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

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

NWC Wildlife Rehabilitation Enclosure or Equipment Grants – 2023-2024

The NSW Wildlife Council is the peak representative organisation for wildlife groups and individual rehabilitators licensed by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment (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.

Grant applications must be submitted to the Grants Committee of the NSW Wildlife Council between 1 July and 31 July 2023.

Grant applications need to 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.

Grants of amounts from $500 to $4000 will be provided to the applications voted most worthy. Applications are open to NWC groups and individuals; any NWC Group may be awarded a maximum of 2 individual member grants and 1 group grant; an independent general licensee may be awarded 1 grant.

The 2023 Grant Budget is $50,000. Applications are restricted to members of NWC groups in NSW and independent general licensees (IGLs).

Guidelines for applying for the grants can be found in the attached PDF.

Application forms are available in the following formats:

Australia Wildlife Rehabilitation Conference (AWRC) Perth Aug 11-13 2023

Since 2003 Australian wildlife carers have gathered to meet, learn and share their experiences. Each conference has been held in a different location and has featured presenters from around Australia and beyond. Our goal is to help raise the standard of wildlife care in Australia through education and collaboration. Our conferences are the only national conferences delivered for and by wildlife carers.

The conference allows wildlife carers to learn from each other and experts in the field, including researchers, carers and veterinarians. Topics have ranged from the latest hands-on wound treatment to emergency response, fund-raising and lobbying.

To book and find out more go to https://www.awrc.org.au/

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:


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 .

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/

NSW Wildlife Councils Newsletter

Welcome to Wildlife, the NSW Wildlife Councils (NWC) Newsletter.

This issue is the 2023 Summer wrap-up, sharing news and sector updates.

G’day volunteers and welcome to our latest issue of the NWC newsletter, Wildlife!

Wildlife is our newsletter, produced for all the NSW wildlife rescuers, rehabilitators and carers as members of the NWC. It is our platform for sharing news within our sector, educating each other, sharing successes, and offering solutions and support.

On reflection since our last newsletter, NSW has gone from severe drought, devastating and unprecedented bush fires, unimaginable floods, the challenge of a global pandemic and more floods… you couldn’t have predicted this journey over the last few years!

To read the full newsletter in the PDF window below or click the link to download it.

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

Wildlife Rehabilitation Annual Report

This is a bumper Annual Report for the Rehabilitation Sector for the 2020-2021 year. 

It makes compelling reading and every group should be proud of its efforts that are reflected in the whole.

For full access to the Wildlife, Rehabilitation Dashboard go to: https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/topics/animals-and-plants/native-animals/rehabilitating-native-animals/wildlife-rehabilitation-reporting

To access the annual report go to: https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/-/media/OEH/Corporate-Site/Documents/Animals-and-plants/Native-animals/wildlife-rehabilitation-annual-report-202021-220455.pdf

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:



Use “Find a Beekeeper” to help


The whole of New South Wales is currently subject to a Biosecurity Order restricting the transportation or handling of honey bees. As a result, areas such as the Hunter Valley swarms cannot be collected but must be reported.

If you are aware of a swarm or other colony of honey bees it is vital that you report it as follows:

  • call the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881 (9 am to 5 pm, 7 days)
  • or use the online form at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/hives

If there is any danger to your own safety or public safety please call 000 immediately.

If you are unsure or need any help from the ABA please contact us at biosecurity@beekeepers.asn.au

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