Apr 15, 2021

Platypus are one of the world's most unique animals and your support has helped save this one.

Rescued Platypus being released back to the wild
Rescued Platypus being released back to the wild

The platypus is one of the world’s most unique animals. Platypus live only in Australia and they are one of the few egg-laying mammals known as monotremes. 

These fascinating creatures have an extremely streamlined body and a bill that is covered with smooth, soft skin. The skin of the bill contains  specialised sensory receptors that enable them to navigate underwater. 

Our volunteers are out rescuing native animals every day and it is relatively rare that we receive calls to assist a platypus. Platypus are listed as a 'near threatened' species, making every single life saved and returned to the wild critical for the long-term survival of the species.

As a valued contributor to our project "Support Australian wildlife - Rescue to Release" we would like to share this special story and rare footage of a rescued platypus being released back to the wild. 

A couple of weeks ago a platypus had found its way into a water treatment plant and the concerned staff immediately called WIRES rescue line for assistance.

Everyone involved was relieved that there were no injuries detected and that after a few days of veterinarian observation at Taronga Wildlife Hospital to ensure all was well this little one was ready to go back to the wild. 

While the platypus was in care large parts of NSW were experiencing devastating floods and it was not until the flood waters had receded that the plans in place for his release could be actioned.

He made a splash back into the wild after being transported for release by a member of the WIRES Emergency Response team and is expected to thrive. We would like to share with you this special video of his release.

Ordinarily, on release a platypus would slide immediately into the water and swim away, but we were fortunate enough to witness a platypus returning to its natural environment and enjoy every moment, his activities on release were almost a thank you gift to all the hard work our volunteers do rescuing and caring for so many animals before their release.

Each and every rescue and release relies on the support of those who care about our unique wildlife. Your donation goes to ensuring we can reach more animals in distress and get them the help and care they need sooner, so on behalf of all the animals and WIRES volunteers, thank you.

Regular donations allow us to better plan for the future and allow us to direct more time and resources into our life-saving rescue and care services. Choosing to become a regular monthly donor to our project "Support Australian Wildlife - Rescue to Release" will provide ongoing life-saving help for all the animals we rescue.

Rescued Platypus back in the wild
Rescued Platypus back in the wild
Apr 13, 2021

Looking to the future - Stage 2 Emergency Recovery Funding Plans

Imogen-WIRES Emergency Relief Grant Recipient
Imogen-WIRES Emergency Relief Grant Recipient

Your support along with the global interest and compassion for Australian animals continues to provide opportunities to improve the outcomes for our native animals now and in the future.

With the long recovery phase for wildlife and their habitat continuing to evolve we have recently announced the allocation of  Stage 2 plans for the Emergency Fund to help Australian native wildlife after the devastating droughts and bushfires of 2019/2020.

Stage 2 funding is being distributed across the core areas of Rescue, Rehabilitation and Recovery:

  • Supporting the rescue and care of sick, injured, displaced and orphaned animals and increasing national rescue and care capacity

  • Funding projects that address the impacts of the changed environmental landscape and support the recovery of wildlife habitat and the long-term preservation of native species

  • Supporting a national framework to engage volunteers in best practice rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife affected by emergency events and reduce future risk to wildlife

A major aim of the Stage 2 plan is to build national capacity through collaboration and long-term programs;

  • A national grants program will be run over the next five years to support best practise rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife and native species recovery projects.

  • Developing a national network, enhancing state-based systems and improving the structures and support for wildlife rescue and care.

  • Funding for 23 national hubs of our partner Animal Rescue Cooperative (ARC) to fund critical supplies including food, medical needs and the distribution of craft items to support wildlife carers during emergency events

  • Research funding to identify knowledge gaps in habitat conservation and species recovery in the changed landscape, post Black Summer Bushfires

  • Additional projects, programs and partnerships directly supporting species and habitat recovery initiatives and conservation efforts. This will directly address the ongoing impacts of the 2019/2020 emergency events including drought and fire that devastated wildlife populations.

Additional details of specific programs will continue to be announced throughout 2021 and we will be sure to keep you updated through future project reports, without you none of this would be possible and we thank you.

If you would like to learn more about our everyday work rescuing and caring for wildlife and receive inspiring wildlife rescue stories each month, please register to receive our enews via the link below.


Dec 21, 2020

Reflecting on the last twelve months

Bandicoot joey in care with WIRES
Bandicoot joey in care with WIRES

When I reflect on the past twelve months it’s hard to believe what the world has endured - it has truly been a year like no other. Extreme weather events, bushfires and COVID-19 have provided the backdrop to major challenges for humanity and the environment across the globe. 

For Australia the devastating impact of ongoing drought and bushfires has left an indelible scar on our country and tragically our wildlife populations. 

However along with these challenges I have never witnessed such a groundswell of interest, care and support for our native animals. People just like you have united in the cause to halt the decline of threatened species, fight habitat destruction and value the role wildlife plays in our national identity. This unprecedented support clearly demonstrates people across Australia and around the world understand our native animals need saving – now. 

I hope this is just the beginning of a new chapter for Australia – one where our wildlife is valued by all levels of our community including those who are in the position of power.  

Thank you so much for being a part of this movement and standing up for Australian wildlife.

It’s unimaginable that an estimated three billion native animals have been killed or displaced by the Summer bushfires, and millions of hectares of land burnt. Unprecedented disasters of this scale require unprecedented collaboration to help wildlife recover which is why we have partnered with leading environmental groups, conservation organisations and universities, to implement programs designed to deliver the best long-term impact for wildlife. 

With the support of generous donors like you, together we have funded:  

  • 64 projects to support the national recovery of wildlife and wildlife habitat. 
  • the planting of over 92,000 plants for habitat revegetation 
  • installation of 1554 nest boxes 
  • long term species recovery and habitat programs, expanding threatened species care and breeding programs 
  • national veterinary vaccination grants to increase veterinary capacity to treat flying-foxes 
  • the building and distribution of $1 million worth of arboreal water stations for native wildlife 
  • the construction and expansion of wildlife hospital extensions and medical fit out costs 
  • bushfire recovery projects to protect over 17 threatened and endangered species including the endangered Northern Bettong and Kangaroo Island Dunnart from extinction 
  • a full-time emergency rescuer out of Currumbin Wildlife Hospital to support the local rehabilitation network, ensuring animals needing urgent rescue attention can be assisted faster 
  • free training for wildlife rescue groups across the country so that they can implement best practice response and care for wildlife 

And that’s just the start, a lot of recovery work is well underway, and though progress has been significantly impacted by COVID-19, we adapted quickly and continue to provide rescue support 24/7, 365 days a year. 

We are focused on increasing our capacity to rescue and care for more wildlife on an ongoing basis and improving emergency preparedness to better respond to major wildlife emergencies like the Black Summer Bushfires. Another priority focus is recovery, as without healthy, sustainable habitat and wild species populations, the animals we rescue and rehabilitate have nowhere safe to be released. Simply put, without the wild, there is no future for wildlife. 

The lead up to Christmas is always our busiest time of year for rescues, with carers looking after many sick, injured and often orphaned animals. With your ongoing support it is our privilege to keep working to ensure native animals can be returned to the wild now and in the future.  

We have done a lot this year and there is a lot more planned for 2021. Thank you for all that you have done to assist wildlife. We are deeply grateful for your support and wish you and your loved ones a safe and happy holiday season. 

Warm regards, 
Leanne Taylor 

P.S. Without you, none of this is possible. If you are able to give a gift to support the ongoing rescue, rehabilitation and recovery of wildlife, please donate today. Our bushfire projects are just one part of our work, but we have many ongoing projects that need funding. In October alone we received over 21,000 calls for help. Thank you.


Thank you from the whole WIRES team
Thank you from the whole WIRES team
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