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