Caring for Wildlife During an Emergency

Learning from experienced wildlife carers, a local vet and a local RFS Brigade Captain regarding how best to care for injured wildlife during an Emergency.

Caring for Wildlife During an Emergency

Learning from experienced wildlife carers, a local vet and a local RFS Brigade Captain regarding how best to care for injured wildlife during an Emergency.

Capacity to Deliver -

PLP-New_England-06

The issue

Many rural residents encounter injured wildlife and don't always know how to ensure that the creature is given the best opportunity to recover. A lack of knowledge regarding how to act in an emergency can add to the stress already surrounding the situation.

The solution

On Saturday 11 May, 2024, Northern Tablelands Wildlife Carers (NTWC), a local retired veterinarian (ex-Local Land Services) and the Captain of a local RFS Brigade presented at the Glen Innes Showgrounds tearooms on topics including:

  • the NTWC team members sharing their wealth of experience as registered wildlife carers for a variety of species in the region, describing how to safely handle injured animals and care for them through recovery and release back to the wild.
  • Dr Nigel Brown in his session: ‘Where There is No Vet', covered the legal ramifications, courses of action, and protecting your own safety as a rescuer. He shared the story of his current patient, 'Dundee', a wedge-tailed eagle.
  • The Reddestone RFS Brigade, who are proactive in protecting life, property and the natural environment - including food and shelter sources for our native wildlife. They have also incorporated into their brigade training, wildlife injury scenarios, treatment techniques and handover processes (e.g. to notify the location of the injured animal to a registered wildlife carer via RFS communications). They focus their efforts on small, lightly injured or at-risk animals that cannot escape by themselves to a safe refuge. Attendees also learnt about the RFS voluntary online training module.

The impact

Workshop attendees were empowered to be better prepared to treat and restrain injured wildlife for safe transport to a registered carer or veterinarian, using:

  • learnings gained from the combined shared knowledge of the expert presenters
  • the contents of the provided first-aid kit
  • additional items to keep in their vehicles (e.g. thick gloves, cardboard box, towel, blanket)

They also received several educational handouts, pamphlets and the publications: NPWS Wildlife First Response for NSW Fire Fighters and Wildlife Heroes Rescue Handbook.

Key facts

  • Rural residents regularly encounter injured wildlife, especially in an emergency, and don't always know how to act.
  • Workshop attendees gained valuable knowledge and learnt skills to empower them to act for the best survival outcome for injured wildlife.

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