Peel wildlife rehabilitators welcome state government funding announcement

Wildlife rehabilitation centres in the Peel region are hopeful they will benefit from a new state government funding program announced last week.

The Wildlife Heroes Rehabilitation and Emergency Grants will support licensed wildlife rehabilitators across WA to care for sick and injured native wildlife.

Successful applicants will share in $150,000 available over the next year under a state government partnership with the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife.

Grants will be available for licensed groups and individuals to purchase specialist equipment, animal food, first aid supplies, veterinary support and the development of training courses.

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Mandurah Wildlife Rescue Centre is keen to make the most of the money on offer.

Director Suzanne Crouchley said the centre would be applying for funding as soon as possible.

"I haven't read the terms in full yet, so I'm not sure how much we will ask for, but we need as much as we can get at the moment," she said.

"The Mandurah Wildlife Centre has certainly been affected by the COVID outbreak.

"We haven't been able to do our usual fundraising, and we haven't been able to accept injured animals from the general public.

"One problem has been the closed sign on the gate which we had to put up to make sure people didn't drop in unannounced with injured animals.

"It also started rumours that we were closing though so that has hit our fundraising as well."

We need as much [money] as we can get at the moment.

Mandurah Wildlife Rescue Centre director Suzanne Crouchley

Ms Crouchley said the money would be greatly appreciated to help the centre prepare for the upcoming baby bird season.

"We would use the funding to check all our 'hot boxes' as they're called and get some new ones - these are like a little incubators we can put injured animals in to manage their body temperature as they recover," she said.

"We're moving our intensive care unit to a new location where it's quieter and more suited to caring for the more seriously injured animals.

"We also want to replace some of our old aviaries so money from grants, or donations of aviaries from local suppliers, would be welcome."

Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said wildlife rehabilitators did "vital work".

"Many go above and beyond to provide a high standard of care to some of Western Australia's most vulnerable wildlife," he said.

"By investing in this program, we are supporting not just wildlife rehabilitators, but also some of the state's most vulnerable wildlife.

"This has been particularly tough in recent times with wildlife rehabilitation groups unable to raise funds through their usual avenues.

"The one-year grants will support successful applicants to have the resources and knowledge they need to provide native animals with high quality care so they can be successfully released back to the wild."

For more information about the funding, or to apply for the grant, visit http://pws.dbca.wa.gov.au/faunalicences. Applications close on Friday, May 29.

Alternatively, if you are able to donate your time or materials to build sheds, cages and large aviaries for the centre, contact them on Facebook.