Click Here For The Rotary Club of Katoomba Spider Press Releases Spring 2006



PRESS RELEASE for Dangerous Spiders Public Awareness Project 2006


Rex Gilroy & Spider Collection

Rotary Club of Katoomba

The Rotary Club of Katoomba has launched a “Dangerous Spiders Public Awareness” project with the objectives of educating the public on the various dangerous, and not so dangerous spider species found around the home and their control. The projects’ objectives are not only to assist the public in the identification of spider species, but also in commonsense measures to avoid sustaining a bite, and if bitten the correct first-aid treatment to administer the victim.

Katoomba Rotary Club is presently targeting the Lismore District, due to the current serious Funnel Web and White Tail Spider occurrences in back yards and inside homes in the Lismore/Kyogle region. This is partly due to the commencement of the mating season of Funnel Web/Spiders, when they are at their most aggressive, entering homes on warm or rainy nights in search of a mate or food.

As part of the project, the club has produced an illustrated booklet covering all the major dangerous, and not so dangerous spider and scorpion species commonly met with in and around the house, together with the life histories and habits of the various species. Besides advice to parents of young children on how to avoid being bitten, there is an illustrated step-by-step first-aid procedure.

The booklet can be obtained by sending a donation to cover postage to: The Rotary Club of Katoomba “Dangerous Spiders Public Awareness”, PO Box 54, Katoomba NSW 2780. All monies raised from excess postage donations goes to Rotary Clubs International charities within Australia.

The project is the brainchild of noted Blue Mountains ‘Spider Man’, naturalist Rex Gilroy, who has spent almost 50 years researching the local species. Similar dangerous spider public awareness projects operated by him in the past around the country have save the lives of a least a dozen children and a number of adults.

“The members of the Rotary Club of Katoomba hope the public will take full advantage of our life-saving community service project. The spider season has begun and all the indications are that we can expect a dangerous season is now building up throughout the New England/Central and North-West of the state.

Homeowners should be on the alert for Funnel Webs, Red Backs, Eastern Mouse Spiders, and White Tail Spider. Our booklet contains photos and information on all these species”, says Rex, who is co-ordinator of the project. The Clubs’ booklet is expected to be in big demand across Australia. To further assist the public, a “Dangerous Spiders Public Awareness” phone-in service 02 47823441, which is a 24-hour Hot line has been established, operated by Rex Gilroy, so that concerned home owners spider problems can obtain advice.

Funel Web Spider Rex Back Spider Eastern Mouse Spider White Tail Spider
Funnel Web Spider
Red Back Spider Eastern Mouse Spider White Tail Spider

Rotarian Rex Gilroy, together with his wife and fellow researcher, Rotarian Heather Gilroy, plans to give talks on the project to interested clubs around the country; and his educational spider collection will be available for school fetes and similar functions as part of the clubs public education drive. President of Katoomba Rotary Club, John Heath said at the projects launch recently, “This project is a wonderful, worthwhile community based project that Rotary is proud to be a sponsor of”.

“We hope that the public will take full advantage of our project”, he concluded.

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