WIRES is Preparing for the Bushfire Season

Thursday, September 24, 2020

With the bushfire season fast approaching WIRES has been working on a range of initiatives and programs in preparedness for emergency weather events that impact wildlife. The focus continues to be on improving emergency response capacity to rescue and care for higher numbers of animals and ensuring appropriate training is readily available and accessible to all volunteers.

Increasing Emergency Response Capacity

WIRES has a new dedicated Emergency Response Team with emergency responder vehicles to provide immediate wildlife assistance across NSW and one based in Currumbin QLD. The Emergency Response Team will be attending urgent wildlife rescues and will be deployed to provide additional support at large scale emergency events. WIRES dedicated Rescue Office has also been expanded to take calls for all species 24/7.

Expanding Rescue Training Capacity

The Black Summer fires prompted over 1,900 people to register their interest in volunteering with WIRES earlier this year. To meet the need for the required training in the face of COVID-19 restrictions and to support other rescue groups, WIRES has modified courses and created new training options to provide the basic skills needed to rescue wildlife.

WIRES is developing and expanding courses for volunteer rescuers and employing an experienced wildlife veterinarian to work closely with our training and rescue teams.

Projects include:

• Modifying WIRES Rescue and Immediate Care Course (RICC) to be 100% online, so all new volunteers can complete pre summer.

• Creating a new online Introduction to Wildlife Rescue Course to help train volunteers nationally. WIRES will be offering Training Grants to established wildlife rescue groups so their volunteers can access this course for free in 2020.

• Expanding WIRES Training Team to create and run more courses, including the development of a new online Emergency Response Course.

Increasing Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Capacity and Emergency Preparedness

Throughout 2020 WIRES has already supported over 240 national projects to assist wildlife rescue organisations, vets and licenced wildlife carers. Distributed funding for the rebuilding of rehabilitation enclosures, the purchase of vital rescue equipment, the provision food for animals and medical supplies.

WIRES is working closely with Animal Rescue Co-operative to provide essential support nationally to the wildlife sector. WIRES is also funding the critically needed extension of the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital in Queensland.

WIRES Water For Wildlife program will see 800 arboreal drinkers distributed and installed in drought and fire affected areas nationally over the coming months. (link to release)

WIRES is working on a range of technology improvements to increase speed of rescue response and is offering at no cost, access to rescue communications software to other groups who are managing high volumes of rescues. The team is developing a new wildlife rescue app and plans to improve the online rescue reporting experience, to make it faster and easier for the community to help wildlife in distress.

WIRES continues to work closely with national, state and local government agencies and other emergency rescue organisations, to review rescue response plans and the processes that need to be implemented to ensure the most effective approach to native animal rescue.

Media Enquiries:

WIRES Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service

John Grant, WIRES Media Officer

Phone: (02) 8977 3327

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.wires.org.au

About WIRES:

WIRES, Australia's largest wildlife rescue organisation has been rescuing and caring for native animals 365 days a year for almost 35 years. WIRES mission is to actively rehabilitate and preserve Australian wildlife and inspire others to do the same. WIRES operate a dedicated Wildlife Rescue Office assisting the community and wildlife 7 days a week and WIRES have 28 regional branches with over 3,000 volunteers involved in wildlife rescue, rehabilitation, information and education. Annually WIRES provide rescue advice and assistance for tens of thousands of sick, injured, orphaned and displaced animals and run around 100 wildlife training courses for thousands of participants. In the wake of the devastating 2019/2020 emergency events, WIRES began providing significant national support for wildlife, supporting over 240 projects to assist with wildlife rescue and care across every state and territory. WIRES are also working with major partners to support the long-term recovery of wildlife habitat and the long-term preservation of native species in the wild nationally.

Sign Up for Wildlife News

Stay in touch and get our regular rescue stories, WIRES updates and a free copy of our 15 Ways to Help Wildlife ebook