New round of emergency funds to help overwhelmed NSW wildlife volunteers
The Wildlife Heroes Emergency Fund is open for applications between 1st and 14th January. Registered NSW wildlife groups and independent licence holders are invited to apply for up to $5,000 and $500 respectively, from a pool of $35,000. Fund recipients can use the grant to pay for first aid equipment and supplies that will enhance their ability to respond to emergencies such as extreme heat events, storms and strandings.
Wildlife volunteers across NSW are facing one of the busiest Christmas periods ever as soaring temperatures hit native animals hard.
Kangaroos, fruit bats, koalas and a range of bird and reptile species are already suffering the effects of prolonged exposure to drought and bushfire. Their resistance to the effects of extreme heat is at an all-time low.
Thousands of abandoned baby fruit bats are just one example of the far-reaching impact of drought in NSW. Carers are stretched to their limit with hundreds of call outs to dying, displaced and emaciated bats.
“The bushfires have significantly raised public awareness about the challenges facing wildlife and wildlife carers, but there are a number of other emergencies currently impacting native fauna,” says Ian Darbyshire, CEO of the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife (FNPW) who are administering the Emergency Fund on behalf on the NSW Government.
“Much of the cost of helping drought and heat-affected animals is borne by individuals working as wildlife rescuers and carers. Instead of getting a Christmas break, many volunteers are taking in extra animals that are starved, dehydrated or orphaned.”
FNPW is also calling on individuals and businesses to supplement the grants by donating to its Wildlife Heroes appeal. Funds raised by the appeal will provide financial assistance to those groups most impacted by emergencies.
The Wildlife Heroes Emergency Fund 2019 has been supported by the New South Wales Government’s Environmental Trust.