The Andrews Labor Government is providing immediate support for wildlife shelters and foster carers to help cover the costs of food, transport, medicine and enclosures as animals are rescued from bushfire affected areas.
Grants of up to $1,000 are now available to shelters and foster carers assisting with the care and rehabilitation of native wildlife impacted by the fires. This is in addition to $200,000 already made available to wildlife rehabilitators this financial year to support their operations.
This season’s bushfires are unprecedented in scale and sadly are having a devastating impact on our native wildlife and biodiversity.
Mobile Wildlife Triage Units are now in place at Bairnsdale, Mallacoota and Corryong along with Wildlife Assessment Teams working on fire grounds based out of Bairnsdale, Orbost and the Budj Bim fire complex.
As we get a clearer understanding of the numbers and location of bushfire impacted wildlife across the state, additional wildlife teams and triage units will be deployed to where they are needed most.
The Labor Government’s forest and wildlife officers are working with experts from the Australian Veterinary Association, Zoos Victoria, the RSPCA, the University of Melbourne Veterinary School, Phillip Island Nature Parks, and Wildlife Victoria, along with on-the-ground assessment teams to support a coordinated state-wide response.
There are more than 1,200 vertebrate animals and 5000 plant species native to Victoria – some of these are found only in areas affected by the bushfires.
For more information on the Wildlife Rehabilitator Program and how to apply for Wildlife Rehabilitator Bushfire Grants, visit: wildlife.vic.gov.au/grants/wildlife-rehabilitator-grants
Anyone wanting to support Victorian wildlife impacted by fire is encouraged to donate to the Zoos Victoria Bushfire Emergency Wildlife Fund here: donate.zoo.org.au/donation
To find out more about what the Government is doing to support Victoria’s wildlife visit: wildlife.vic.gov.au/bushfire-response-wildlife-shelters-and-carers
Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio
“These fires are unprecedented and are having a devastating effect on our wildlife and biodiversity – we’re working around the clock to save as many precious creatures as we can.”
“I’d like to thank all the wildlife rescuers and carers both volunteers and professionals for their tireless work in trying circumstances – together we are achieving a lot.”
“I encourage shelters and carers to apply for these grants – it may not seem like a lot of money, but it can go a long way when it comes to helping and looking after our distressed wildlife.”