Rotary - Wildlife Heroes!

 

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Danora Buschkens, 
Liaison Officer for 

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has written to thank Rotary Mission Beach for supporting the 1300ANIMAL project.

Rotary MB have added stickers to all their vinegar stations, from South Mission to Garners Beach.

BACKGROUND

The RSPCA 1300 ANIMAL emergency hotline operates 24 hours a day and is the primary phone number for members of the public to report sick or injured animals, including marine strandings. Operators of the hotline have access to a comprehensive wildlife knowledge database as well as an extensive list of contacts including rehabilitators and rescuers, council agencies and other animal welfare organisations across the state of Queensland. This ensures that there is a fast and effective response to any emergency notifications.

The Cassowary Coast Local Marine Advisory Committee (LMAC) recognised the great importance of this hotline, particularly in regards to marine turtle stranding assistance. Cassowary Coast LMAC raised some concerns in regards to the design of the current stickers for promoting the 1300 ANIMAL hotline, with the phone number being quite difficult to read and wanted to assist in improving the promotion of the hotline. They made a request to RSPCA to re-design the stickers so the hotline could be utilised to its full potential for locals wanting to report a marine animal stranding.

The RSPCA has now re-designed the stickers with a turtle theme and the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) has provided funding for the printing of 10,000 copies to be distributed across Queensland.

 

The “1300 animal” concept was conceived from numerous reports of the difficulty and time often involved in finding help for injured animals.

OBJECTIVES and OUTCOMES

The key objective of the stickers is to promote and improve the use of the RSPCA 1300 ANIMAL hotline.  The project also provides an opportunity for LMACs to raise awareness of the plight of marine turtles and to strengthen relationships with other local organisations.


DISTRIBUTION

Information from the RSPCA indicates that the majority of users of the hotline are locals who frequent coastal areas, therefore the best distribution channels will be through local organisations.

 

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) officers in Cairns, Townsville, Mackay and Rockhampton will be provided with stocks of stickers for interested LMACs. Nominated LMAC representatives will then distribute the stickers in their local area through a number of distributors including (but not limited to):

·       Volunteers  and volunteer groups who have recently received or will be receiving training in marine stranding assistance  

·       Traditional Owners

·       Local Community Groups

·       Recreational and Commercial Fishing Clubs

·       Marinas and Boating Clubs

·       Local Shops such as Tackle & Bait Shops,

·       Local Council staff, in particular parks staff or staff in charge of coastal infrastructure

·       Ratepayers associations

·       Natural Resource Management (NRM) Groups

·       EHP & NPRSR will retain a stock of stickers for distribution to rangers.

 

Each LMAC or regional GBRMPA office should maintain a distribution list detailing which groups have received stickers, how many, and what locations and geographic areas have been covered (see Attachment 1: 1300-ANIMAL Turtle Sticker Distribution Template). Feedback on the stickers would also be valuable.  Their effectiveness could be measured by:

·       Increase in calls to hotline

·       Increased awareness of hotline phone number to report sick or injured marine animals

·       Informal feedback from community volunteers (reduced public concern) and rangers. 

 

PROMOTION

It is recommended that each LMAC contact key partners (such as local Councils or park rangers) and organise a joint media event or press release to promote the initiative  (see Attachment 2: Draft 1300-ANIMAL Turtle Sticker Press Release).

 

Promotional opportunities could also exist through Social Media. For example, when posting information about a stranding incident in your local region, there could also be a reminder to get a sticker to promote the hotline.

 


 

Guide to 1300-ANIMAL Turtle Sticker Placement.

 

On behalf of the RSPCA and the Cassowary Coast Local Marine Advisory Committee, thank you for your interest and support in promoting the 1300 ANIMAL hotline in our region.

Marine turtles are under pressure and in recent years we’ve seen an alarming increase in sick and injured turtles washing up on Queensland beaches. We want to ensure residents and visitors know the emergency procedures when a marine stranding occurs.

With assistance from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, a 1300 ANIMAL turtle stranding sticker has been developed for distribution throughout our local community networks.

Thank you very much for your support in assisting with this important task!

Where should the stickers be placed?

Think about areas that are highly visible to people who walk on beaches or access the water:

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      Front counters of tackle shops, visitor centres, beachside accommodation houses.

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      On beach infrastructure such as marine stinger vinegar bottle posts.

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      Community noticeboards near boat ramps and marinas.

    DO place the sticker:

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      in an area that is highly visible by as many people as possible

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      horizontally (preferably) - so the phone number can be easily read

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      on a flat, smooth surface that it will stick to easily

    DON’T place the sticker:

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      on any infrastructure or property without prior permission of the owner of that property

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      in areas where it may be perceived as graffiti or in a negative way

    Can I give stickers away to individuals?

    There are limited stocks available, however if you feel a person will actively promote the 1300-ANIMAL number and display the sticker responsibly, then go for it.

    RSPCA Contact: RSPCA Wildlife Coordinator 07 3426 9986 GBRMPA Regional Office: Cairns: 4057 0700