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WIRES asks you to stand up for nature this World Environment Day

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

WIRES asks you to stand up for nature this World Environment Day

One of the most important things we can do for nature is save our threatened species from extinction while we still have time, says WIRES, Australia’s largest wildlife rescue organisation.

The theme for this World Environment Day (5 June) of ‘Connecting People to Nature’, invites us to think about how we are part of nature and how intimately we depend upon it.

“It is almost impossible to think that in less than 40 years, animals like koalas could vanish from the wild in New South Wales,” says WIRES CEO Leanne Taylor.

“It’s not only possible, it’s likely. The government has passed legislation that will lead to broad scale land clearing in New South Wales which will threaten all native animals that inhabit these forests.”

WIRES is part of the Stand Up for Nature campaign that has opposed the changes. Find out more at: www.standupfornature.org.au

The government has already identified the koala as ‘vulnerable’ to extinction in the medium term in NSW and there are currently endangered populations in Pittwater, Hawks Nest & Tea Gardens, and in the Northern Rivers region. There are numerous koala populations throughout the state including south-west Sydney, New England region, Clarence Valley and central west areas of NSW.

“WIRES is there 365 days a year to rescue animals that have lost their homes. And this Winter we’re asking people to donate what they can as the number of displaced animals only continues to increase,” said Ms Taylor. People can donate at: www.wires.org.au/donate/current-appeal

In recent years, WIRES has received an increasing number of calls about koalas. In the last year alone, WIRES responded to more than 480 calls from around Australia to help koalas in need – that’s more than one a day! Some of these calls required action and follow up from WIRES and others were referred to other organisations.

The reality is that caring for native animals like koalas requires special skills and a whole team of special people. Since May last year, WIRES has taken into care around 40 koalas.

WIRES’ koala coordinator, Vickii Lett says, “The value of what we do is in the care we provide”.

Koalas come into care for any number of reasons, from being in places they shouldn’t be, to disease, dog attacks and motor vehicle accidents.

“Occasionally we get youngsters who have been separated from mum and we don’t know why.

“We always work with specialists to come up with the best case scenario for the individual animal, which could involve treatment with a drug or surgical procedure. We work closely with researchers and vets to ensure we are using the best practices in koala care.”

To read about some of the koalas currently in care and view an infosheet on the work that WIRES does for koalas, visit: www.wires.org.au/blog

“With the help of donors and supporters, WIRES can train more volunteers to care for koalas and start building the kinds of facilities we need to prepare them for their life in the wild,” said Ms Taylor.

“For instance, we would love to provide pre-release enclosures full of trees for our recovering koalas, to assist them in regaining strength and fitness.”

The work of WIRES extends beyond just responding to emergencies. WIRES’ volunteers contribute to knowledge of koala care and of the health of native populations through tracking and monitoring. The organisation also works with the Australian Museum Research Institute in collecting koala DNA that makes a vital contribution to research and conservation efforts.

“When people give to WIRES they can be assured that their donations go towards supporting our threatened species through: emergency rescue and care, community education; and efforts to conserve native habitats and populations,” said Ms Taylor.


ENDS


Media Contact: Paula Wallace, 0404 088 501, paula@wires.org.au

Images appearing in this media release are available for publication in high resolution. There are a number of additional images of koalas available for publication that can be viewed at: www.wires.org.au/blog

WIRES (NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service Inc.) is Australia's largest wildlife rescue organisation. WIRES’ mission is to actively rehabilitate and preserve Australian wildlife and inspire others to do the same. For more information visit: www.wires.org.au