A recent NSW government report said that there are currently around 5600 active wildlife carers and rehabilitators in the state, contributing a minimum of $27 million to the voluntary sector each year.
Additionally, private veterinary clinics provide around $1.8 million in pro bono animal work and each volunteer provides, on average around 898 hours of work per year.
The report, based on surveys of over 1000 wildlife volunteers, veterinary practitioners and other service providers and stakeholders has provided a comprehensive picture of a sector of community work that often flies under the radar.
In this district we are fortunate to have a very active native animal rescue service, the Native Animal Rescue Group (NARG) that works night and day to rescue orphaned and injured animals and then rehabilitate them to the point where they can be released back into their natural environment.
There will be two courses in the coming weeks for people interested in becoming an active carer for native wildlife.
The first course will be this Saturday, June 29, and will focus on caring for 'pinkies', the tiny wombat and macropod joeys that have not yet emerged from their mothers' pouches.
While it is assumed that workshop participants will be members of wildlife organisations and may already have some experience in wildlife care, other members of the public who believe they can benefit from the course are encouraged to attend.
That course will be held at the Wamboin Community Hall on Bingley Way, Wamboin, commencing at 9.30am.
The second course is a firearms training course on Sunday July 28 at the Braidwood Community Arts Centre.
This will be a professionally-led course focusing on the assessment of injured animals as well as firearms safety, codes of practice and the technical and legal aspects of firearm handling and use for wildlife euthanasia.
The Southern Tablelands, Upper Lachlan and South Coast regions are served by three main wildlife organisations, with Wildcare covering most of the region and encompassing six local government areas. South Coast stretches from the southern Illawarra to the Victorian border, and NARG nestles between the two, covering the eastern Palerang area.
Volunteers and carers are urgently needed by wildlife rescue organisations. If you feel that you can offer assistance or would like to learn how, contact Wildcare (in the Queanbeyan-Yass area) or NARG (in the Braidwood area).
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