Flood Emergency 2022

Flood Emergency 2022

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Update: Monday, 4th April 2022

We are continuing to support wildlife and wildlife carers affected by flooding.

During the past four weeks, our emergency rescue teams have travelled across flood impacted areas to attend critical wildlife rescues and assist local wildlife groups and carers.

Emergency food supplies were delivered by the WIRES emergency team to local wildlife care groups experiencing food shortages and to those in need of urgent supplies for the influx of sick, injured and displaced native animals.

Possum boxes, possum pouches, bat wraps, critical medical supplies such as ICU units and nebulizers, heat packs, meal worms, meat supplies for raptors in care, were also delivered and we’ve ordered a large quantity of sand to replace washed away substrates from wildlife care facilities.

Rescues and transportation of reptiles, raptors, birds and numerous other native wildlife, including this young Eastern Grey joey Kangaroo, likely separated from her mother during a storm, continued daily, often under challenging conditions.

In the coming weeks, we will assist with the delivery of koala poles, carriers, and enclosures, along with supplies and equipment to assist with the clean-up effort as wildlife carers and groups continue to remove mud and dirt from enclosures, repair broken fencing, and remove and dispose of wet waste.

In addition, we are assessing where further significant support can be given to those carers who have suffered extensive damage to their aviaries and enclosures.

During a time when so many are experiencing personal hardship, we are grateful for the carers, wildlife groups, volunteers, businesses and the entire community who are working with us to make sure impacted wildlife receive the care they need. Thank you.

If you belong to a wildlife rescue group affected by floods and you haven’t yet been contacted by WIRES please email [email protected]

Update: Friday 18th March, 2022

Our Emergency Rescue teams have continued to conduct search and rescue missions across flood impacted areas this week and to distribute equipment, food and urgent supplies.

In addition to our network of volunteer carers, WIRES has been distributing urgent items to external wildlife rescue organisations and groups, thanks to the Woolworths WIRES Food for Wildlife Program. 

Together we’ve provided: 

  • Nebulisers and Intensive Care Units to Wildlife Rescue Queensland to help save the lives of orphaned, displaced and injured echidnas, many of whom were flooded out of their burrows
  • Four ICUs to Wildlife South East Queensland along with knitted pouches and urgent foods supplies for the many orphaned joeys who are currently in care. ICUs are very important for orphaned joeys, as they replicate the conditions inside a pouch and dramatically increase the chance of survival.  
  •  Equipment to help temporarily house macropods at Wildlife Rescue Sunshine Coast, a group that suffered badly when the storms flooded their entire macropod facility. Equipment sent includes pop up shelters, rubber matting and cleaning items. We’ll also be helping them rebuild facilities lost in the floods.
  •  $2,000 for food costs for Bats QLD, who urgently needed assistance to feed a dramatic increase in rescued bats after flooding and storms. We’ve also distributed substrate for their enclosures and two mesh enclosures which was donated generously from Catnets. 
  •  A dryer and specialist milk for QLD Koala Society, after incessant rains were making the drying of towels and bedding impossible. 

We’re also continuing to work with our partner Animal Rescue Cooperative (ARC), which mobilised quickly after floods hit and now have emergency hubs in Lismore, Altstonvile, Mullumbimby, Brisbane, Tweed Heads, Toowoomba and Grafton. WIRES and ARC are providing wildlife food, cleaning products, rescue and care equipment, medical supplies and clean water to those in need.

If you belong to a wildlife rescue group affected by floods and you haven’t yet been contacted by WIRES please email [email protected].

Update: Thursday 10th March, 2022

As the floods recede and access becomes possible, our teams have continued to reach into flood affected areas to rescue native animals in desperate need.

Vital supplies, including equipment, medical kits and foods and supplements are now hitting the ground, and our fully equipped emergency rescue vans are conducting search and rescue missions across flood impacted areas in regional NSW, QLD and Greater Sydney.

WIRES Rescue Office continues to operate 24/7 and our dedicated staff are managing floods calls from the community, vets and volunteers.

WIRES have received 4,932 calls to our Emergency Rescue line since 1st March and hundreds of flood and storm related calls and rescues have been managed this week. We believe this is only a fraction of the real impact on wildlife as mobile reception in flood areas is still limited.

This week WIRES have made over 400 calls to WIRES volunteers across 11 regions, more than 35 volunteers from external rescue organisations and 47 staff at impacted veterinary clinics to understand and assess urgent needs. One WIRES team member drove two marine turtles for over four hours to help another rescue group.

We have two full-time Emergency Responders in the north of NSW attending urgent rescues, collecting fruit from Woolworths for wildlife in need, and dropping off supplies to volunteers.

Many of our volunteers and carers still have no power or phone reception, are in flood disaster zones themselves, and many are traumatised.

Many of the rescue calls and outcomes have been tragic, where animals being found are already deceased, including wombats washed out of their burrows. More positively, we are seeing far more successful outcomes for the rescues of waterlogged animals from storms.

For many of these regions, the current floods and storms have been unprecedented in their scale – and the repercussions on communities, the environment and native wildlife has been catastrophic. We thank you sincerely, for being part of our urgent efforts to rescue the survivors.

To give to our Flood Response efforts please click here.

Update: Monday 7th March, 2022

WIRES Rescue Office have dedicated staff managing floods calls from the community, vets and volunteers. Some volunteers in the impacted regions are assisting veterinary clinics to assess wildlife as the animals are brought in. As many people and animals are trapped, WIRES Rescue Office are giving community members detailed advice so that they can best care for impacted wildlife until the animals can be picked up by volunteers or transported to vets. We would like to remind people that it is important if you have an animal needing to be taken to a vet that you call ahead especially if you are in a flood affected area before taking an animal in as many have been impacted by the floods.

WIRES have been calling and emailing volunteers, vets and other rescue groups in the impacted regions and we expect to know more as the water recedes. We've got staff and volunteers in these areas and many are doing search and rescue where they can do so safely, but many have also been impacted directly by the flooding, with volunteers being evacuated and shut off as roads are closed. 

We are working with local emergency support partners to ensure that volunteers and impacted wildlife will get access to essential provisions as quickly as possible. We're also sending Emergency Response Vehicles to Northern NSW today and we have one in SE QLD already, to assist with rescues while volunteers are working through the recovery process.

As many areas continue to be impacted by heavy rain our thoughts are with everyone affected. If you are in an area that may be at risk, please read and act on the SES flood advice and follow all emergency directives. 

Any calls about wildlife can be made 24/7 to WIRES on 1300 094 737. For people caught in floods, please call triple zero 000 for help.

Update Thursday 3rd March, 2022

As the floods impact more regions and communities our thoughts are with all those who have lost loved ones and property.

Vast areas of NSW and Queensland are now either inundated or sodden, WIRES fully equipped emergency vehicles are out every day, attending critical rescues, providing vital advice and supporting our thousands of volunteers as they care for sick, injured and displaced wildlife. 

We have been rescuing exhausted seabirds, drenched possums, orphaned wallaby and kangaroo joeys. We are ordering and coordinating the delivery of support food for wildlife that are isolated or surrounded by water.

In some areas our very experienced volunteers have been assisting vet clinics to triage native animals as vets are cut off from their clinics.  

This is the work we do, day in, day out, for Australia's vulnerable wildlife.

You can help us in our ongoing work with wildlife during this crisis and every day.

Update: Wednesday 2nd March, 2022

With so many road closures and whole regions impacted by the flooding, including many of our wildlife volunteer rescuers, your help in correctly containing and transporting distressed or displaced animals immediately to an appropriate vet can be the difference between life and death. 

Please keep in mind that during floods it can be difficult for WIRES and other rescue groups to safely respond to wildlife rescues. Many vet clinics are also not able to open.

WIRES has team members in place who can provide comprehensive containment and care advice over the phone to those in flood impacted areas where access to vets and in person wildlife volunteers is not possible. Please call 1300 094 737 to access this advice immediately if you have rescued a native animal.

While public help is vital and much welcomed it is imperative that rescued animals are only treated, fed and hydrated as advised by our trained and experienced volunteers and rescue line team or vets.

Although many people have the best intentions we have started to see and hear of people who are feeding joeys cow’s milk and soy milk. This is making already sick animals much sicker and we have received some into care that we are not sure we can save.

You should NEVER give animals any food or water, unless specifically told to do so by one of our carers or a wildlife vet. 

Update: Tuesday 1st March, 2022

Our rescue team are conducting search and rescue operations across flood affected districts where water have receded and areas are safe to access. Recovery efforts will continue over the coming days.

In Queensland our Emergency Response Van has been on active search and rescue activities and tragically has already attended multiple locations where 8 macropods (kangaroos and wallabies) have been found, all drowned.

Over the past 24 hours many flood-affected native animals in Greater Sydney have been located and where possible, transferred to vets and volunteer carers for urgent assistance.

Monday 28th February, 2022

Regions across South-East QLD and Northern NSW are experiencing the worst floods in decades and more heavy rainfall is forecast. 

WIRES are contacting volunteers and rescue groups across the impacted areas to see how they are and find out what assistance may be needed for impacted wildlife. WIRES have team members in these regions and our thoughts are with everyone affected in the community. We know that many people have been forced to evacuate, many are stranded, and many have lost access to key services such as power and water.  

Wildlife needing assistance can be reported to WIRES by calling our Wildlife Rescue Office on 1300 094 737 (24/7) or emailing the team. We will be working with volunteers and groups on the ground to assist as soon as practically possible. Please keep in mind that during floods it can be difficult for WIRES and other rescue groups to safely respond to wildlife rescues. Many vet clinics are also not able to open.

Wildlife rescuers and community members must wait until the flood-affected areas have been declared safe prior to rescuing wildlife. Flooding presents a significant risk to the safety of volunteers, and the activities conducted during and after flooding events must follow the directives of the first responder organisations such as the SES. 

If there are any wildlife rescue groups that we have not yet contacted, who need emergency assistance for wildlife due to the floods, please contact WIRES. We are expecting more help for wildlife to be needed as floodwaters recede and we have fully equipped rescue vehicles on standby.

Please continue monitoring the situation closely and act on all advice given by emergency services. When an evacuation warning is issued, residents should be prepared to evacuate when instructed to do so. 

If you are caught in a flood emergency and require assistance, call triple zero 000 for help.

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