NSW Wildlife Council – "Achieving optimal outcomes for Australian wildlife"

2024-2025 NSW Wildlife Council Grants Program: Apply Now for Funding

The NSW Wildlife Council is the peak representative organisation for wildlife groups and individual rehabilitators licensed by the NSW Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service).

The objective of the Grants Program is to increase the capacity for individual wildlife rehabilitators, and groups in exceptional circumstances at the discretion of the management committee, to purchase materials to build animal enclosures or equipment needed to rehabilitate native Australian wildlife within the state of NSW.

In opening the 2024-2025 NSW Wildlife Council Grants program, Chairperson, Audrey Koosmen OAM, highlighted the Council’s pleasure in being able to support member groups’ equipment and enclosure needs to the tune of $50,000 for the 2024-2025 year.

She said,

“We know the whole sector is doing it tough with increased workloads and reduced donations are coming into wildlife rescue and rehabilitation groups in these hard economic times”.

Mrs. Koosmen added,

“The government is not contributing to the costs groups face in their everyday expenses caring for wildlife in rehabilitation so we are double pleased to be able to support our members through the Grants Program”.

Grant applications must be submitted to the Grants Committee of the NSW Wildlife Council between 1 July and 31 July 2024

Grant applications must be in writing on the approved NWC Wildlife Rehabilitation Grant Application Form.

Applications for grants will be evaluated based on 3 criteria: Need; Excellence and Value for Money. The grant decision will be made in a manner determined by the NSW Wildlife Council Management Committee.

Answers to common questions are:

  • Grant applications open on 1 July and close on 31 July
  • Groups only may apply this year, not individuals
  • Total grant budget $50,000 for 2024-2025
  • Grants are for Wildlife Caring Equipment and Enclosures only
  • 2 grants limit per group
  • 1 grant limit for Independent General Licensees

Wildlife rehabilitation reporting

Data reporting instructions cover photo

There are more than 7,000 volunteers participating in wildlife rescue and rehabilitation in New South Wales. Volunteers across the state need to collect and report data consistently.

All wildlife rehabilitation providers must maintain records of the animals they rescue and submit them to the National Parks and Wildlife Service annually. Each year these records are prepared for upload to BioNet and SEED, where they can be used to inform future research, planning assessments and conservation management programs such as Saving our Species and the NSW Koala Strategy.

To get the full information please go to https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/topics/animals-and-plants/native-animals/rehabilitating-native-animals/wildlife-rehabilitation-data-and-reporting/wildlife-rehabilitation-reporting

NSW Wildlife Rehabilitation Annual Report 2021–22

In 2021-22 there were 8,621 volunteers who supported or were otherwise directly involved in wildlife rehabilitation.

Volunteer numbers in New South Wales continue to grow off the back of the many wildlife emergencies that have occurred in the previous 2 years.

In 2021–22 more than 128,000 animals were rescued involving 543 different species, including 109 threatened species.

View the complete report at https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/-/media/OEH/Corporate-Site/Documents/Animals-and-plants/Native-animals/wildlife-rehabilitation-annual-report-202122-230236.pdf

New free online training courses in governance skills

To help support licenced volunteer wildlife rehabilitation organisations, WIRES has worked closely with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) to create free online training courses in leadership, training and conflict resolution.

NPWS is focused on implementing new initiatives to help support the growth and long-term sustainability of the wildlife rehabilitation sector.

NPWS and WIRES recommended these topics has worked with NPWS to make these courses available for free.

The courses have been created to assist organisations and individual volunteers wanting more support. They will assist new committee members and other volunteers who take on leadership and training roles in their respective organisations.

Wildlife Rehabilitators Leadership Course

This free course is designed to help volunteers take on leadership roles as executives or committee members within their organisations.

Wildlife Rehabilitators Train the Trainer Course

This free course is designed to help volunteers experienced in rehabilitation move into training roles within their organisations.

Wildlife Rehabilitators Conflict Resolution Course

This free course is available for all licenced wildlife rehabilitators and groups to help them identify strategies to best manage situations where conflict may occur.

To find out more go to:


Anticoagulant rodenticides

Primary and secondary poisoning of native wildlife

Scientific and empirical evidence has been drawn upon to illustrate the significant threats from anticoagulant rodenticides (ARs) to biodiversity, food webs, ecological function, and the health of wildlife,
domestic pets, and humans. I have included links to relevant research which exists in the public domain, reports and material sourced from a range of incorporated communities, environmental and wildlife rescue/rehabilitation groups, and peak bodies.

As the body of evidence accumulates, awareness of the hazards posed by ARs continues to grow.
Researchers, professionals, community members, and advocacy groups are voicing their concerns with
policymakers and elected representatives.

As a result, regulations are being introduced (or strengthened) internationally to restrict access to (and use of) these dangerous products. Prevention is key. Short-term ‘solutions’ are ultimately ineffective. The time is now for retailers to play their part to reduce the toll upon wildlife whilst making the environment and community safer, by discontinuing the sale of these poisons to the general community.

Read the full guide here

Evaluating the Health of NSW Seals

We are delighted to invite you to the next webinar in the Wildlife Webinar Series, delivered by NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, in collaboration with Wildlife Heroes.

Large thriving colonies of fur seals once resided along the NSW coastline. Fur seal populations are slowly recovering and extending back into their historic range after they were almost hunted to extinction in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Seals are one of the more easily accessible and readily available marine mammals to assist scientists in understanding the marine environment. Research has focused on abundance estimates as well as fur seal behaviours such as foraging strategies, habitat selection and breeding behaviours, however, there is little data on the health of fur seals. This talk will focus on the current research into evaluating seal health and the role of the wildlife rehabilitation sector in collecting robust information and evaluating fur seals.

Jane Hall

Jane Hall is a PhD student in the Southern Ocean Persistent Organic Pollutants Program based within the Environmental Futures Research Institute at Griffith University, Australia. She is also a wildlife health specialist at the Australian Registry of Wildlife Health at the Taronga Conservation Society Australia. In 2016, she was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to investigate ways to improve Australia’s capacity to manage wildlife disease incidents. Her research interests span both terrestrial and aquatic species under the One Health paradigm, and current studies are focused on the health of Australian fur seal species, specifically Arctocephalus forsteri.

Thursday 08th June 2023

6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Delivered online and free of charge

To register, please follow this link: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/evaluating-the-health-of-nsw-seals-tickets-633813823207

If you’d like to catch up on any previous webinars, please visit the Wildlife Heroes page here: https://wildlifeheroes.org.au/wildlife-webinar-series-2020/

Weeds in Wildlife Microbiomes

Weeds in Wildlife Microbiomes: antibiotic-resistant bacteria in wildlife

The spread of antibiotic resistance in wildlife signals an increasing impact of the global issue of antimicrobial resistance. This talk will discuss the widespread occurrence of antibiotic resistance in Australia’s wildlife. Comparisons of antibiotic resistance in flying foxes and koalas, in free-range animals and those undergoing care, will also be presented. The talk will end with a discussion about the significance of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in wildlife, and the health and management of species.

The presenter is Professor Michelle Power, School of Natural Sciences Macquarie University. Michelle is passionate about science and making a difference in wildlife health. Her research focuses on the transmission of disease agents at the wildlife-human interface, with foci on zoonoses and reverse zoonoses.

When: Thursday 30th March 2023

Time: 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Delivered online and free of charge to register, please follow this link: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/weeds-in-wildlife-microbiomes-antibiotic-resistant-bacteria-in-wildlife-tickets-559266008687

Avian Influenza- Advice for animal health professionals

The Advice for veterinarians and other animal health professionals lists the clinical signs to look out for and provides information on important PPE and biosecurity measures, and information about other relevant guidelines.

Please refer members of the public to the advice for people who encounter sick or dead wild birds.

WHA has advised:

From 2021-2022, high pathogenicity avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 clade has caused ongoing outbreaks of disease in wild birds throughout much of North America, Europe, Asia and Africa.

Mortalities have been observed in a wide range of species, seen as individual bird deaths and have included mass mortalities. While previous research has determined the risk of HPAI strains entering Australia via migratory birds to be low, the current global situation means an increased level of risk to Australia.

With the return of migratory birds from the northern hemisphere to Australia from September to November, there is likely a higher chance for an introduction of HPAI viruses into Australia compared to previous years.

Avian influenza is a 
nationally notifiable disease which means if you suspect an animal is showing signs of the disease, you must report it. You can do this by contacting your local veterinarian or call the national Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888.

WHA-related resources and advice:

Further Information:

Helping wildlife in times of emergency

There has been an update to web content to include ‘Helping wildlife during floods’.

It is linked directly to the ‘Helping wildlife in emergencies’ information.

It is still applicable in areas where displaced wildlife turns up injured, sick or disoriented.

Please see the links below.

Helping wildlife in emergencies


Helping wildlife during floods


Congratulations to Cheyne Flanagan OAM

I wish on behalf of all the wildlife sector to send our congratulations to one of our wildlife warriors Cheyne Flannagan for her OAM award in The Kings Birthday awards this year.

Cheyne has works for so many years in the conversation of our wildlife and has played a huge role in koala care and conversation.

Many of us would have done her wonderful training education course and have learnt so much from her knowledge of these animals.

This award was so well deserved to Cheyne as she has given her life time to helping and caring for so many species of wildlife.

Cheyne is a long time member of FAWNA and works at the Koala Conversation Australia.

A well deserved  award to a person who has given so much back to wildlife conversation .

I give my personal congratulations to you Cheyne and thank you for all you have done in the wildlife sector .

Warmest Regards

Audrey Koosmen

Chair NSW Wildlife Council .