Few of Australia’s 7000 or so native animal species show any road sense. This includes our particularly diverse and charismatic marsupials (e.g. kangaroos, possums, bandicoots, bettongs, etc), which account for more than two-thirds of the world’s 330 species.
Of course, this goes beyond road accidents. Our native fauna is regularly caught up in everything from bird mesh to bushfires — an estimated 3 billion animals were affected by the 2019-2020 blazes in southern Australia.
Wildlife rescue groups and networks abound in Australia, handling hundreds of rescues per day. Wildlife Victoria receives roughly 30,000 emergency calls per year, more than 400 of those involving threatened species. About one in five of these calls have an education outcome, rather than requiring an emergency response.
Worryingly, these numbers are growing — Wildlife Victoria reported a 2.5-fold increase in emergency calls between 2010 and 2019. And services are often under-resourced, with many calls going unanswered due to a lack of trained volunteers.
Here are a few links to State organisations for those interested in wildlife rescue:
Read more in the Conversation