Emergency Bushfire and Recovery Project Updates

March 2021 Update

WIRES Announces Stage 2 Emergency Funding Plans

WIRES has announced the allocation of $35 million in funding as part of Stage 2 plans for the Emergency Fund to help Australian native wildlife after the devastating droughts and bushfires of FY19/20.

We are privileged and grateful for the support received from the community both here in Australia and internationally, and are committed to using this opportunity to improve the outcomes for our native animals now and in the future.

With priorities focused on Rescue, Rehabilitation and Recovery, a major aim of the Stage 2 plan is to build national capacity through collaboration and long-term programs;

  • A $5 million national grants program will be run over the next five years to support best practise rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife and native species recovery projects. 
  • $5 million has been allocated to developing a national network, enhancing state-based systems and improving the structures and support for wildlife rescue and care.
  • $420,000 to 23 national hubs of our partner Animal Rescue Cooperative (ARC) to fund critical supplies including food, medical needs and the distribution of craft items to support wildlife carers during emergency events
  • $1.6 million in research funding to identify knowledge gaps in habitat conservation and species recovery in the changed landscape, post Black Summer Bushfires
  • A further $23 million allocated to projects, programs and partnerships directly supporting species and habitat recovery initiatives and conservation efforts. This will directly address the ongoing impacts of the 2019/2020 emergency events including drought and fire that devastated wildlife populations.
Additional details of specific programs will continue to be announced throughout 2021.

January 2021 Update

WIRES is close to announcing the release of a second major tranche of emergency funding. Over $25 million is currently with WIRES Board for approval with projects to be announced during the first quarter of 2021.

Funding is being distributed across the core areas of Rescue, Rehabilitation and Recovery:

  • Supporting the rescue and care of sick, injured, displaced and orphaned animals and increasing national rescue and care capacity
  • Funding projects that address the impacts of the changed environmental landscape and support the recovery of wildlife habitat and the long-term preservation of native species
  • Supporting a national framework to engage volunteers in best practice rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife affected by emergency events and reduce future risk to wildlife

WIRES would like to acknowledge the incredible support it has received from Australians as well as immense global support for Australia’s native wildlife following the bushfire and drought events. This funding is enabling WIRES to implement vital plans to address significant challenges facing our wildlife. WIRES has established partnerships with a wide range of organisations and individuals since the bushfires and is working with them to create new and innovative programs to support critical wildlife recovery long-term.

In the aftermath of catastrophic fires, severe drought and extreme weather taking a tragic toll on wildlife, we remain focused on rescue, rehabilitation and recovery.

The last 12 months has been unlike anything WIRES and the Australian community have ever experienced. Compounding the impact of one of the worst droughts in history, massive fires raged for months in what has become known as Australia's Black Summer. Millions of hectares of land were burnt, much of which was threatened species habitat and 20% of Australian forests were lost. Species thought to be common may need to be reclassified and there are hundreds of species at risk of extinction.

A report from WWF confirmed that almost 3 billion animals were killed or displaced by the bushfire crisis, 143 million mammals, 2.46 billion reptiles, 180 million birds, and 51 million frogs.

Global community support enabled WIRES to provide national emergency support. In addition to supporting WIRES 28 branches in NSW, WIRES has funded over 240 projects nationally for licensed wildlife carers, groups and vets. WIRES are also working on a wide range of major projects to support wildlife recovery, including critical koala research and Water for Wildlife with The University of Sydney, 64 projects to help restore wildlife habitat nationally with Landcare Australia and critical conservation projects with Aussie Ark and the Australian Wildlife Conservancy.

From January to November WIRES volunteers accepted over 35,600 rescues and we continue to assist sick, injured and orphaned native animals every day. WIRES are also working on projects with key partners to expand wildlife rescue and care capacity and emergency preparedness, as forecasts indicate that the frequency and intensity of bushfires and extreme weather will continue to increase.

Detailed Reports and Reviews

Please see Bushfire Funding FAQ’s here.

In October 2020, the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission reviewed 3 major charities involved in the bushfire response, including WIRES. Read the review.

More detail on specific projects can be found in media releases and WIRES Wildlife blog.

Q3 2021 Updates

NSW Rehabilitation Capacity Building Project

Q1 2021 Updates

WIRES to Fund Native Animal Diseases Research at Sydney University

WIRES Announces Stage 2 Emergency Funding Plans

Q4 2020 Updates

WIRES Introduces Vaccination Grants Program for Veterinary Clinics

Q3 2020 Updates

Aussie Ark Partners with WIRES in Landmark Partnership for Australian Wildlife

WIRES Launches Water for Wildlife Project

WIRES Partner with Currumbin Wildlife Hospital to Help Wildlife

WIRES Partner with Australian Wildlife Conservancy

WIRES and Landcare Australia award $1.185 million to 64 groups across the country in post-bushfire wildlife habitat regeneration

WIRES support University koala research

Emergency Relief Grants Overview

Q2 2020 Updates

Supporting Emergency Vet Care

WIRES and ARC Helping Wildlife

WIRES Landcare Wildlife Relief and Recovery Grants Program

Q1 2020 Updates

WIRES Emergency wildlife Relief and Recovery plans 

WIRES announce 3 Million Dollars for Emergency Wildlife Rescue and Care

Drone technology aiding in rescue and search of injured native wildlife

Water Stations for Wildlife

Over 1 Billion Animals Lost

Statement from WIRES CEO, Leanne Taylor

Emergency Update January 2020

Emergency Wildlife Rescue Advice

Q4 2019 Updates

Unrelenting Fire Emergency

NSW Fire Catastrophe

WIRES Valued Emergency Rescue, Rehabilitation and Recovery Project Partners

  • Animal Rescue Cooperative
  • Aussie Ark
  • Australian Wildlife Conservancy
  • Currumbin Wildlife Hospital
  • Local Councils around Australia
  • Landcare Australia
  • The Ripper Alliance
  • University of Sydney
  • WWF Australia

With the support of generous donors like you, together we have funded:

  • funded $3 million in national grants to licenced wildlife carers, rescue organisations and vets.
  • $1 million to support WIRES volunteers in NSW with immediate rescue, response and rehabilitation requirements.
  • $500k to assist in the delivery of emergency on ground support to wildlife carers around Australia including tonnes of wildlife food.
  • 64 projects to support the national recovery of wildlife and wildlife habitat.
  • the planting of over 92,000 plants for habitat revegetation
  • installation of 1554 nest boxes
  • long term species recovery and habitat programs, expanding threatened species care and breeding programs
  • national veterinary vaccination grants to increase veterinary capacity to treat flying-foxes
  • the building and distribution of $1 million worth of arboreal water stations for native wildlife
  • the construction and expansion of wildlife hospital extensions and medical fit out costs
  • bushfire recovery projects to protect over 17 threatened and endangered species including the endangered Northern Bettong and Kangaroo Island Dunnart from extinction
  • a full-time emergency rescuer out of Currumbin Wildlife Hospital to support the local rehabilitation network, ensuring animals needing urgent rescue attention can be assisted faster
  • free training for wildlife rescue groups across the country so that they can implement best practice response and care for wildlife
  • $1 million to support critical koala research
  • expanded WIRES Rescue Office, focusing on improving systems and processes to ensure all calls for all species can be quickly answered 24/7
  • $200k to support initiatives to improve disease diagnosis in native wildlife and ultimately improve long-term outcomes
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