WIRES launches national rescue course for koalas 

Photo: izanbar 123rf

WIRES has launched a national Koala Rescue Course which will be available for registered wildlife carers from April 2022.

The course is part of WIRES’ plan to increase rescue and rehabilitation capacity and improve the emergency rescue response for koalas. It explores the best practice for rescuing and transporting injured, sick or orphaned koalas and will be delivered 100 per cent online. Koalas have recently been classified as endangered in QLD, NSW and the ACT.  

“The statistics around the number of koala rescues in NSW paints a clear picture of an increased need to build volunteer capacity and capability,” WIRES chief operating officer Kyla Shelley said.  

“We have seen almost a doubling of koala rescues in the last two years. These are usually complex situations and require specific skills to assist this unique species.”

The course covers the following topics:

  • WHS risks involved in rescuing and transporting koalas
  • Koala biology, behaviour, distribution, and threats to koala populations
  • Appropriate capture, handling, and transport methods
  • Rescue scenarios and how to approach them 
  • Koala observational assessment and reporting processes post-rescue
  • Common injuries and diseases

The WIRES Koala Rescue Course is based on the standards and guidelines outlined in the NSW OEH Code of Practice for injured, sick and orphaned koalas and the NSW DPIE Guidelines for the initial treatment and care of rescued koalas.

The course will be available under the WIRES training grants program.  

Allen’s Lollies is supporting WIRES in the development and provision of koala rescue training. They have launched Chew ’Ems Gummi Koalas to help raise awareness of the issues facing this iconic Australian species. 


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