Wildlife Hospital and Rehabilitation Centre
AEFI have been successful in securing funding through the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund.
AEFI will build a Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Hospital adjacent to Secret Creek Sanctuary to
care for injured animals, providing the infrastructure to rescue, rehabilitate and release native species back into the wild.
The need follows the 2019/20 bushfires in which more than one billion animals were impacted across Australia and many in the local area. Throughout the bushfire period AEFI worked on protecting endangered species onsite from the oncoming fire front, and were simultaneously faced with inundation of injured wildlife being brought in requiring urgent medical treatment and long-term care. All of the rescue, rehabilitation and release activity during the bushfires had to be sourced from other areas of NSW due to the lack of veterinary native expertise, support and resources locally. The region has also been recognized as having an extremely high rate of wildlife injuries and fatalities, and as a result, this project aims to reduce the amount of euthanised native species. AEFI's 1000 acre Newnes Plateau Conservation Reserve will be a release site for suitable rehabilitated species which are able to be returned to their natural environment.
The overarching need for a Wildlife Hospital and Rehabilitation Centre is further accentuated by the Blue Mountains and Central West region being surrounded by six NSW National Parks, as well as World Heritage Areas. This includes Blue Mountains National Park, Wollemi National Park, Kanangra-Boyd National Park, Marrangarroo National Park, Turon National Park, and Gardens of Stone National Park. Within the region are also a variety of endangered species requiring protection, a couple of these include Spotted-Tail Quolls (Dasyurus maculatus), Brush-Tailed Rock Wallabies (Petrogale penicillata), Blue Mountains Water Skink (Eulamprus leuraensis), and the Regent Honeyeater (Anthochaera phrygia).
The Wildlife Hospital and Rehabilitation Centre will also provide structured support,
communication and coordination to assist disaster affected communities in their recovery
by developing educational material on how to support wildlife rescue and rehabilitation.
This crucial conservation project will strengthen environmental resilience, especially when
recovering from natural disasters.
The facility will collaborate and partner with education providers offering placements for university courses, native wildlife expertise, and wildlife research opportunities. AEFI is currently in discussion with various bodies that are interested in taking on the operation and management of the facility after its construction.
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