Council webpage to help locals support Wollondilly's wildlife

Photo: Wildlife Victoria
Photo: Wildlife Victoria

Wollondilly Council has set up a webpage to help locals who wish to support the shire's native animals.

Wildlife across the shire have been affected by the recent bushfires with rescuers attending hundreds of calls about displaced or injured animals.

The council's manager of environmental outcomes, Alex Stengl, said many community members asked how they could help wildlife that are in need of food and water sources as a result of the recent fires.

The council has collated information on the 2019/20 Fire Season web page titled 'Injured Wildlife and Animal Welfare' which provides links to information available from government departments and other organisations working to care for injured and distressed native wildlife.

"We are also speaking to WIRES about how we can assist them," Ms Stengl said.

"We plan to use the community nursery as a way to help revegetate with a lot of native plants.

"At the moment residents are entitled to 20 free plants per annum so we are looking to plant more animal food species so we can say this will feed sugar gliders, etc."

The web page includes tips on the best ways to help native animals.

Ms Stengl said the does not encourage feeding wildlife because they have very special and diverse dietary needs.

"Residents have asked if they should leave food out and their jaws hit the floor when I said no - just to leave them fresh water," she said.

"People have really good intentions but feeding natives can have a lot of dire effects.

"It can change the animals behaviour so they become reliant on that food, it can attract disease or pest animals and predators, like foxes, can clue onto to these feeding spots pretty quickly.

"It's best to let people with the wildlife knowledge, like WIRES, help with feeding."

Ms Stengl said it was too early to say just how badly the wildlife in Wollondilly had been affected by recent fires.

"My understanding is that WIRES has seen to a huge amount of injured wildlife," she said.

"We are hearing good stories of wombats finally leaving their burrows and kangaroos or wallabies coming onto properties to get food or water but we have also heard the sad stories of animals bodies being found and we are still dealing with that.

"What we are focussing on now is how to move forward and how we can protect wildlife areas in the future."

Ms Stengl said the council hoped to work closely with WIRES in the near future to hold nesting box and water feeding classes for local residents.

If you are interested in caring for wildlife or becoming a volunteer, please contact Wires on 1300 094 737 or Sydney Wildlife (02) 9413 4300.

This story Council webpage to help locals support Wollondilly's wildlife first appeared on Wollondilly Advertiser.