happy ending to their story of illness or accident.


Photo B Wykes

Our vision: That the Margaret River Region is a safe haven for owls and other wildlife from rodenticide poisoning.

Our volunteer group is working to limit the use of ‘second generation’ rodenticides that are debilitating and killing owls and many other nocturnal and diurnal wildlife.  This is achieved through research, lobbying for governmental restrictions on availability and use, and by fostering an Owl Friendly community through awareness raising , education and training for pest controllers, householders, businesses, institutions and landowners.

You can help:

Support the Owl Friendly Campaign – our funds are managed by the Capes Foundation with all contributions directed to our actions.

Help to spread the word in your organisation, business or community

Seek more knowledge and support resources

Purchase and gift or proudly wear Owl Friendly T-shirts and keep-sakes from the Margaret River Visitor Centre and other MRBTA outlets.

Support efforts to protect, conserve and rehabilitate bushland and vegetation corridors that provide vital habitat and a safe haven for our wildlife