We're helping wildlife affected by fires

The scale and severity of bushfires sweeping the country is currently testing the resources of wildlife rescue groups. Many groups have issued public pleas for financial support and donated goods, to help them meet the needs of native wildlife that are suffering from the impact of these fires. Wildlife rescue groups and wildlife hospitals simply cannot keep up and need extra support to help native wildlife going through this traumatic moment in history. The treatment and rehabilitation of wildlife is an intensive and a long-term process and recovery can take up to 6-9 months.

Australian Wildlife Society wanted to do more to help wildlife rescue groups and native wildlife affected by the bushfires in NSW, SA & VIC. Thank you to everyone who donated to our 'wildlife affected by fires' initiative. 

Account Name: Wildlife Preservation Society of Australia trading as Australian Wildlife Society

Bank: Commonwealth Bank Of Australia

BSB: 062-235

Account: #10696157

Description: Wildlife in fires

Wildlife rescue groups that we are supporting

100% of donations will be distributed to the following wildlife rescue groups that are rehabilitating native wildlife affected by the bushfires.

New South Wales

Cedar Creek Wombat Rescue Inc & Hospital is dedicated to rescuing not just orphaned joey wombats but also sub-adults and adults that are in need of medical care, whether it be from accident, injury, mange or the result of extreme weather events. Along with wombats, Cedar Creek Wombat Rescue cares for many other native animals with the focus being on wildlife that are in need of more than routine care to get them to the point of release. Over 38 years ago, Roz and Kev Holme recognised the plight of the bare nosed wombat. The loss of habitat, road hazards, and debilitating sarcoptic mange have all contributed to the steady decline of the common or bare-nosed wombat  (Vombatus ursinus).  The Society greatly admires Cedar Creek's work in helping to conserve native Australian wildlife, especially during Australia's bushfires.

The Pridmore's are dedicated to wildlife conservation. Previously, they established Badger Ground Native Nursery at Rylstone NSW, supplying native plants from providence seed. Despite retiring from nursery life, they continue wildlife conservation efforts at Bardger Ground through their continued preservation of both flora and fauna. Donations provided to Mike and Sue were used to supplementary feed wildlife at Badger Ground Suffering enormously from the drought and fire conditions. Mike and Sue cared for about 70 native wildlife species in total, many with babes in pouches and many being youngsters. They counted 40 red-necked wallabies, two regular swamp wallabies, a small family of eastern grey kangaroos and wombats, often requiring feed during 30 degree temperatures, have multiplied. They also cared for about 80 wild birds and 24 wood ducks, that have gradually arrived to use the pool of water maintained in the dam. Mike and Sue listen to the powerful owls and the mopokes at night and wonder what on earth they are feeding on as there was little, if any, feed in blossoms and so much bushland and shrubs died. Mike and Sue also have two wild resident koalas. They called the little one Drummer due to the 'drum and rumble' sound it makes at night. Drummer sleeps in the walnut tree during the day and at night it sleeps in the black wood wattle, next to the mugga ironbark. The Pridmore's experienced helicopters flying over them with buckets of water to dump on Ferntree Gully Reserve. It was a huge NSW Rural Fires Service exercise to prepare for ways of stopping the fire travelling westward.

Sydney Metropolitan Wildlife Service was formed in May 1997, by a large group of experienced wildlife carers, to meet the specific needs of urban wildlife in the Sydney metropolitan area. Sydney Wildlife runs a Wildlife Mobile Care Unit, staffed by experienced volunteer veterinarians, that travelled to fire grounds to rescue and treat injured and fire-affected wildlife. 

Wombat Care Bundanoon cares for orphaned, injured and manged wombats and was established to help, advise, support and educate  people in the Southern Highlands to understand these strong and intelligent animals. John Creighton, WCB founder, has engaged in a proactive approach in response to Australia's bushfires. John played a key role in the Southern Highlands fire-affected zones where he provided supplementary feed to bushfire-affected wombats and other native wildlife. 

Friends of the brush-tailed rock-wallaby was formed in 1995 by residents in Kangaroo Valley. Their aim is to increase the numbers of brush-tailed rock-wallabies by reducing threats to its survival and to create a better environment for the species to breed. One of the Kangaroo Valley colonies were impacted by Australia's bushfires and other colonies have been badly affected by drought. Friends of the brush-tailed rock-wallaby have provided supplementary food (sweet potato), and predator control, for the bushfire-affected rock-wallaby colony at Kangaroo Valley and have so far ensured their survival as per the monitoring camera data. The Friends use digital camera monitoring to determine the exact numbers of individuals that have survived the bushfires and the level of threat by predators such as foxes, cats and wild dogs.

South Australia

South Australian Veterinary Emergency Management Inc. (SAVEM) was founded in 2009, and has been part of the State Emergency Management Plan since 2010. A decade of effective response has built SAVEM’s reputation and credibility with Tier 1 Emergency Services such as the Country Fire Service and SA Police. SAVEM was active on the fire ground since 20 December 2019 at the Cudlee Creek (Adelaide Hills; 25,000 hectares) and the Ravine (Kangaroo Island; 200,000 hectares) fires. The last fire was exterminated in March 2020. SAVEM was quickly “activated” for the Cudlee Creek fire five days before Christmas. Their tasks over the first few days of the fire largely involved "pet" livestock. However, by day four of the response in persistently hot weather, wildlife began to emerge, seeking water and food, and their focus shifted to assessment and triage of kangaroos and koalas, with the occasional possum, bird or reptile. Many kangaroos suffered severe hind limb burns and were euthanised on animal welfare grounds. Koalas presented in three main groups: (1) minor burns to face or to two limbs, and were able to be sent in to care with a competent licenced carer after veterinary assessment and initial treatment (2) those requiring hospitalisation were given veterinary first aid and transported to the nearby Cleland Wildlife Park, into the care of senior veterinarian Dr Ian Hough, and (3) those triaged as being too badly injured  and with poor prognosis were euthanised. SAVEM's professional experience over ten years has taught them that triage must be rigorous. The highest standards of animal welfare must be maintained and that there is no benefit in keeping and treating a badly injured wild animal in hospital, only to find that euthanasia is required after the animal has endured several weeks of captivity and frequent anesthesia and handling. Another important consideration is that South Australian koalas often succumb to renal disease following stress – especially the stress of hospitalisation.

Victoria

Kangaloola Wildlife Shelter rescue, rehabilitate and release sick, injured and orphaned native Australian wildlife. Kangaloola also aims to raise public awareness of wildlife-related issues. More information to come. 

Hepburn Wildlife Shelter, founded in 2005, is a 24–hour, self-funded volunteer wildlife rescue and treatment centre, established to assist and care for injured, orphaned, sick and distressed wildlife in and around the forested Shire of Hepburn in central Victoria to the north-west of Melbourne. The shelter is an incorporated non-profit association run by the founders Gayle Chappell and Jon Rowdon from their home just outside Daylesford in the Wombat Forest. In response to Australia's bushfires, Hepburn Wildlife Shelter decided to establish a new wildlife hospital - Central Victoria Wildlife Hospital. Unlike the eastern side of Melbourne with access to the wonderful facilities at Healesville Sanctuary, the region has no dedicated wildlife treatment centre or facility that can cater for wildlife disasters or provide professional training for wildlife carers, hence the establishment of the new wildlife hospital. The new hospital project will build on and significantly expand the work of Hepburn wildlife Shelter, by establishing better facilities for wildlife care in the Central Victoria region and for Western Victoria, by creating triage and rehabilitation centre, particularly for open wounds and nerve injuries (mostly kangaroos), adult injured wombats, and a burns centre for treating wildlife caught up in any regional bushfires. It will include on-site facilities that will allow the assessment and response to injuries immediately and with greater effectiveness. The hospital will also act as a wildlife ambulance base and a 24-hour depot for injured wildlife. It is also destined to become a research and teaching centre and provide specialist care and rehabilitation on a regional basis where vets, vet nurses and volunteer wildlife carers could gain essential hands-on experience. The hospital will have dedicated facilities and well-trained people to perform necropsies, blood sampling and faecal floats. While the new wildlife hospital does not replace the need for wildlife shelters, it will provide an added resource for them and the wildlife that they care for. It will also nurture and expand the wildlife rescue community that already exists and provide more volunteer and community involvement opportunities. The 24-hour aspect also means that wildlife rescuers can immediately take injured animals for treatment, rather than sit by the side of the road with the animal in their car, making multiple calls to shelters to find a placement for them, reducing stress for both the animal and the rescuer. The new wildlife hospital is to be completed during the 2020-2021 summer MORE>> Pg.12

Goongerah Environment Centre Office (GECO) is a grass roots community group based in the small town of Goongerah in far East Gippsland, Victoria. Since 1993 they have campaigned for protection of East Gippsland’s forests. East Gippsland's forests are exceptionally rich in biodiversity, threatened species and rare rainforest types and old growth forests. Using a variety of strategies including education and raising public awareness, political lobbying, non-violent direct action, citizen science and forest monitoring they act to protect high conservation value forests from logging. GECO fought hard to protect the forests during Australia's bushfires and will continue habitat recovery following the bushfires.