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

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

Understanding Bird Flu dynamics in Australia

A new study of bird flu dynamics in Australia’s wild birds has revealed the virus strains present and how they spread.

Last winter the northern hemisphere saw some of the worst outbreaks of avian influenza, or ‘bird flu’, ever experienced.

Canada and the United States reported more than 400 outbreaks of severe bird flu affecting more than 40 million poultry and wild birds. These outbreaks came after the same virus strain swept through Asia, Africa and Europe in late 2021. It caused widespread outbreaks and millions of deaths in poultry and wild birds.

What might this mean for Australia? Will we see similar outbreaks? Whilst the risk of the same strain arriving in Australia is lower than in the continents affected so far, we need to remain vigilant to the possibility of incursions because the virus continues to evolve and change.

Until recently, studies of waterbirds in the northern hemisphere provided most of our understanding of the ecology and evolution of avian influenza viruses in Australia’s wild birds. But Australia’s wild waterbirds, like ducks and geese, face different environmental conditions and don’t show the same migratory behaviour as their northern hemisphere cousins.

Read the full article at https://ecos.csiro.au/understanding-bird-flu-dynamics-in-australia/