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Giving Australian Wildlife Volunteers The Help They Need

The Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife (FNPW) has expanded its Wildlife Heroes program into Victoria, South Australia and Queensland to ensure that all Australian wildlife volunteers have what they need to respond to the devastating bushfires.

“Our first priority is to support all the wildlife rescue volunteers who have been working tirelessly across the country in response to this crisis and to provide them with the resources they need on the ground now,” says Ian Darbyshire, CEO of FNPW.

The NSW government through its Environmental Trust has provided $200,000 for emergency response in that state. FNPW has allocated $250,000 to other states for release in the coming weeks and aims to raise further funds with continued support from donors and sponsors for ongoing response.

“This will ensure there is long term support for wildlife rehabilitation and habitat restoration so that animals can be safely released back into the wild.”

Mr Darbyshire attended a Ministerial roundtable on Wednesday to discuss priorities focussing on the bushfire response and FNPW is working closely with the Commonwealth to support the needs of wildlife rescue and rehabilitation across Australia.

Wildlife Heroes launched in New South Wales in late 2019 and was one of the first programs to get bushfire emergency funds to 20 wildlife groups in need. FNPW has been working closely with wildlife groups to understand their evolving need for help, and to provide resources for each stage of the response and recovery.

“The fires, drought and heat have put an enormous strain on already overworked wildlife carers in New South Wales, South Australia, Queensland and Victoria,” says Audrey Koosmen, Chair of the NSW Wildlife Council.

“The demand for rescue and information services means volunteers are working around the clock. They have not had a summer break and many have had to take time off from paid work. Some of our volunteers have also lost homes or had their animal care facilities destroyed.”

Wildlife groups are already worried about how they will cope once the fires are over and the recovery stage begins. FNPW is developing a strategy to provide ongoing mental health and financial support.

Wildlife Heroes will fund and coordinate the following in all states affected by bushfires:

  • -Emergency response grants for out of pocket expenses such as fuel, medication, first aid and safety equipment.
  • -Carer wellbeing and mental health support
  • -Emergency response planning and training
  • -Public education activities
  • -Veterinary expertise for injured wildlife

Wildlife Heroes has support from the NSW Government’s Environmental Trust to run for at least three years in NSW. With continued support from other sources Wildlife Heroes will remain in place across Australia.

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Wildlife Heroes Grant Funds Custom Built Recovery Avery For Apex Predators

Birds of prey injured and treated on the Northern Rivers will have a custom-built aviary to recover before they are released back into nature. Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital received a grant of $50,000 from the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife to build the structure and save wildlife.

Founder vet Stephen Van Mill said the free-flight aviary will be located on land owned by the proprietors of Sea Peace, a subtropical forest on 368 acres of regenerated land in Ewingsdale.

"The facility will treat birds of prey, raptors - wedge-tailed eagles, hawks, owls and falcons," he said.

Go to Byron Shire News

Sustainability Further Podcast

1 year on from the 2019/20 Bushfires and Australia’s National Parks are rising from the ashes.

In this episode, Lottie Dalziel speaks with Ian Darbyshire, CEO of the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife who not only have announced their plan to plant one million trees over the next five years but are working with communities to grow native flora and nurture animal species around Australia.

Go to Sustainability Further Podcast

50 years of growing parks and saving species

Reflecting on the last 50 years, we have collectively achieved so many valuable milestones that have contributed to the overall biodiversity and expansion of our natural environments across Australia. It is our promise that moving forward, we will continue to build on this important work for generations to come. Thank you for your ongoing support.

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