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Wildlife Information

Emergency Update

Catastrophic fires, severe drought and extreme weather events have taken a tragic toll on native wildlife and worldwide we are now all facing the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.

With the coronavirus outbreak crippling society worldwide we continue to face unprecedented events. WIRES rescue team has been set up to work remotely so that we can continuously support the community and wildlife taking calls 7 days a week to provide wildlife rescue advice and assistance.

 Vets have been confirmed as an essential service, enabling them to operate should stricter lock down conditions be enforced and we are sharing up to date COVID-19 wildlife rescue advice for community members and volunteer rescuers, to ensure wildlife can be assisted safely during this crisis.

At this stage individual WIRES volunteers, where it poses no personal risk and complies with all government directives including social distancing, are still attending rescues. However, we have less volunteers active than normal and ask for the community's patience and support during this time. Should you encounter a sick, injured or orphaned animal during your commute to and from work, when purchasing essential items or when exercising, please follow our emergency advice.

The last 6 months have been unlike anything WIRES or the Australian community have experienced previously. On top of one of the worsts droughts in history massive fires that raged continually from September to February, tragically burnt over 5.4 million hectares of land in NSW alone, over 18.6 million hectares nationally and 20% of Australian forests were lost. It is impossible to know how many animals perished but it's been conservatively estimated that over 800 million animals would have been lost in NSW and over 1 billion animals in Australia since September. 

From November to February WIRES volunteers accepted over 12,900 rescues to assist sick, injured and orphaned native animals. In addition to supporting WIRES 28 branches in NSW, the global community support received in January enabled WIRES to provide national emergency support and over 11 weeks WIRES funded over 140 immediate rescue and care projects for licenced wildlife carers and groups across 6 states and territories.

No-one knows yet what the true toll of the drought and fires has been on wild populations, whether species thought to be common now need to be reclassified and whether hundreds of species at risk of extinction have survived. For some surviving animals, unprecedented actions to preserve the future of their species may be required. WIRES are working on a range of relief and recovery plans to implement the best solutions to assist surviving wildlife and ensure the survival of remaining species.

Wildlife Rescue 7 days a week, 365 days a year

WIRES mission is to actively rehabilitate and preserve Australian wildlife and inspire others to do the same.

WIRES (NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service Inc.) has been rescuing and caring for wildlife for over 30 years and is the largest wildlife rescue organisation in Australia. WIRES currently has 3,000 volunteers in 28 NSW branches involved in the rescue and care of wildlife and we have a dedicated Rescue Office that operates 365 days a year assisting the community to help native animals in distress. 

WIRES is passionate about supporting smaller volunteer organisations in the wildlife sector with the same mission, as well as Universities, Veterinary Associations and other leading scientific and environmental groups. In the last 5 years WIRES has been working with organisations including: WWF, National Parks Association, Humane Society International, The Wilderness Society, Nature Conservation Council, Birdlife, RSPCA, Animal Welfare League and IFAW and we thank these organisations for their significant ongoing contribution to the wildlife rehabilitation sector.

Currently WIRES presence is primarily in NSW where we responding to more than 90,000 rescues each year, we also receive around 170,000 calls to our 1300 WIRES line annually, including thousands of interstate calls. WIRES also plays a major role in community wildlife education with traditionally hundreds of thousands of unique visitors to our website annually which increased to over 1 million unique visitors in just the first week of January 2020.

In response to the tragic toll of the catastrophic fires and drought on wildlife, WIRES is actively pursuing significant opportunities to help wildlife more broadly across Australia, including partnering on projects to improve long-term outcomes for native animals.

Rescue Line

If you find a sick, injured or orphaned native animal in NSW please call our Rescue Office on 1300 094 737 for rescue help and advice.

Report a Rescue

If you have found a sick, injured or orphaned native animal in NSW you can now report a rescue by filling in our online Rescue Form.

Emergency Advice

Read WIRES emergency rescue advice to find out how best to assist native animals in distress.

Give Now to Help Wildlife

Your donations help WIRES to rescue and care for more native animals, provide more wildlife information and education to the community, to protect and preserve native animals and to train and support more volunteer rescuers and carers. All gifts $2 and over are tax-deductible within Australia.

WIRES and Landcare Join Forces

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

WIRES and Landcare Australia are delighted to announce a landmark $1 million partnership supporting the recovery of wildlife habitats impacted by bushfire and drought across Australia. read more

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