Future Brightens for Birds of Prey

A ‘super group’ of wildlife veterinarians, environmental entrepreneurs and economic policy experts are investing expertise and resources into a unique raptor rehabilitation facility in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales.

Chaired by economist and conservationist Dr. Ken Henry AC, Wildlife Recovery Australia has established Raptor Recovery Australia (formerly Higher Ground Raptor Centre) to provide enduring leadership, governance support, and business advice to ensure the long-term viability of the facility.  The Board of Raptor Recovery Australia consists of Hannah Rose (Chair), Mark Richardson, Chris Bath, Sam Marwood, Dr Stephen Van Mil and Dr Henry.

Dr. Henry said WRA had assembled an extraordinary list of skilled and experienced veterinarians, raptor rehabilitators and conservation experts to improve welfare outcomes for Australian birds of prey, and to continue the legacy of HGRC Creator, award winning raptor rehabilitator and Churchill Fellow Peggy McDonald OAM CF.

“WRA aims to fill gaps in the way Australia protects wildlife, restores habitat and recognises the economic value of recovering endangered species,” said Dr. Henry.

“Conservation is primarily the responsibility of government, of course.  And all Australian governments need to do a lot more to improve the prospects for our wildlife.  But increasingly, private citizens are finding innovative ways of making a big difference.  Here, in the Southern Highlands of NSW, we’re bringing together people with the knowledge, skills and passion to treat and rehabilitate our majestic birds of prey.  Their chances of making a full recovery improve dramatically with access to expert veterinary care and state-of the-art, predator-proof sanctuaries and rehabilitation facilities.”

The 6.88 hectare facility in the Southern Highlands provides pre-release fitness and exercise aviaries for birds of prey that have come into care, as well as staged rehabilitation facilities to allow the birds to progress in line with their physical and mental abilities. It is home to the largest free-flight aviary complex of its type in the Southern Hemisphere.    

Wildlife Recovery Australia is a joint venture of Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital and Odonata Foundation. Thanks to Wolter Peeters from the Sydney Morning Herald for capturing images of these majestic Wedge-tailed eagles, true athletes of the sky.

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