Media release – Wednesday 13 October 2021

Recruitment Drive and Training for Injured and Orphaned Wildlife Carers

A recruitment drive is underway to increase the number of wildlife carers in Tasmania.

The drive coincides with the launch of an introductory mammal training course being developed by the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE), Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service (WIRES), Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary and an experienced local wildlife carer and educator.

Recent consultation with the local wildlife rehabilitation sector unearthed a need for a recruitment drive to supplement the number of injured and orphaned wildlife rehabilitators in the state.

A new training course is now available for members in the community who would like to become native mammal rehabilitators.

This course provides the basic skills and knowledge for rehabilitating wildlife that enables them to retain wild behaviours and be successfully released back into the wild.

The training course consists of an online theoretical component (with a self-assessment tool) followed by a face-to-face practical session with an experienced wildlife rehabilitator.

Director of Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary Greg Irons says the new on-line and face to face training package is welcomed as a means to bolster the numbers of Tasmania’s committed and stretched wildlife carers.

“The state urgently needs additional trained wildlife carers as numbers of wildlife needing care grow each year.   The animals rescued by Bonorong’s rescue service rely on having skilled people to care for them, after vet care, in order to see them successfully released back to the wild.”

WIRES CEO Leanne Taylor says WIRES is proud to be working closely with DPIPWE, Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary and Wildcare Tasmania to launch this new, introductory training program for rehabilitators in Tasmania.

“WIRES will be managing enrolments, online course completion and scheduling participants into available workshops, and we look forward to helping new carers get involved in wildlife rehabilitation in Tasmania,” Ms Taylor said.

New rehabilitators will be required to undertake the training course before registering with DPIPWE, as there is currently a shortage of wildlife rehabilitation mentors in the state to support new carers.

Existing registered rehabilitators with experience will not be required to complete the training course but are encouraged to complete it as a refresher and to keep their skills in line with current sector expectations.

The fee for the course is $125 and these fees are used to cover the cost of training.

The Tasmanian Government allocated $460 000 in the State Budget this year to facilitate the provision of care and services for injured and orphaned wildlife across the state and to assist the sector build its capacity and become sustainable over the longer term.

The budget funding will support priorities identified through the extensive consultation process that is being undertaken by the coordinating body, and relevant initiatives identified in the community-led Wildlife Rehabilitation Strategy.

More information on wildlife rehabilitation can be found on the Department’s website: https://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/wildlife-management/caring-for-wildlife/injured-and-orphaned-wildlife/wildlife-rehabilitation-in-tasmania