NSW Wildlife Rehabilitation Annual Report 2017–18

This report provides a snapshot of key outcomes for the period from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018 in terms of volunteer numbers and animal rescues undertaken by the sector.

PREFACE

Most of us at some time are likely to encounter native wildlife
that are sick or injured and in need of care. Volunteers with
the support of veterinary professionals provide an invaluable
service rescuing these native animals and investing
considerable time and resources trying to help them recover
so they can be released back into the wild.

The draft NSW Volunteer Wildlife Rehabilitation Sector
Strategy (OEH 2018) was developed to help support
and promote the efforts of the thousands of volunteers
participating in wildlife rehabilitation. A key action in the
strategy is for NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service
(NPWS), as part of the Department of Planning, Industry
and Environment, to improve access to the data collected
on the thousands of animals rescued each year. The
knowledge generated from this data will inform research and
conservation programs for hundreds of native animal species.

The Department is pleased to present this first annual
wildlife rehabilitation report. We hope it sheds light on the
important work of volunteers and increases understanding
about the tens of thousands of sick and injured animals that
are rescued and cared for by this sector each year.

We thank all the wildlife rehabilitation organisations and
individuals that have submitted data for this report and
acknowledge their ongoing contribution to animal welfare
and environment protection outcomes

Download the 2017-2018 report from NSW Depratment of Planning, Industry & Environment

NSW Wildlife Rehabilitation Annual Report 2018–19

This annual report is the collective story of the NSW wildlife rehabilitation sector.

PREFACE

Most of us at some time are likely to encounter native wildlife
that are sick or injured and in need of care. Volunteers with
the support of veterinary professionals provide an invaluable
service rescuing these native animals and invest considerable
time and resources trying to help them recover so they can
be released back into the wild.

The NSW Volunteer Wildlife Rehabilitation Sector Strategy
(DPIE 2020) was developed to help support and promote
the efforts of the thousands of volunteers participating in
wildlife rehabilitation. A key action in the strategy is for the
NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), as part of
the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, to
improve access to the data collected on the thousands of
animals rescued each year. The knowledge generated from
this data will inform research and conservation programs for
hundreds of native animal species.

The Department is pleased to present its second annual
wildlife rehabilitation report. We hope it sheds light on the
important work of volunteers and increases understanding
about the tens of thousands of sick and injured animals that
are rescued and cared for by this sector each year.

We would like to thank all the wildlife rehabilitation
organisations and individuals that have submitted data to
this report and their ongoing contribution to animal welfare
and environment protection outcomes.

Download the 2018-2019 report from the NSW Depratment of Planning, Industry & Environment

Support for volunteer wildlife army

The State’s army of volunteer wildlife rehabilitators, and the vets who assist them, will be better supported to meet the demands of native animal rescue with today’s release of the NSW Volunteer Wildlife Rehabilitation Sector Strategy.

Feeding Baby Joeys
Feeding Orphan Joeys

The 3-year plan to support and improve wildlife rehabilitation in New South Wales has in part been developed to incorporate the findings of the NSW Bushfire Inquiry.

Environment Minister Matt Kean said wildlife rehabilitators rescue about 100,000 animals every year and even more in times of crisis.

“Our army of volunteer wildlife rehabilitators worked tirelessly in last summer’s catastrophic bushfires, rescuing countless wildlife, including our precious koalas,” Mr Kean said.

“Without their commitment, dedication and responsiveness our sick and injured native animals would not have survived.”

The NSW Government has already committed $6.52 million to implement the strategy statewide.

Key elements include:

  • consistent standards of operation for the sector
  • improved support for local groups and volunteers
  • better training for veterinarians to assist native wildlife
  • a system of accreditation to replace the current licensing of volunteer wildlife rehabilitation groups.

Additionally, codes of practice for animal care will be enhanced along with training standards for rehabilitators and changes to the policy framework to give people more choice about which group they can join.

“Often working in challenging and confronting circumstances, these volunteers can bear significant personal cost and stress,” Mr Kean said.

“We want volunteers to feel prepared, understood and respected while also equipping them with the necessary skills and resources to perform their crucial role.”

The NSW Volunteer Wildlife Rehabilitation Sector Strategy 2020-2023 is available to download.

Leave that baby bird alone!

Resist the ‘cute factor’

Seeing a helpless baby bird stranded out of its nest tugs at the heart-strings of most people, but there is a simple message—leave that chick alone!

Spring is a time when many birds breed, which inevitably results in plenty of fluffy chicks in the neighbourhood, and some of them give a good impression of being abandoned and helpless when they’re on the ground.

However, don’t be fooled—you should resist the urge to rescue the bird, because usually they don’t need your assistance at all. Most just need to be left alone, and removing a baby bird from its environment is not always in its best interests.

People should ignore the ‘cute factor’ and dispassionately assess whether the bird really needs your help. Ask yourself these questions: Is the chick visibly injured? Is it in real danger of being killed or injured? If the answer is no, leave it alone—it’s the best thing to do.

Sometimes baby birds land on the ground when they’re learning to fly, but that doesn’t mean that they need your assistance. Usually their parents are nearby, waiting to feed and look after their young once you’ve left the scene.

If you find a nest that’s been blown onto the ground, replace it and its contents in a nearby shrub or tree so that the parent birds can continue to attend it. They will find it.

If you find a young Tawny Frogmouth on the ground, simply replace it in a nearby tree. It’s the safest place for it.

If you find a baby Masked Lapwing or plover on the ground, leave it where it is; after all, the ground is where they live. Its parents will be nearby (they’re probably swooping you right now).

If you find a chick on the ground and it is:

  1. clearly unattended by its parents (watch this from a distance for some time so you’re not keeping them away); and
  2. it’s in imminent danger from cats, dogs or traffic; and
  3. it can’t be left in a safe place nearby: do not attempt to look after the bird on your own. Place it in a dark, warm, dry place (such as a cardboard box with plenty of air holes, and padding such as a towel inside), keep it safe from the family cats and dogs, and then contact your local wildlife rescue shelter or vet straight away.

Remember, cute is not the same as helpless.

How you can improve biodiversity in your garden

Attracting Australian wildlife isn’t an easy task. Natural wildlife visiting our homes and gardens is a rarity that we all enjoy. In this guide, we’ll show you how to increase biodiversity and attract some of the unique wildlife Australia has to offer.

When building your garden, the main factors for increasing biodiversity is providing shelter from predators, a water source, plants that attract prey, plants that provide food and adjoining bushland to your property.

Below is a link to a great resource from Sydney Gardners about how to make this happen.

How you can improve the biodiversity in your garden.

You never know what might turn up in your garden.