A partnership between the NRMA and conservation group Wildlife Recovery Australia will help fund critical programs that rescue, treat, rehabilitate and release native animals.
As part of the partnership, motorists have the opportunity to purchase a veterinary-endorsed Wildlife Rescue Kit to use if they encounter injured wildlife, particularly those found near the roadside.
Wildlife Recovery Australia has partnered with the NRMA and the International Fund for Animal Welfare to develop the kits that include practical tools, usage and safety guidelines for helping native animals, as well as the newly developed Wildlife Rescue App to geo-locate the nearest veterinary hospital or wildlife rescue group.
Wildlife Recovery Australia is a joint venture of Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital and the Odonata Foundation.
The two-year partnership will also see the NRMA provide $500,000 in funding and marketing support to improve facilities for animal welfare and develop biodiversity projects in locations near NRMA Holiday Parks.
NRMA Director Jane McKellar said the organisation was committed to playing its part in helping protect Australia’s unique native wildlife.
“It’s estimated that 10 million animals die on Australian roads every year and what people might not know is that approximately 3% of crashes in regional areas are the result of impact collisions with wildlife” Ms McKellar said.
“Through this partnership we’re able to give drivers the chance to purchase a veterinary-endorsed kit to keep in the back of their car, and potentially save injured animals. Sadly, cars on regional highways regularly collide with wildlife so just having a kit in your car is a reminder drive with care.
“We are happy to be partnering with Wildlife Recovery Australia to help continue their vital work in protecting and rehabilitating our native animals that desperately need our help, after years of bushfires and floods.
“NRMA Holiday Parks are located in regions that are known for their unique natural landscapes and wildlife experiences. Many of our guests choose to stay at our holiday parks for this very reason, so we also see biodiversity protection as hugely important for our business.”
“The wildlife rescue kits will help reduce the time for an injured or traumatised native animal to receive critical care by expert vets and experienced wildlife rescuers,” said Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital Founder and Wildlife Recovery Australia Director Dr Stephen Van Mil.
“We are delighted that The NRMA shares our vision to harness the public’s desire to help save wildlife.”
Odonata Foundation Chairperson and Wildlife Recovery Australia Director Mr Nigel Sharp said that it was extremely valuable to have a national organisation of the calibre of NRMA supporting their national sanctuary network.
Chaired by former Secretary to the Treasury, economist and conservationist Dr Ken Henry AC, Wildlife Recovery Australia is a national body that builds and operates mobile wildlife hospitals alongside predator-proof sanctuaries to treat wildlife and recover endangered species across Australia.
“The survival of not only individual animals but entire species is under continual threat” said Dr Henry.
“Our wildlife veterinary teams treat them for horrific injuries from being hit by cars, attacked by feral pests, domestic pets or displaced by natural disasters like bushfires and floods. We cannot, must not let native animals continue to perish in avoidable ways.”
The Wildlife Rescue Kits will be available to purchase online through Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital for $69 with all proceeds going to help the hospital carry out life-saving veterinary care for wildlife – www.byronbaywildlifehospital.org/shop
Drivers who come across injured wildlife should contact their nearest wildlife rescue organisation or call 1300 WILDLIFE (1300 945 354).