Fortunately for injured and orphaned wildlife, Sydney Wildlife Rescue has been classified as an essential service under the COVID lockdown rules. This means it can still undertake vital rescues during the pandemic while taking sensible precautions to protect both its members and the public. All members are volunteers, doing what they do for love, but any who feel particularly vulnerable can opt to not go out into the community while still doing essential animal rehabilitation work from home.
The organisation has also made changes to its response routine to keep its volunteers safe. Only one volunteer per 4-hour shift currently works in its Wildlife office in the Lane Cove National Park, while others are rostered to answer calls to the emergency line from home. In true volunteer style, other members may join in anytime to provide additional backup.
You don’t have to be a trained wildlife volunteer to make a difference either. Promptly phoning Sydney Wildlife when you come across injured or orphaned wildlife gives the animal its best chance of survival, rehabilitation and eventual release.
The pandemic brought the organisation’s face-to-face training to a sudden halt, creating the immediate need to move it online. This was a massive job, all undertaken by a dedicated and tireless group of volunteers. With the first two intakes of new members now under their belt, Sydney Wildlife is pleased to be on the receiving end of positive feedback from the many trainees who have successfully completed the new courses. The online resources are expected to progressively improve as information and graphics are updated and refined.
|Rainbow lorikeets in care with Sydney Wildlife’s Heather Stephens|
Of course, you don’t have to be a trained wildlife volunteer to help our wildlife - just knowing to phone Sydney Wildlife when you come across injured or orphaned wildlife gives the animal the best chance of survival, rehabilitation and eventual release.
Some wildlife organisations received much needed government funding and public donations after the fires, but this generosity waned as COVID became the focus of government grants and support for businesses and workers.
Many of the animals in care need medication and specially formulated supplements, powdered foods and marsupial formulas and Sydney Wildlife relies on donated money to meet that need. There are many demands on scarce funds and the organisation is always looking for ways to raise the money needed, so any ideas are welcome: just email Bev at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Tawny Frogmouth chick in care with Sydney Wildlife’s Bronwyn Gould|
If you would like some tips on how you, your family or friends, can help wildlife in your own backyard, please contact Bev via the same email address for a soft copy or hard copies of Sydney Wildlife's handy Wildlife Rescue leaflet. https://blog.sydneywildlife.org.au/2021/02/sydney-wildlife-brochure.html
A list of Frequently Asked Questions which you may find helpful is on the website at http://www.sydneywildlife.org.au/faqs
Bandicoot joey in care with Sydney Wildlife’s Sonja Elwood