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If they could speak, native animals would say: thanks for the water stations

In the bigger scheme of things, putting out a few water stations in bushland and key reserves around Campbelltown is a small gesture.

But in the middle of a hot and mostly dry summer every little bit helps native animals, from our precious koalas to lizards, possums, echidnas and many other species that call Campbelltown home.

The first of these water stations was launched this morning in bushland near Frere’s Crossing at Kentlyn, in a location where most dams have been filled in.

Mayor George Brticevic and fellow Labor councillor Karen Hunt did the official honours, while Michael Ellison, the bush care officer for Campbelltown Council explained how the water stations work.

Cr Brticevic said 40 water stations are ready to be rolled out, but recent rains meant there was an immediate need for just 10 at this stage.

He said they would be installed quickly ahead of forecast warm weather over the next few days.

“With further hot and dry conditions expected to return later this summer, it’s important we help our local wildlife to cope with the conditions,” he said.

“It’s not just koalas who will use these drinking stations, it will help many of our wildlife,” Cr Brticevic said.

Cr Hunt also gave the strategy the thumbs up: “I think this is a great idea; something simple, straightforward and very needy.’’

Also on hand to support the use of water stations in bushland this morning was Ricardo Lonza, the founder of Help Save the Wildlife and Bushlands in Campbelltown and current Campbelltown citizen of the year.

“We are banding together to put water in our native bushlands, to help our animals survive this hot weather,’’ he said.

Campbelltown Council joined forces with Greater Sydney Local Land Services to design the water stations which consist of a 25 litre water drum connected by a clear hose to a specialised water trough with a float system that automatically tops up water.

The project will be rolled out as part of council’s bushcare program with dedicated volunteers assisting in maintenance and refilling of the stations.

Beth Michie from the Kentlyn Bushcare Group – and whose property adjoins the bushland where the first water station was installed this morning – will look after it and any others placed nearby to ensure there’s plenty of water for all the animals.

Here’s cheers to native animals: Campbelltown Council’s bushcare officer Michael Ellison, Mayor George Brticevic, Councillor Karen Hunt, Ricardo Lonza from Help Save the Wildlife and Bushlands in Campbelltown and Beth Michie from the Kentlyn Bushcare Group.

Remote sensor cameras will be installed to monitor which animals are using the water stations.

If residents come across the water stations in bushland areas they are asked to not disturb them.

But on the other hand if they’d like to join the effort to help native animals survive this hot summer, there is one thing they can do.

“I’d encourage residents to also help our wildlife by putting out small dishes of water on their own property with rocks and sticks placed in the water so small animals and insects can escape,” Cr Brticevic said.

Ready made, small drinking stations that automatically top up are available from local pet stores.

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