Frequently Asked Questions

Who should I contact about injured wildlife?

If you find a sick or injured wild animal, contact your nearest veterinarian or wildlife carer organisation as soon as possible so that it may receive appropriate treatment.  Wild animals become stressed by handling, so you should seek expert advice before handling an injured animal.  Try to minimise the amount of exposure the injured animal has to people and loud noises.  Please do not attempt to feed or treat it unless you have specialist knowledge or training.  For non-native species, contact the RSPCA or a vet.

Contact details for injured wildlife:



ACT Wildlife

(02) 6287 8100

0432 300 033

TAS Bonorong Wildlife Rescue 0447 2​64 625

Wildlife Victoria

Help for Wildlife

(03) 8400 7300

0477 555 611



Sydney Metropolitan Wildlife Services

Wildlife Rescue Inc


1300 094 737

(02) 9413 4300

1300 596 457

(02) 9782 4448



Fauna Rescue SA

Southern Koala & Echinda Rescue

Native Animal Network of SA

1300 477 722

(08) 8289 0896

0435 056 252

0411 102 763


Wildcare NT

Darwin Wildlife  Sanctuary

0408 885 341

0473 992 581


Wildcare WA

Native Animal Rescue

(08) 9474 9055 

(08) 9249 3434



Wildlife Rescue Queensland

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service

1300 264 625

0478 901 801

1300 130 372

National Wildlife Rescue Inc  1300 596 457
National IFAW Wildlife Rescue App LINK

What do I do if I see an injured or sick marine mammal, reptile (e.g. turtle), or seabird?

If you encounter an injured or sick marine mammal, reptile, or seabird, please report it as soon as possible to a suitably trained and licensed wildlife rehabilitation group or the National Parks and Wildlife Service.  National Parks warns against individuals attempting to rescue turtles, dolphins and other marine animals in distress and recommends calling NPWS or ORRCA instead.

I have found a bat. What do I do?

If the bat is alive, please DO NOT TOUCH it or attempt to rescue it yourself!  Bats can carry a disease (Hendra and Lyssavirus).  If you can avoid direct contact with the bat, you can place a towel or box over it to keep it in place and protect it from direct sunlight until the rescuer arrives.  Contact the bat rescue hotline in your region.  MORE.  Alternatively, if you spot a sick or injured flying fox, you can call RSPCA on 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625) to report it, and a vaccinated carer will be contacted to rescue and care for the animal. 

If you find a bat or bird with a band, tag, or some other marking, the Australian Bird and Bat Banding Scheme (ABBBS)  would like to hear about it.  MORE>>.

If the bat is dead, use a shovel and thick gloves to pick it up and put it into a strong plastic bag or container.  Contact the bat rescue hotline in your region.

If the dead bat needs to be submitted for laboratory testing, it should be stored in a sealed plastic bag or container at 4°C (fridge temperature) until it can be dispatched to the laboratory.

Dead bats are generally only submitted for testing if:
 - a person or animal has been scratched, bitten or exposed to bat body fluids, or
 - there is evidence of multiple bat deaths, and the cause is unknown.

Dead bats that do not need to be tested should be disposed of by incineration or deep burial.  If you see a dead bat in a public area (gutter, road or local park), you can ask your local council to dispose of it.

Call the Animal Biosecurity Emergency Hotline on 1800 675 888 to report multiple or unusual bat deaths.

Microbats are in my house. What do I do now?

All native birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals (including microbats) are protected in New South Wales by the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016.

2.1   Harming animals

A person who harms or attempts to harm

(a)  an animal that is of a threatened species, or

(b)  an animal that is part of a threatened ecological community, or

(c)  a protected animal,

is guilty of an offence.

  • Install nest boxes designed for microbats as an alternative to your house,
  • More tips HERE >
What is the best way to report multiple bird deaths?

Whether the animal is native or non-native, please call the Office of Environment and Heritage Environment Line on 131 555.  Multiple deaths could be related to poison, disease, or parasites, to name a few.  The Office of Environment and Heritage partners with Taronga Zoo’s Wildlife Pathology lab to examine deceased specimens.  The Australian Museum also welcomes donations by the public of birds found dead.  Sightings of wildlife (dead or alive) can also be reported through Atlas of Living Australia.  Mass mortalities of wild birds in Australia FACT SHEET.

I found a duckling in my pool.  What do I do? 

The best method in preventing ducks from using your pool is to use a pool cover.  Other preventative measures include floating devices such as pool noodles or inflatable toys.  Ducklings will struggle to get out if the edge or steps are too high.  Place a ramp for them to walk up.  A piece of shade cloth or lattice fencing resting up the side of the pool is very effective.  Unless the bird is in immediate danger, it is not recommended that you attempt to relocate them.  If you think the duckling has been abandoned - it is pretty standard for them to be left for a few hours by the mother as she goes off for a feed - observe from a distance for a while to see if she returns.  Call WIRES NSW at 1300 094 737 or the Wildcare Helpline at 07 9474 9055 (Western Australia) if you’re unsure or visit their website

What should I do if I discover a deceased platypus?

If you find a dead platypus, please get in touch with the Australian Platypus Conservancy by phone (03 5416 1478 or 0419 595939) or email ( so they can arrange to have the carcass picked up for a thorough post-mortem examination if this appears to be warranted.  However, if the body is starting to decompose, careful photographic documentation may be of greater value than saving the body for an autopsy MORE.

Cockatoos are damaging my property. What can I do?

Sulphur-crested cockatoos are a native species protected under the Wildlife Act 1975.  Please keep in mind that these birds have lost many of their homes due to habitat loss.  Consequently, they have had no choice but to learn to adapt to an increasing human population.  Cockatoos are very intelligent, and a well-planned strategic program needs to be set up to deter them from your property. 

  • Do not feed them,
  • Make a scarecrow that looks like a bird of prey,
  • Give them a quick spray with a water bottle or hose,
  • Paint any timber white - they do not like it,
  • Use taped alarm calls or a motion-activated alarm, and
  • Use wildlife-friendly netting to cover any holes.

Be persistent until the birds go away - this may take more than a week.

I have possums in my roof. How can I get rid of them?

Possums and other native wildlife are fully protected by law, so check your state regulations before taking matters into your own hands.  In NSW, for example, possums cannot be trapped or harmed without an appropriate licence from the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service NPWS.

Possums are highly territorial and often fight to the death if they find themselves in another possum’s territory.  This is why adult possums are not permitted to be released any further than 50 metres away from where they were found in NSW.  So to solve your possum-in-roof problem, you need to convince your possum to move out of your roof and into a possum box in your tree.  This way, it will protect your house from other possums.

There are plenty of guides to building your own possum box online.  The NPWS and some wildlife care groups also have some online tips on how you might encourage your possum to move out of your roof on its own accord.  However, if trapping is required, talk to your local wildlife care group about the best options for your situation – they should be able to tell you whether you can get a licence to trap it yourself, or they may recommend a good possum trapper in your area.  And once the possum is out – don’t forget to possum-proof your roof to ensure it doesn’t decide to move back in again.

DYI Possum Removal >>>

How do I report an unusual non-native animal sighting?

Report it immediately if you’ve seen or know of an unusual non-native animal.  These animals can have an adverse impact on native wildlife and the environment, and your action could help prevent them from becoming established pest animals MORE.

How do I report flora or fauna sightings?

The Species Sightings data collection contains records of plants, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, some fungi, invertebrates and fish.  Data collected as part of the Systematic Survey data collection are returned in Species sightings searches.  The sightings you contribute to the Species Sightings data collection of BioNet Atlas will be re-used in many research and conservation programs and help guide decisions on where government and land management activities will occur.  It is essential that you contribute accurate location details for all species, particularly the exact locations of threatened species, to ensure impacts are avoided where possible.  Using the Species Sightings spreadsheet, you can upload your records within the BioNet Atlas application.  You will need to register for a login to the application.  MORE

Wildlife licenses

All native mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and many species of native plants are protected in NSW by the National Parks and Wildlife Act.

You’ll need to get a licence from the NPWS if you want to:

  • keep native animals as pets,

  • carry out research into protected fauna and flora,

  • move native animals across state and territory borders.

Many activities that involve native animals or plants need a licence. Find out which licence you need and how to apply HERE

Is approval required for native vegetation clearing?
  • Do not feed them,
  • Make a scarecrow that looks like a bird of prey,
  • Give them a quick spray with a water bottle or hose,
  • Paint any timber white - they do not like it,
  • Use taped alarm calls or a motion-activated alarm, and
  • Use wildlife-friendly netting to cover any holes.

Be persistent until the birds go away - this may take more than a week.

I am doing a project on Australian wildlife. Can you help?

We are a conservation Society dedicated to conserving Australia’s wildlife through public awareness, education, information and legislation.  Our Society is made up of volunteers and runs through the kind donations of our members.  We have a range of brochures on Australian wildlife available to members, including a very detailed one on endangered wildlife.  We also publish a quarterly magazine called Australian Wildlife, featuring many articles on our indigenous fauna and flora.  You can also contact the National Parks and Wildlife Service in your state for more information on any of the various species of Australian wildlife.  Contact your local Botanic Gardens for information on native plants and flowers.

I would like a career in wildlife. What do I have to do?

To become a native animal expert, you can undertake informal and formal education.  By informal, I mean reading whatever literature you find on Australian wildlife from your local and school libraries and considering joining a society like ours.  Formal education can be undertaken by enrolling in a specialised course at Charles Sturt University at Bathurst or other science courses at local universities.  To start your career before you leave school, you might like to write to or visit all your local fauna parks and vets and volunteer your services in any capacity.  You could also volunteer to work with National Parks or a local wildlife rescue group.  Any such experience, plus formal qualifications, would be an excellent start to your chosen career.


What is the effect of drought on wildlife?

It is often assumed that because drought is an economic disaster for humans living in the western districts of NSW, it is also a disaster for wildlife.  However, Homo sapiens is an introduced species, bringing farming and cultural traditions from the wetter Northern Hemisphere.  Wildlife, both plant and animal, has evolved and adapted to the Australian environment throughout the increasing aridity of several million years.  Some well-studied mechanisms for surviving drought include delayed implantation in some desert kangaroos and various forms of dormancy in native plants.  Species survive, although individuals may not.  A cyclic balance is maintained, but we must remember that interference with that cycle may have unfavourable consequences.  For example, large-scale artificial feeding may lead to a population rebound that outstrips resources when such support feeding stops.

Regardless of population dynamics, the death and suffering of individuals are visible and will increase as the drought continues.  Kangaroos, wallabies and wombats seeking what fodder remains on road verges become road kills.  Some kangaroos are so weakened that they cannot move quickly enough to avoid onrushing vehicles.  Graziers demand the culling of kangaroos as they compete increasingly with sheep and cattle for diminishing resources available on their properties.

The critical resource at present is fodder.  European settlers' agricultural activities have increased water availability at dams and bores across Australia.  But the agricultural practices of the Northern Hemisphere and the imperatives of modern economics have also led to overstocking sheep or cattle and resulting in land degradation.  If any long-term solution to the loss of biodiversity in the western districts is to be found, it will require a solution to the related problems of overstocking and land degradation, including increased salinity of the surface soil.

Attention is usually focused on the wildlife species visibly suffering, mainly the large mammals.  But small to medium-sized mammals must face additional predation from introduced foxes and cats as drought causes a decrease in available prey.  Drought is a time when native species, adapted to arid conditions, might be expected actually to have an advantage over introduced species, but that advantage can be wiped out by increased predation.  Predator control must be part of any program that aims to protect native species in good times and during drought.  Likewise, exotic weed control is essential to maintaining plant diversity in the Australian landscape.

The above considerations apply to broad-scale management to ensure the survival of wildlife populations.  However, there is sure to come to a point where a combination of factors puts local wildlife populations in such jeopardy that intervention is necessary.  This will be the case with isolated reserves and properties where recruitment from a larger population is blocked.  And it may, of course, be one’s own backyard.  If food and water must be supplied, it must be done in a way that does not expose the target species to predators or create long-term dependency.  Food should be as close to the natural diet as possible and must not be supplied at a fixed feeding point.  The Australian Wildlife Society has a policy on feeding wildlife that includes the above issues.

The bottom line is that prevention is better than attempted cures.  Drought cannot be prevented. However, native species in the western districts have adaptations to drought conditions.  Reduction of additional pressure brought about by human activities is essential.  This requires a long-term commitment by organisations such as the Australian Wildlife Society that persists even when the rains return.