Speaker: Paul Mander
Australia is home to 24 species of raptor, from the small sparrowhawk to the impressive wedge-tailed eagle. Few people get close enough to appreciate the vast wingspans and powerful talons and beaks of these avian hunters unless they visit a zoo or wildlife centre. This month’s Gecko Talk will offer the public the opportunity to learn more and get close to these magnificent birds.
Paul Mander is one of the rare people to keep company with birds of prey, and we are proud to present him as our first speaker for 2017’s program of Gecko Talks. Paul is a master Falconer and licensed raptor trainer in Queensland. He has worked with raptors for nearly 30 years and has trained many birds for free-flight shows around the country. His collection of birds at his training and rehabilitation centre on the Gold Coast is impressive, including falcons, eagles, kites, buzzards and owls. Here injured birds are taught to ‘free-fly’ to rebuild their strength before being returned to the wild. As falconry is not a sport practiced in Australia, Paul’s skills and birds are in high demand. Soren, his 16-year old wedge-tailed eagle, is an apex predator whose threatening presence has been used to rebalance local wildlife populations in areas where intrusive animals take up residence.
Come and meet some of Paul’s avian accomplices and hear more about how they are used in conservation efforts. Paul will discuss the training involved in raptor rehabilitation and demonstrate his techniques with an array of live birds. Please arrive early to get a seat for what will surely be a popular event. Refreshments will be provided.
Who: Paul Mander
When: 22nd February, 6:30 for 7.00pm.
Where: The Cove Currumbin RSL, 165 Duringan St, Currumbin QLD 4223