IWRC works to support to wildlife carers affected by Australian bushfires

January 14, 2020        

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE        

[Eugene, Oregon]

As animal lovers across the world collect veterinary supplies to send animal rescue organisations in Australia, the IWRC is working with Gather Voices and the National Wildlife Rehabilitation Council to collect messages of support for those working to rescue wild animals caught in the Australia bush fires.

In the wake of the devastating fires in Australia an outpouring of support has come from the international community. From large scale organizations collecting veterinary supplies, to individuals donating funds to the animal rescue organizations in Australia, support for injured and displaced wildlife has been profound. The International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council (IWRC) is lending support by collecting messages of support for those working to rescue wild animals caught in the Australia bush fires.

The IWRC’s President Adam Grogan stated 

We have reached out to wildlife rehabilitators in Australia to offer any support that we can help with at this difficult time. They have replied saying that all messages of support are gratefully welcome. So we are working with local schools in Eugene to provide thank you cards and partnering with Gather Voices to solicit video messages of support. Our members are also working to gather cards globally in order to send as much support as we can.

According to executive director, Kai Williams 

Rehabilitators all over the world have been reaching out to help; people are heartbroken at the images of dead animals and the enormous swaths of land burned. They are looking ahead and realizing this isn’t a short term problem. The after effects of these fires will dictate our Australian colleagues’ work over the next few months and years and the messages or support are necessary to keep them motivated. Remembering that there is all this love for Australian wildlife all over the globe, is a great motivator.

Adam Grogan explains, “We all share a passion and dedication for wild animal welfare and we have felt inspired to stand with wildlife rehabilitators at the other side of the world. Our colleagues in Australia are enormously grateful for the international support and it has helped many of us feel a bit more hope in this dark time.” 

Dr Andrew Peters, a lecturer in veterinary pathology at Charles Sturt University also stresses “It is really really important that the world knows that these fires are not normal. Areas that should only burn once a century are burning again after only 15 years, the scale and intensity of the fires has never been seen before, and even areas of rainforest that have not burnt in more than 1500 years have burnt during this crisis.”

The IWRC urges anyone wanting to help, to donate to one of the many fundraising appeals that have been set up in Australia.

As much as 30% of the koala population on the New South Wales mid-north coast along with 30% of their habitat has been destroyed. There have been similar levels of destruction in Victoria, Queensland and South Australia.The destruction of habitats means that not only have many wild animals been displaced, injured or killed in this catastrophe, many more will starve over the next few months due to lack of food and water. It is estimated that one billion animals may have died in wildfires.

Queensland wildlife carer Linda Barret “I believe the next few months will be especially challenging in relation to mass starvation which we have already experienced in flying fox colonies due to drought and which will be compounded by the fires.”

Our thoughts are with those dedicated animal carers battling each day to help rescue and rehabilitate the animal victims of this tragedy.

Dr Peters emphasises “the most important thing the international community can do, is recognise this for what it is – it is our climate change future, and to take individual and community action now to prevent a much worse future for all of us, including the wildlife that we share this planet with.”

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Notes to Editors:

Readers, please join us or start your own campaign.

How you can help:

Create a video message of support to the wildlife carers in Australia. https://gathervoices.gv-one.com/?gId=1133&rId=3125

Write a letter/card, facilitate a letter writing campaign with youth, or donation cards. More info on our letter campaign

We encourage people to donate to the affected wildlife centers. We’ve compiled a partial list and add to it as we are made aware of fundraisers. However we have not independently verified their qualifications.

Message guidelines:

  • Be encouraging and/or thankful
  • Please stay positive (these people are surrounded by devastation and need a boost!)
  • Address them generally (For example Dear Wildlife Carers in Australia; To our friends in Australia etc.).
  • Add personal touches, have fun, and be creative!

 

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Media Contact: Kai Williams, Executive Director Office:  (866) 871-1869 Email:  director@theiwrc.org 

The International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council

The IWRC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that protects wildlife through training and resources on wildlife rehabilitation. The organization’s mission statement “We provide evidence-based education and resources on wildlife rehabilitation to move the field of wildlife rehabilitation forward; to promote wildlife conservation and welfare; and to mitigate human-wildlife conflicts worldwide, through better understanding of wild animal ecology, behavior, and welfare.” Wildlife rehabilitation is the act of providing temporary care for injured, sick or orphaned wildlife with the goal of releasing them back into the wild. By providing unique insights into issues affecting wildlife populations, species, and habitats, wildlife rehabilitation contributes to wildlife conservation and welfare worldwide.

 

Gather Voices

Gather Voices makes it effortless to dramatically increase the amount of video that organizations create and share, with an intuitive set of software solutions that automate the creation, management and publishing of video – plugging seamlessly into existing technology.  Gather Voices’ purpose is to strengthen human relationships for organizations; one video, one community, at a time. Learn more and schedule a demo at www.gathervoices.co

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