Thursday, May 18, 2023

In the aftermath of Australia’s devastating bushfires and drought, WIRES (NSW Wildlife Information and Rescue and Education Service Inc) has received unprecedented global support from individuals and organisations donating to WIRES Emergency Fund to help Australian native wildlife.

WIRES takes the responsibility of these donations extremely seriously and we are working closely with a wide range of individuals and organisations to ensure the best possible outcomes for our wildlife. Stakeholders include major donors and grant providers, Federal, State and Local government and agencies, other rescue organisations, universities, vets and environmental groups.

Funding has been allocated to key focus areas including Response and Rescue, Rehabilitation, Relief, Recovery and Risk-Reduction. Longer term projects will address the changed landscape and loss of habitat, support research on the rehabilitation and protection of vulnerable and threatened species, and the potential to establish a national network to improve the outcomes for wildlife.

Response and Rescue - $7 million for immediate funding to support wildlife and volunteers* and reviewed weekly in response to wildlife and volunteer need.

• Supporting rescue and care for sick, injured, displaced and orphaned wildlife,

• Purchasing food, medical supplies, medication and equipment

• Replacement of rehabilitation enclosures destroyed by fires and purchase of additional enclosures,

• Providing water and food stations and their placement in fire devastated areas to assist surviving wildlife,

• Deployment of drones to improve rescue efforts.

Rehabilitation and Relief - Estimated funding $25+ million.

The focus is on meeting the long-term care of animals and funding projects that address the impacts of the changed environmental landscape and support the release of animals back into safe habitat. Actions to include:

• On-going care of animals requiring long term rehabilitation through to release,

• Support for research and projects that facilitate rehabilitation best practice and protection of vulnerable and/or threatened species,

• Identifying projects that address the changed environmental landscape to inform decisions about how to support remaining populations and/or the reintroduction of species.

• Collaborating with other organisations, groups and institutions to support volunteers caring for wildlife affected by the fire and drought emergency

Recovery and Risk Reduction - Estimated funding $25+ million.

The key aim is to support a national framework to engage volunteers in the rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife affected by bushfire, drought and extreme weather events. Actions to include:

• Providing the rehabilitation sector access to WIRES resources for rescue response to increase the effectiveness of recovery efforts nationally,

• Collaborate with ecologists, organisations and agencies concerned with the protection of threatened and vulnerable species to support interventions and immediate actions to save species,

• Assist with the preservation of remaining populations and habitat nationally.

*Wildlife rescue organisations (non-WIRES) across Australia needing assistance with wildlife impacted by emergency events can apply for funds at https://www.wires.org.au/wildlife-programs/wildlife-emergency-relief

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