The Society for the Preservation of Raptors (Inc) is a registered not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the rescue,
care, rehabilitation and conservation of Australia's native birds of prey. Together with Eagles Heritage Raptor Wildlife
Centre in Margaret River, the Society receives in excess of two hundred sick, injured and orphaned birds of prey each year
from all parts of Western Australia.
Whilst the Society is headquartered in Margaret River at the Eagles Heritage Wildlife Centre, members form an active wildlife rehabilitation network encompassing most of Western Australia. The largest number of volunteers are based in the state capital, Perth, and it is from here that the majority of the Society's activites are run, including education and training.
Philip Pain, the Society's Coordinator, founded the group in 1984 in order to promote networking and cooperation amongst like minded specialist raptor rehabilitators. The Society is made up of a group of genuinely dedicated people, young and old, from all walks of life, who give their time and effort to work in their chosen area of wildlife care - raptors. The members are also involved in educational talks and public displays for schools, community groups, fetes and fairs. Philip Pain is also the owner/curator of the Eagles Heritage Raptor Wildlife Centre, a qualified zoo keeper with over thirty years' experience in raptors and a recipient of a Churchill Fellowship in 1986.
To see the transcript of an ABC Television interview with Phil Pain from George Negus Tonight click here.
Eagles Heritage, a tourist attraction set amongst 29 acres of natural bushland, is situated 5km south west of Margaret River on Boodjidup Road. The Centre was opened on 1 January, 1987, to cater for the influx and overflow of injured birds handled by the Society for the Preservation of Raptors which could not be successfully rehabilitated and released back into the wild, due to the extent of their disabilities. The majority of the birds on display at Eagles Heritage are permanently disabled individuals. The balance are those which have been captive bred or transferred from other wildlife facilities.
Behind the publicly accessible areas of Eagles Heritage, there is a restricted section of seven acres set aside for care and rehabilitation. This area contains the Endangered Species Interpretation Module (the only part of the rehabilitation area viewable by the public, by way of closed circuit television cameras), "free flight" aviaries (specially designed for birds undergoing rehabilitation), indoor/outdoor holding mews and a hospital/treatment room.
This is the largest area in the Southern Hemisphere to be set aside for the purposes of raptor rehabilitation.
The development of this area for rehabilitation of raptors at Eagles Heritage was made possible with a grant proudly received by the Society from the Gordon Reid Foundation for Conservation (WA Lotteries Commission) and Eagles Heritage. The "Living Windows into Western Australia" module is equipped with TV monitors and video cameras enabling the visitor to view the birds housed within. This equipment is supplied through a grant received by Eagles Heritage from the South West Development Commission. This module of the Living Windows is only one of many that has been established throughout the South West of our State, which are designed to give the tourist an insight into the natural environment.
In addition to the rehabilitation area at Eagles Heritage, members of the Society provide primary care and rehabilitation at various other, smaller sites across Western Australia. These are not open to the public, but are located on private properties run by volunteer rehabilitators who are registered with the Department of Conservation and Land Management. Volunteers are helped by local veterinarians who provide their professional services free of charge, but the costs of x-rays, pathology, surgery, drugs and equipment are borne by the individual carers, who in turn are supported by the Society's fund raising activities.
The Society conducts a community education programme which is used to fulfil two vital aims: educating members of the community, particularly our young people, about raptors, and raising funds to pay for the cost of drugs, diagnostic procedures, medical supplies and treatment for sick, injured and orphaned raptors.
Members operate according to a stringent code of ethics, which puts the welfare of the birds first at all times.
The Society also seeks to establish, maintain and develop benchmarks and standards in the care and rehabilitation of birds of prey.
Members of the Society come from all walks of life and can be actively involved in caring for birds, can help with the community education programme, assist with administration and fund raising or simply support the Society through affordable annual membership subscription fees.
Those members who wish to be active raptor carers should be prepared to complete the Department of Parks and Wildlife Basic Wildlife Rehabilitation Course, and are then required to undertake additional training at Eagles Heritage before working under the supervision of experienced carers to obtain the skills and knowledge required to successfully care for and rehabilitate sick and injured birds of prey. After a period of time working under supervision, and subject to being assessed as competent, members may then apply for registration with the Department as Volunteer Wildlife Rehabilitators.
For more information on membership, click HERE.