Working together for wildlife – the best way to celebrate World Wildlife Day
The Wildlife Heroes project is celebrating ‘working together to help wildlife volunteers’ this World Wildlife Day.The NSW Wildlife Heroes Steering Committee met for the first time on the 27th February, bringing diverse skills and perspectives together to support wildlife rescue and rehabilitation. The group discussed the needs and challenges of wildlife rehabilitation across the state and shared experiences from the summer bushfire crisis.
There was lots of positive energy for what can be achieved collectively, even in the face of so much loss and exhaustion.
An expression of interest request for Steering Committee members went out to the NSW wildlife rehabilitation sector in October last year, just as the Wildlife Heroes project was launching. Committee members were chosen to represent wildlife groups, veterinarians, researchers and animal welfare organisations.
The Wildlife Heroes Steering Committee will assist in developing the direction and delivery of project activities across NSW. Projects planned for 2020 include grants for wildlife volunteers and vets, mental health support for carers and travel scholarships for the Australian Wildlife Rehabilitation Conference.
The NSW Wildlife Heroes project was the first to respond to the summer bushfire crisis, activating an Emergency Fund grant round in November. More than $220,000 has already gone out to help NSW groups responding to bushfire, drought and extreme heat.
NSW Groups funded since December 2019:
- Wildlife Rescue South Coast
- Sydney Metropolitan Wildlife Rescue
- Northern Rivers Wildlife Carers
- Robyn Molony
- Wildlife Animal Rescue and Care Society Inc.
- Wildcare Queanbeyan
- WIRES Mid South Coast Branch
- Native Animal Rescue Group NSW Inc.
- WIRES-Blue Mountains Branch
- WINC Wildlife in need of care
- WIRES Northern Rivers Branch
- WIRES Mid North Coast Branch
- WIRES Clarence Valley Branch
- Port Stephens Koala & Wildlife Preservation Society Ltd
- WIRES Hawkesbury Branch
- WIRES New England Branch
- WIRES Macarthur branch
- WIRES Central Coast
- WIRES North West
- WIRES Wingecarribee
- LAOKO Inc (Looking After Our Kozciuszko Orphans)
- SONA Wildlife Rescue (Saving Our Native Animals Inc)
- F.A.W.N.A. (NSW) Inc.
- Native Animal Trust Fund INC
Wildlife Heroes Steering Committee
- Casey Towns – WIRES Dubbo
- Suzy Nethercott-Watson – Two Green Threads
- Jana Schader – WIRES Illawarra
- Kyla Shelley – WIRES staff member
- Debborah Kerr – Sydney Wildlife Rescue
- Charlie Carter – Veterinarian
- Samantha Chatfield – Wildlife ARC
- Roslyn Irwin – Friends of the Koala
- Audrey Koosmen – Hunter Wildlife Rescue
- Associate Professor Catherine Herbert – University of Sydney
- Leesa Pratt – ORCCA
- Josey Sharrad – IFAW
Also pictured:Peter Stathis & Shona Lorigan (NSW National Parks and Wildlife)Vanessa Barratt & Kylie Piper (Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife)
What is Wildlife Heroes?
Wildlife Heroes launched in NSW in October 2019. The project is managed by the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife,and aims to provide wildlife volunteers with the tools and knowledge they need to continue their important work rescuing and rehabilitating native wildlife. It will also give support to private veterinary practices whose services are critical to the treatment of animals requiring care.
Wildlife Heroes aims to increase the capacity of the wildlife rehabilitation sector to meet ongoing community demands for assistance with wildlife, meet improved animal care standards and ensure the ongoing sustainability of the sector.
This project has been assisted by the New South Wales Government through its Environmental Trust.
National Wildlife Heroes Program
In February 2020 the Commonwealth Government announced the Wildlife Heroes program would receive funding to support wildlife volunteer groups and rescuers nationally.
As well as the Foundation’s role in the supply of necessities for emergency responders including safety equipment, animal food and formula, fuel vouchers, first aid equipment, medications and outdoor work equipment, the Morrison Government funding will assist in longer term care and release projects.
Importantly, $150,000 of the Australian Government funding will be used for mental health services to care for our inspirational carers who have witnessed some incredible trauma through their efforts.Further information about the national grants program can be found here.