COVID-19 is changing our day-to-day routines, procedures and interactions. This includes what to do when you encounter sick or injured wildlife. Please see COVID-19 Wildlife Rescue advice on what to do to ensure the animal, the rescuer and yourself can stay safe.
If you do come across injured wildlife, contact a wildlife care organisation. Only stop and assist an animal if it is safe to do so.
To report sick or injured wildlife, contact:
Wildlife Rescue South Coast
24 Hour Hotline - 0418 427 214
13 000 WIRES or 1300 094 737
Please see COVID-19 Wildlife Rescue advice on what to do to ensure the animal, the rescuer and yourself can stay safe.
Significant areas of native vegetation in the Shire have been impacted by Bushfires (Summer 2019-2020).
Bushfire has direct and indirect effects on native wildlife. Some animals die in a fire and other animals that survive can struggle to find habitat and food for a while. Despite the often confronting image of burnt bushland immediately following a fire, there always is bushland within the landscape areas which remain unburnt. These areas act as refuges for native wildlife and enable wildlife populations to re-establish in burnt areas over time. Small unburnt refuge areas also can be found in most bushfire effected vegetation.
It's a natural feeling for us to want to help wildlife which have survived a fire.
The most valuable action we can take is to ensure that any injured native animals are quickly reported and taken into care if possible. See links and information below on how to do this.
In times of natural disaster when natural food resources are scarce, you may also want to help by providing food and water until nature recovers.
The NSW Department of Industry, Planning and Environment has put together the 'Helping Wildlife in Emergencies' web page. This resource includes important considerations for interested individuals when providing food and water for native wildlife as well as when providing food and water is no longer needed.
Community members wishing to volunteer or donate to local wildlife carers should refrain from using injured wildlife hotlines. They should instead submit their interest via email or donate using the online donations platforms found on wildlife carer websites (see below: Wildlife Carers and Treatment Providers).
The NSW Department of Industry, Planning and Environment has put together the 'Helping Wildlife in Emergencies' web page.
This resource includes important considerations for interested individuals when providing food and water for native wildlife as well as when providing food and water is no longer needed.
Community members wishing to volunteer or donate to local wildlife carers should refrain from using injured wildlife hotlines. They should instead submit their interest via email or donate using the online donations platforms found on wildlife carer websites.
In areas where natural tree hollows are scarce, nest boxes may be used as artificial hollows for many hollow-dependent fauna species. It is important to recognise that whilst nest boxes may increase habitat for many fauna species, they should not be considered a replacement for natural tree hollows.
To assist you or your group with deciding whether a nest box is suitable, please review this Nest Box Guide: Should you install a nest box?
Floods can have an impact on native wildlife throughout our shire. Wildlife can be displaced and disoriented due to the heavy rainfall and localised flooding.
The State Government has put together the 'helping wildlife during floods' web page. This resource provides important considerations when encountering wildlife during flood events, including appropriate steps and who to contact.
The Southern Highlands is home to a number of remarkable people that devote a significant part of their lives to caring for and rehabilitating our sick and injured native animals.
Whilst rehabilitating animals such as koalas, birds, wombats, and kangaroos is often a very enjoyable and personally satisfying activity, it is worth remembering that there are significant financial costs associated with this work, i.e; purchasing medicines, blankets, food, fuel, cages, enclosures, etc.
Southern Highlands Koala Conservation Project
A list of some of the trained & licensed local wildlife carers and treatment providers is given below - community support is always appreciated.
Southern Highlands - Wildlife Carers
Kerstin - Native Wildlife Rescue
Mobile: 0412 002 400
Website: nativewildliferescue.org.au and www.wildlife-rescue.org.au
Penny Walsh - Iloura Park Wildlife Rehabilitation (under license to WIRES)
Mobile: 0400 324 322
Greg Pointing & Justine King - Dimmocks Retreat Wildlife Rehabilitation & Rescue (under license to Wildlife Rescue South Coast)
Phone: 4883 6889
Wombat Mange Management (in situ treatment)
John Creighton - Wombat Care Bundanoon(permit holder with the Wombat Protection Society of Australia)
Mobile: 0490 659 245
Many of the local roads intersect important wildlife habitat and contribute to wildlife-vehicle incidents and roadkill.
Contributing Factors to Wildlife-Vehicle Incidents
- Weather and road conditions - road contours, shadows, hills and roadside vegetation can obscure wildlife. Fog and rains can further conceal wildlife near the roads. It is important to slow down to drive to conditions.
- Habitat - our local roads intersect important habitat for wildlife. This leads to wildlife crossing roads to reach shelter, food and water.
- Time of day - native wildlife will often be more active between dusk and dawn. This can make them harder to spot as they can blend in with the road or roadside vegetation. When daylight savings ends it often means that commuters will be driving during this time.
- Breeding season - many native species will become more active during their breeding season. When searching for a mate they may find themselves crossing our local roads and be at greater risk of being hit by a motor vehicle. Locally, two breeding seasons to be mindful of are:
- Koala breeding season is from spring until late summer.
- Turtle breeding season is from summer until autumn.
- Grazing near roads - many of the native animals hit on our roads are herbivores. Wombats, wallabies and kangaroos will often feed within roadside verges and close to the road.
- Location and availability of water - wildlife will travel to and congregate around waterways such as creeks and dams. When there is a water source close to a road this can put wildlife at risk.
Wildlife Vehicle Incidents in the Southern Highlands
Between 2017 and 2019, over 600 animals were recorded by Council staff to be killed by vehicles driving along our roads. This is likely to be under representative of the true number of animals killed during this period is likely to be in the thousands. See ‘Wingecarribee Shire Roadkill 2017-2019’ dashboard for more information.
Local wildlife groups have also recorded roadkill events and wildlife rescue throughout the Wingecarribee Shire. The NSW Government has created a NSW Wildlife Rehabilitation Dashboard that visualises these incidents for the area and across the state.
If you do accidentally hit an animal or see an injured animal, please stop whenever it is safe to do so to check on the animal to see if it requires emergency assistance. Report the animal to a local wildlife group. If you are unable to stop, notify a wildlife group of the animal’s location.
For more information about what to do, please visit wildlife road awareness.