Relief & Recovery

Wildlife

The welfare of wildlife injured by fires is a key priority for the Victorian Government. We have received many generous offers of help and support from organisations and individuals that is greatly appreciated at this time. The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning is working in partnership with a range of government and non-government organisations that have been instrumental in helping to formulate the response to both animal welfare and threatened species impacts. DELWP has deployed the following as part of our immediate response to support wildlife in fire affected areas:

  • Wildlife Triage Units have been established at Mallacoota, Bairnsdale and Corryong. This includes support from the RSPCA’s Mobile Animal Clinic, Zoos Victoria, Wildlife Victoria and AVA veterinarians. 
  • Wildlife Assessment Teams have been deployed to the Gippsland, Hume and Barwon South West areas.
  • Additional Wildlife Triage Units will be made available in response to demand in priority locations in Gippsland or the North East based on advice from by the local Incident Control Centres (ICC).
  • Further on-ground assessment of wildlife populations impacted by fire will occur when it is safe to do so.
  • Ongoing mapping and analysis of fire extent and impacts on species and habitat
  • Coordinated collaboration with key Victorian, interstate and federal government and NGO partners.

Each Wildlife Triage Unit is staffed by a site manager, a veterinarian and vet nurse. Their priority is to assess fire-affected wildlife, treat where possible and released or move to a wildlife shelter for longer term care and rehabilitation.

For more information you can visit: www.wildlife.vic.gov.au

 

How you can help wildlife affected by the Victorian fires

Fire grounds are dangerous, even after the fire front has passed. Do not enter fire-affected areas to search for wildlife.

One way that people can help with the wildlife recovery effort is by donating to the official fund that has been set up by Zoos Victoria via https://donate.zoo.org.au/donation

 

What if I find an injured animal?

  • Fire impacts our native wildlife, either through injury, death or habitat destruction.
  • Following a fire, wildlife sightings in your area or on roads may increase. These animals may be stressed, disorientated or injured.
  • If you find an injured native animal, the best thing you can do to help it is to contact an authorised wildlife shelter – that has the training and facilities to care for the animal. 
  • It is not recommended that you attempt to catch injured wildlife due to the risk of further injury to wildlife or to you. 
  • Call DELWP on 136 186 for details of wildlife carers or check our website https://www.wildlife.vic.gov.au/injured-native-wildlife/help-for-injured... for local wildlife shelters and carers.
  • If you have no other option approach the animal with caution, keep physical interaction to a minimum and immediately take the animal to a vet or to an authorised wildlife shelter for assessment and care. 
  • It’s an offence under the Wildlife Act 1975 to keep native wildlife at home - unless you are trained wildlife carer the animal may not get the specialised care it needs.  

If you would like to volunteer to be a wildlife carer, there is some mandatory DELWP training and accreditation you will need. Visit https://www.wildlife.vic.gov.au/wildlife-emergencies/volunteering-during-wildlife-emergencies for more information.

 

Grants for wildlife rehabilitators and shelters

Licenced wildlife shelters and foster carers who are receiving animals as a result of current bushfires are eligible to apply for a Victorian Government grant of up to $1000. Find out more information or apply

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