Monthly Archive: November 2019

From the NWC about NSW Fires

Over 1 million hectares have burned in NSW in the last few weeks, much of which was wildlife habitat; a cause of alarm to the wildlife rehabilitation sector

Fires at Crowdy Bay National Park
Crowdy Bay National Parks Fires

The NSW Wildlife Council (NWC) as the peak body for wildlife rehabilitation groups in NSW is so very thankful to all the First Responders from our emergency services and the wildlife sector. NWC’s member groups are volunteers working to achieve optimal outcomes for wildlife, whether in rescue, rehabilitation and release of wildlife or responding to emergencies.

Unfortunately, over half of the land-based NSW Wildlife Council volunteer wildlife groups are within fire-affected areas. These volunteer wildlife groups are responding and rescuing wildlife including walking fire-grounds cleared by RFS and National Parks & Wildlife, treating and assisting injured native animals and, where necessary, assisting with a humane end to suffering.

It’s not just about the wildlife in the fire-zones but displaced animals that are now vulnerable, confused, possibly injured and stressed and are the subject of calls for assistance within surrounding areas.

The compound effect of drought and now fires is a devastating issue for the wildlife of NSW which gravely concerns NSW Wildlife Council.

All NWC wildlife groups stand ready to support and assist our fellow wildlife responders and carers both during this time of urgent response and for the long term recovery of animals and habitat.

If you are able, please consider directly supporting the NWC volunteer wildlife groups that are affected by these devastating fires, they are working very hard, in challenging and heartbreaking situations, to assist our wildlife around the clock.

Media Release NSW Wildlife Council

21st November 2019

NSW Wildlife Council: The Compound Effect of Droughts and Fires is Devastating for Wildlife

The NSW Wildlife Council (NWC) wishes to express its heartfelt thanks and recognition for the amazing efforts of all the emergency services and the wildlife first responders who are supporting native wildlife at this extremely challenging and difficult time.

The NWC is the peak body for wildlife rehabilitation in NSW working to achieve optimal outcomes for our wildlife.  More than half of our NWC voluntary wildlife rescue member groups are now within fire-affected areas.    The compound effect of drought, and now fires, is a devastating issue which gravely concerns the NSW Wildlife Council.   

We understand that the NSW fires have burned through over 1 million hectares so far.  The areas burnt out once represented important and, in some cases, vital, refuge habitat for our native wildlife.  Some wildlife species may never, or be very slow in recovering from this disaster and it may take years to see species return.  Without the primary wildlife food sources and habitat to live in, the hope for their survival is quite dim. ’’

Chair of the NWC, Ms Koosmen.

Our wildlife now faces four compounding threats: 

  • the severe and continuing drought has already greatly compromised wildlife:
  • latent injuries which are not often apparent in the immediate aftermath of the fire can see more wildlife succumb from the physical and psychological injuries and trauma; 
  • the of loss of habitat offering necessary shelter and food sources for wildlife survivors;
  • Displaced wildlife from fire-zones are now vulnerable, confused, possibly injured and stressed. 

Please consider placing out shallow bowls of water with a rock or branch, which offers safety for smaller animals to perch and rest whilst they drink.     

Call your local wildlife group for assistance if you see wildlife in need.

As burned areas are declared safe wildlife rescue groups are conducting ‘black walks’ in search of injured wildlife.  

The NSW Wildlife Council is concentrating on ensuring volunteer wildlife groups get the support they need.   NWC is also conscious of the impact on our wildlife front line responders on the ground who are working hard in confronting situations, witnessing injuries and acts of sheer survival by wildlife from the effects of wildfire.  

More than 60% of all NWC wildlife rescue group members are impacted by fires.   A full list of the NWC Wildlife Rescue Group Members are available at

Media Contacts
Sonja Elwood
Media Officer NWC
Ph: 0424979907


Suzy Nethercott-Watson
Vice-Chair NWC
Ph:  0418239343