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WIRES launches free multilingual community course in Australia-first wildlife education initiative

Thursday, April 11, 2019

NSW Wildlife Information Rescue & Education Service Inc. (WIRES) has announced the release of a free online community course on Australian wildlife that is available in three languages.

The course, ‘An Introduction to Australian Wildlife’, is available in English, Chinese Simplified and Arabic, and has been designed for people of all ages as an easy introduction to wildlife for people unfamiliar with Australian native animals.


WIRES Training Coordinator Jenn Rhodes said the charity is always looking for new ways to help the community learn more about native animals and be more involved in wildlife protection.

“This course is another way for us to educate the public about native animals and to help fill a gap in the
general community’s awareness about Australian wildlife,” Ms Rhodes said.

The course has four components - Birds, Reptiles, Mammals, and Living With Wildlife – and is particularly helpful for people new to Australia.

“We often get calls from members of the public who are unfamiliar with native animals. A common call we get is from someone worried that the animal in their backyard is a venomous snake, when it’s actually a harmless blue-tongue lizard,” Ms Rhodes said.

“For this reason the course has a huge role to play in helping people get a better understanding of some of the most common native animals they are likely to see.”

Featuring audio files of bird calls and infographics on situation-specific wildlife advice, the course also helps participants identify common venomous and non-venomous snakes, and provides first-aid advice for snake bites.

While the course does not authorise participants as licensed rescuers or carers, the course does provide species-specific information on what people should do if they find a sick, injured or orphaned native animal.

“The course is designed to help people learn how best to assist if they find a native animal in distress, and to help them learn how to safely enjoy living with Australian wildlife,” Ms Rhodes said.

WIRES says the program has an important role to play in wildlife protection.

“Education and awareness is a hugely important tool when it comes to helping wildlife, so the more people who understand about Australian native animals the more we believe they will be inspired to help protect and preserve them,” Ms Rhodes said.

‘An Introduction to Australian Wildlife’ can be accessed at the following link:
https://www.wires.org.au/wildlife-info/wildlife-education/community-wildlife-course

ENDS

Media Contact:
Elena Wewer
8977 3327 media@wires.org.au

About WIRES
WIRES (NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service Inc.) is Australia's largest wildlife rescue organisation, with over 2500 volunteers in 28 branches across NSW. WIRES’ dedicated Rescue Office operates 365 days a year.
Last year, WIRES provided rescue advice and assistance for over 95,000 animals. WIRES receives no confirmed, ongoing funding and relies on community donations to provide its rescue, care, education, and information services.

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