Spotting wildlife is about living a boyhood dream
GRAEME Lloyd is a wildlife spotter and, like many others here on the North Coast, has reinvented himself and is now living his boyhood dream.
"I climb trees, chase snakes and I get paid for it," he said.
"These snakes are magnificent.
"I relocate and save them."
He also designed and sells a snake-friendly trap that people can use instead of killing them, which won an award on the ABC Inventors show.
Mr Lloyd was originally from Sydney and his first job was at Taronga Park Zoo. He loved working with animals so much he decided to learn more and joined the CSIRO in Canberra for seven years, be- fore returning to Tweed.
"When we first moved here, large developments were changing the coastal areas, bulldozers were clearing all in their path, including wildlife and habitat. The outcome was devastating.
"With so many large projects planned, something needed to be done, and my wife and I started up a Wildlife Services and Management business, which included ongoing monitoring."
When we first moved here, large developments were changing the coastal areas, bulldozers were clearing all in their path, including wildlife and habitat. The outcome was devastating.
Wildlife Services do fauna and flora surveys and advise councils and developers on the animals and flora found, with plans for their relocation. They also establish habi- tat for displaced wildlife, giving them the chance to survive.
"I feel as though I am giving the wildlife a chance, but in their displacement, unfortunately, some animals don't relocate very successfully in the long term," Mr Lloyd said.
But on the positive side, he said people's attitudes had improved.
"I've seen a change in developers, councils and community's attitudes, due mainly because of the public's concern and pressure over the loss of coastal land and habitat.
"They're now better informed, valuing what is left."
Despite his busy job, Mr Lloyd still makes time to climb trees and rescue possums and snakes - as he has done for 40 years.