NSW Flood Disaster: Helping wildlife survive and recover

By : Humane Society International March 25, 2021

Humane Society International (HSI) is stepping in to provide urgent assistance to wildlife carers after sustained rain and flooding across southern Queensland and NSW. This disaster is taking a terrible toll on many communities and is also having an impact on wildlife, with carers facing an influx of injured animals and damage to their facilities.

Floods can be as devastating for wildlife as other disasters such as fires, and volunteer wildlife carers can quickly become inundated with animals needing help. HSI has made resources available to support these wildlife carers and their animals in need with emergency funding for equipment, medicines and food to give the best care and chances of recovery possible.

"We have reached out to hundreds of wildlife carers to offer our assistance,” said Evan Quartermain, HSI's Head of Disaster Response, "Wildlife carers are absolutely crucial to the rescue and recovery of native Australian animals at the best of times, and even more so when they're facing disasters such as these terrible floods. With government assistance importantly being provided for livestock and companion animals in distress, we can't forget that many wild animals are also suffering immensely due to the flooding we have seen this week.”

Ground dwelling animals like echidnas and wombats are at particular risk as burrows and low-lying areas become flooded, while platypus, turtles and other aquatic animals face severe impacts from polluted runoff and the sheer volume of water surging downstream. Birds are also under great threat as wild weather knocks nests out of trees, and species such as flying-foxes, which rely on nectar to feed, may face starvation events as their food is washed away. These animals, if rescued, inevitably find their way into the hands of a volunteer wildlife carer for recovery.

"Volunteer wildlife carers are stretched thin rescuing and rehabilitating wildlife following disasters. HSI started an emergency donation fund this week to help these selfless people manage the flood fallout and our supporters immediately responded to lend a hand. We're here to make sure wildlife carers get the help they need in these trying times, with emergency shelters for rescued dingoes and water pumps to empty flooded wombat burrows among support already provided,” concluded Mr Quartermain.

To donate to wildlife victims of the flooding in NSW and Queensland: Please call 1800 333 737 or visit HSI's website.

To access wildlife carer support: Please call 1800 333 737 or visit the Wildlife Land Trust website.

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