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Updated resources for Flying-Fox carers

Code of Practice for Injured, Sick and Orphaned Flying-foxes

The Code of Practice for Injured, Sick and Orphaned Flying-foxes is intended for those authorised to rescue, rehabilitate and release flying-foxes.

The code has been developed to ensure the welfare needs of these flying-foxes are met and the conservation benefits stemming from their rehabilitation and release are optimised. It also aims to ensure that risks to the health and safety of volunteers rescuing and caring for these animals are reduced and easily managed.

First published in June 2021; second edition published September 2021

https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/research-and-publications/publications-search/code-of-practice-for-injured-sick-and-orphaned-flying-foxes

Initial treatment and care guidelines for rescued flying foxes

This document advises on the initial care and management of flying-foxes following rescue, from capture to physical examination, initial stabilisation and treatment before presentation to a veterinarian.

It advises on how to manage the more common rescue encounters in flying-foxes including trauma, heat stroke, burns, orphaning and starvation.

The purpose of this document is to standardise the initial treatment of flying-foxes requiring rescue or rehabilitation, in line with the Code of Practice for Injured, Sick and Orphaned Flying-foxes.

https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/research-and-publications/publications-search/initial-treatment-and-care-guidelines-for-rescued-flying-foxes

Flying-fox Rehabilitation Training Standards for the Volunteer Wildlife Rehabilitation Sector

These standards must be used for delivering introductory training for flying-fox rehabilitation.

Any person with an authority to rescue and rehabilitate flying-foxes in New South Wales must be trained to these standards and be assessed as competent.

https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/research-and-publications/publications-search/flying-fox-rehabilitation-training-standards

Questionnaire for Australian Wildlife Rehabilitators

Investigators: Professor David Phalen and Lauren Bassett (Project Assistant) from the University of Sydney – School of Veterinary Science has received funding from NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service (WIRES) to conduct a survey of Australian wildlife rehabilitators. The study is designed to identify health problems that are impacting wildlife survivability and releasability that would benefit from additional investigation into their cause and treatment. Findings from this survey will inform future research into health problems identified in wildlife.

The survey is seeking to identify illnesses, diseases or injuries that either cause native Australian wildlife to come into care or develop in native wildlife while in care that require further investigation.

To participate, please complete the anonymous online survey via this link: https://redcap.sydney.edu.au/surveys/?s=DECY9PKMKA

The time it will take to complete the survey is dependent on how many wildlife species you rehabilitate, and of these, how many injuries, illnesses and/or diseases you wish to discuss. The study is confidential, and participants cannot be identified from their responses.

Thank you for taking the time to participate in our survey. Your responses will greatly assist in identifying health problems affecting our native wildlife that merit further investigation.

NSW Community Wildlife Survey

The NSW DPIE needs your help to conserve koalas and other local wildlife, to understand the impact of the 2019-20 bushfires and to assess trends in feral animals such as deer and fox.

In 2019, they released the NSW Community Wildlife Survey. The survey aimed to improve our understanding of the distribution of koalas and other mammals, including both native and introduced species, in New South Wales, to indicate how their populations have changed over time and to investigate what might be causing that change.

They ran the survey from May to December.

They have now reopened the survey to help them understand how our wildlife and introduced mammals are faring, and how they have been impacted by the 2019-20 bushfires.

More than ever, we need your sightings of koalas and other mammals from before and after the fires, as well as sightings from areas not affected by the fire.

The information you provide will build on findings from earlier community surveys, allowing us to compare mammal populations in 2006 with those in 2019-20. This data will help us decide the priority sites for action as part of the NSW Government’s Koala Strategy. It will also provide us with vital information about where mammals were affected by fire and where populations remain within and near the fire grounds.

The survey questions include

  • which of the 10 target animals in the image gallery occur in your local area
  • when you last saw the animals in your local area and if you think their numbers are increasing, decreasing or staying the same
  • the health of the koalas in your local area and whether they have young (joeys)
  • what you think are the main threats to koalas in your local area
  • where in New South Wales you have seen any of the 10 target animals over the last 2 years.

The survey should take between 20 and 30 minutes to complete.

For more information, links to the tools that you need to use and to take the survey go to:

https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/topics/animals-and-plants/threatened-species/programs-legislation-and-framework/nsw-koala-strategy/koala-and-other-wildlife-survey

Carer members asked to participate in NPWS survey.

Message from NPWS

We are pleased to let the NSW Wildlife Council know we have launched a new online community wildlife survey. We are asking people across New South Wales to share their knowledge about local wildlife, including where they have seen wildlife over the last two years.

We value your knowledge of the wildlife in your area, including your understanding about their health and threats. It would be great if you could help us get a better understanding of where wildlife is across NSW by completing the survey at www.environment.nsw.gov.au/wildlife-survey. We expect it will take 10 to 20 minutes to complete.

We also need your help sharing the survey with your networks. We have attached some communication materials that could help you do this.

The survey is asking about the following ten animals:

  • brushtail possums
  • platypus
  • wombats
  • echidna
  • koalas
  • spotted-tailed quolls
  • kangaroos (all species)
  • dingos
  • foxes
  • deer

As wildlife rehabilitators, you will know a lot about your local wildlife. We do not need you to tell us about the animals in your care (you give us those data through other channels). This survey is an opportunity for you to let us know your thoughts on population changes for the ten animals as well as personal sightings you may have made outside of your caring duties.

A similar survey was undertaken in 2006. The results of that survey informed the NSW Koala Strategy as well as supporting broader biodiversity conservation initiatives.

The data from the 2006 survey, combined with the current 2019 survey data, will help us understand how wildlife populations are changing over time. We will get a better view of where these animals are, their health, and threats in their environment.

The Community Wildlife Survey is being funded as part of the NSW Koala Strategy. Data from the survey can help identify sites for priority action under the NSW Koala Strategy as well as forming part of koala monitoring across the State.

We encourage you to complete the survey and forward the survey to others who have data to share. Please let us know if we can assist with these communications in any way.

Kind regards,
Ron Haering

Senior Project Officer
Biodiversity and Wildlife Team
National Parks and Wildlife Service

Volunteer Strategy

Strategy for the volunteer wildlife rehabilitation sector

The NSW Wildlife Council management team urges all member groups to prioritise making all their volunteers aware of the NSW Government Wildlife Rehabilitation Sector Strategy and inviting individual comment either to their group, or by their group to NWC for a combined submission to OEH NPWS.

This strategy has been several years in the making however stakeholders have been afforded only a very short time for comment on the final document.

The public consultation period ends on 12 April. If any individual NWC group wishes to provide comment for inclusion in a joint NWC submission the details would need to be at NWC’s email, secretary@nwc.org.au no later than Monday 1 April 2019.

NOTE: if clicking on the link doesn’t open your email program, right click on the link and select copy email address,

Read the strategy and supporting documents and let us know your views about the review findings, recommendations and proposed accreditation system.

A support document to the NSW Volunteer Wildlife Rehabilitation Sector Strategy 2019–2022

Accreditation of volunteer wildlife rescue and rehabilitation service providers in NSW

A support document to the NSW Volunteer Wildlife Rehabilitation Sector Strategy 2019–2022

Link to OEH Webpage


NSW Volunteer Wildlife Rehabilitation Sector Strategy Consultation Draft

NSW Volunteer Wildlife Rehabilitation Sector Strategy Consultation Draft

The NSW Volunteer Wildlife Rehabilitation Sector Strategy is a three year plan to support and improve wildlife rehabilitation in New South Wales.

Link to OEH Webpage


Volunteer wildlife rehabilitators and veterinary practitioners make a valuable contribution to our community.

Review of the NSW Volunteer Wildlife Rehabilitation Sector

An evidence base for guiding future reform

Volunteer wildlife rehabilitators and veterinary practitioners make a valuable contribution to our community.

Link to OEH Webpage


Support document – Wildlife rehabilitator compliance audit

Wildlife rehabilitator provider compliance audit

This project reports on an independent compliance audit of NSW wildlife rehabilitators undertaken on behalf of National Parks and Wildlife.

Link to OEH Webpage

Most Unwanted Wildlife

Help protect our environment, economy and communities from the ‘Most Unwanted’ illegal non-native animals

NSW Department of Primary Industries is pleased to officially launch the ‘Most Unwanted’ campaign to encourage the people of NSW be on the lookout for and report non-native pest animal incursions in NSW.

The ‘Most Unwanted’ can cause significant damage to NSW by disrupting ecosystems, introducing diseases,  preying on and competing with our native animals for limited resources. Illegal trade of exotic wildlife often leads to animal cruelty and death.

The NSW Government is working with the people of NSW to prevent new pest species establishing in the state and we need your help to protect our environment, economy and communities from non-native animals that have the potential to damage our natural environment and industries

  • Non-native animals don’t belong in NSW because they may
    • prey on native animals
    • compete with native animals for food and shelter
    • destroy natural habitats
    • introduce and spread exotic diseases.
  • Help stop these species calling NSW home by:
    • reporting unusual non-native animals to NSW DPI when you see them
    • reporting the illegal keeping of non-native animals
    • never releasing an animal you have kept as a pet into the wild
  • Your actions could help to protect the NSW environment, economy and your local community from the negative impacts of introduced pest animals
  • If you see an unusual non-native pest animal, report it to NSW DPI by calling 1800 680 244 or reporting online at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/biosecurity/sighting

Proposals to Keep Native Animals as Pets in NSW

The NSW Wildlife Council (NWC), on behalf of its 25 licensed volunteer wildlife groups, has provided its submission to the recent NSW Government discussion paper “Towards a risk-based approach to wildlife licences under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016”.

The NWC is aware that other submissions to the discussion paper put forward to the NSW government proposed 37 native mammal species that could be kept as pets; wombats, kangaroos, gliders, possums, quolls and wallabies are just 6 of the suggested 37 species.  

The NWC does not support any expansion of the keeping of native animals as pets and especially changes that would consider including threatened species.

In its Keeping Native Animals as Pets submission NWC said in part:

It is an acknowledged part of human nature that many people wish to confine native animals in a captive situation for their own personal pleasure with little or no consideration given to conservation of any particular species – simply to have and to hold, to interact with, to look at and own.

Since the advent of the wildlife licensing systems under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974, there have been a number of concerted attempts by lobbyists to relax regulations in NSW to permit the holding of an increased number of mammal species as pets.

The rehabilitation sector has vigorously opposed this lobbying from the standpoint that on conservation and animal welfare grounds native animals should be free-living species, in their endemic habitat in appropriate family structures where they can exhibit natural behaviours and normal mating practices. 


We are collaborating with key partners on this campaign, and to read more about the complex issues of this proposal visit www.wild4life.org.au and www.wildforlife.org.au to find out why this is such an important issue right now which needs your attention and action.

The Submission in full can be found here:  https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/-/media/OEH/Corporate-Site/Documents/Licences-and-permits/reforms-submissions-organisations-nsw-wildlife-council.pdf?la=en&hash=8E0E3E50CD469C5CE4A7F4818DBBA61E164528F9