An Interview With A Local Member - Margaret Woods

What is your name? Margaret Woods  (aka Marg)

Where do you live? Northern Beaches Sydney

How Long have you been doing this? I joined SWR in August 2018 so I have been a member for two years.

How did you get into this?  

Well  entirely because of my family.  My daughter Bec has been a member of SWR for four years and even before that she was a member at Youth at the Zoo (YATZ) and all the while had been rescuing animals on her way to school. My son Sam, was supposed to join SWR this year but due to Covid 19, there weren't any courses available. He was also a YATZ and he also rescues animals .   My husband Pete also has a habit of rescuing animals, cockatoos, possums, lizards, cormorants.  So I thought I had best get trained.


I read the local news and I saw all the great things SWR volunteers (including Lynleigh Greig) were doing in our community.  I met SWR volunteer Jacqui a number of times through the Powerful Owl project and other community groups. I love her dedication and scientific approach to highlighting and resolving some really big issues  - land clearing, Biobank/ Offsets, wildlife road deaths https://www.wildlifemapping.org/views/map .   I had also met SWR member Sonja  Elwood through her amazing wetland night walks, other walks and talks over the years. SWR seemed a good organisation that has done a lot for Wildlife.


Archie, the juvenile Sulphur Crested Cockatoo

What is the best thing?  

Helping to rescue wildlife and being able to get them well enough to be released.  Also I like meeting SWR colleagues that every single day are doing amazing things for wildlife.  The mobile care van and rehabilitation park are such great initiatives which are run by volunteers and funded by donations. I have had the opportunity this year to combine this with my passion of photography.  

What is the worst thing?

Having to take so many rescued wildlife to vets and often to be euthanised.  Beak and Feather disease, car strikes, dog and cat attacks.    

What are you never without?  My camera or phone.  

You have a pretty busy lifestyle, does it ever get hard to balance?  

Pete and I were able to retire early.   So we both volunteer with many different organisations. My kids are old enough to mostly look after themselves.  We work as a team at home and we all look after the animals.  We have a number of pet reptiles so that means we mainly care for birds, lizards and turtles. We fit in exercise as a priority too.  Yes at times it is busy.

You have kids, what does your wildlife work mean to you as a mother?  

I would like to know that the bushland, wildlife will remain and not just be in zoos.  So I do speak up for wildlife who have no voice.  For me it was also about finding another avenue to give back to the community and my family have been volunteering and doing wildlife rescue for a long time. I am often taking pics whilst walking in wildlife corridors or at beach.   I try to educate people about the beauty of the places we have and how special our wildlife is. I have been a guide for walks  that Council and other community groups organise.   I reinforce that the natural environment needs to remain looking untouched as often precious wildlife lives there.  

Leaky, the female Blue Tongue lizard that was attacked by a dog


Best Rescue:

Being part of the SWR team to get an APEX Predator a Powerful Owl out of Castle Towers Shopping Centre. So many challenges. It was such a good feeling when it flew free, not so good when it flew out over me.

Do you have any "favourites" that have been in care?

I loved Waldo. I met him at the rehab facility he was a beautiful wombat that was in care for 1 year and 8 months. He was such a busy boy. I appreciate all that the team up there do for all those wombats, kangas, wallabies, birds, reptiles.

In our care -  

The juvenile sulphur crested cockatoo called Archie was a lovely bird.  

The long necked turtle that was stolen from Narrabeen Lagoon we had that one for just a few hours and we dropped it home.  

We had a great female blue tongue called Leaky that had been attacked by a dog.  It was not going to survive but despite all the odds , operations, superb care by our reptile coordinator and specialist vet, evacuation during bushfire, more care with us, lots of food,  it survived and was able to be returned to its local area.

What would you say to anyone who was thinking about joining Sydney Wildlife?  

Do it if you are passionate about helping wildlife.  We need carers.   We are all volunteers.  Many members have years of experience and are willing to provide advice and lots of guidance.  You will make a difference.


Powerful Owl

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