The tawny frogmouth (Podargus strigoides) is a species of frogmouth native to Australia that is found throughout the Australian mainland and Tasmania. All images courtesy of WIRES Northern Rivers.
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Caring for native wildlife with WIRES

WIRES (NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service Inc.) is considered Australia’s largest wildlife rescue organisation and this month it’s recruiting new volunteers.



WIRES offers a basic training course that will teach you how to safely rescue and provide emergency care for injured and orphaned wildlife.

Rescue and Immediate Care Course

Training starts with the compulsory Rescue and Immediate Care Course, which covers policies, licensing, animal identification, rescue, and first aid. Experts also provide specialist training courses and set standards of care in areas such as macropods, flying foxes, reptiles, birds of prey and possums.

“Being a volunteer is at your own discretion as we work to your availability and circumstances,” says Muriel Kinson from WIRES Northern Rivers. “No previous animal experience is required to become a wildlife rescuer though you do need to be over the age of 18 to attend the course.”



Willy Wagtail chicks receiving valuable care from the volunteers at WIRES Northern Rivers.

Course structure

WIRES Rescue and Immediate Care Course is completed in two stages, with an optional third stage (required for accreditation):

  1. Online theory (compulsory)
  2. Half-day practical workshop (compulsory)
  3. Practical skills field assessment (optional)

Volunteers completing the compulsory two stages of the course will receive a certificate of completion from WIRES and be processed as a member if you reside within a WIRES boundary.

The online component takes approximately 12 hours to complete This is an average only and can be completed in less or more time depending on how you work through the content.

For your own benefit, and to correlate to the training schedule, it is highly recommended that the online component of this course is completed prior to attending the workshop.

To find out more, call the 24 hour hotline on 02 6628 1898 or visit www.wiresnr.org

You can also download WIRES’ Wildlife Rescue smartphone app to easily report a rescue 365-days-a-year and access important information in case you find a native animal in distress. The app helps you find the nearest vet, register for rescue story updates, or put your name down if you are interested in volunteering.

If you live in Western Australia, the Wildcare Helpline provides a service for the public who find sick or injured native wildlife and are seeking advice on where to find care for the animal.

The volunteer-run helpline takes enquiries and offers advice to callers. If there is a need, they may also refer callers to a further volunteer network of registered wildlife rehabilitators who can take care of wildlife before releasing back into its native habitat.

Donations to WIRES are used to:

  • Improve its capability to rescue and care for more animals
  • Operate its Wildlife Rescue Office 365 days a year
  • Subsidise food costs for wildlife in care
  • Provide community wildlife information and education
  • Provide wildlife training courses for volunteers and the community
  • Support its volunteers
  • Grow its service so that it can help native wildlife for generations to come

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Veda Dante

Veda Dante is an accomplished journalist, consultant and content creator who has nearly 30 years’ experience writing about everything from tourism, hospitality and health to architecture, pools and luxury goods. When she’s not producing copy for clients, this self-confessed word nerd is usually writing and photographing the Byron Bay region for her blog www.livebyron.com.au

The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Homeloans Ltd.