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Help our Wildlife - Join WIRES Now

To become a volunteer with WIRES you need to complete WIRES Rescue and Immediate Care Course (RICC). Completing the initial RICC training enables you to rescue a range of sick, injured and orphaned native animals. 

To book into a course or to make a training enquiry, visit our training page now.

If you have any questions please send us an email.


Please note WIRES is a NSW only organisation and you cannot become a member of WIRES if you live in other states. To become a WIRES member you must be over 18 and complete WIRES Rescue and Immediate Care course . 

Wildlife volunteers are needed in all parts of the Northern Rivers.  

We receive hundreds of calls to our hotline every week and sometimes it’s hard for us to find someone to respond to calls for animals in distress in certain locations.
Would you like to be a wildlife volunteer?
You can choose your level of involvement. Anyone 18+ can sign up to become a qualified wildlife rescuer, and can opt for additional areas of wildlife care & involvement:

  • Caring for orphaned & injured wildlife
  • Building enclosures & equipment
  • Phone roster- operating the 24 hr hotline
  • Fundraising
  • Education
  • Media
  • Administration
  • Catering
  • Technology
  • Research

Do I need any training?
Before you can rescue or care for wildlife, you must complete a basic training course.

Further training is required and encouraged if you are interested in certain species, such as wallabies, possums, reptiles & bats. Courses are conducted regularly, usually based in Lismore.  


Do I need any equipment?
A rescue basket and basic knowledge is all that is initially required. Most members accumulate their own additional equipment depending upon area of interest. Most equipment is inexpensive and readily available.  Some assistance can be given to members who care for lots of animals.






Are there any volunteer opportunities that don’t involve caring for the animals?
We need volunteers in all of the areas listed above. If you have specific skills which you  believe might support our organisation, we’d be pleased to hear from you.

Members can be actively involved in WIRES regardless of the type of dwelling in which they live. For example, the very intensive care of young birds requires no aviaries or expensive equipment, merely training & dedication.

Fundraising is a necessary part of our operation as we rely completely on public donation. Fundraising is time-consuming and can be organised by someone who is not actively involved with caring for animals.

Having pets or having young children does not exclude members from caring for wildlife.  Common sense is the main ingredient.


What level of commitment is expected?
You decide on the level of activity you are comfortable with. Time and equipment are the major considerations. If you have a lot of time and space in your garden for aviaries your commitment level may be quite high. However not all animals need an aviary. Smaller animals may need only a rescue basket or cage overnight or for a few days care before being released or passed on to another carer.  

Many of our valued active members just rescue an animal, keep it overnight & pass it on to an experienced carer the next day.  

Caring for wildlife is a challenging and rewarding experience.


WIRES Rescuers

Rescuers specialise in the rescue of native animals. They are often called upon to collect animals that members of the public have taken to a vet for attention or animals that may have been injured on the road, caught in orchard netting, the list is endless. Many rescuers will then deliver the animal to a carer's house if they are not able to care for the animal themselves, or yet untrained in the care of that particular species of animal.

WIRES rescuers must be over 18 and complete a training course. To become a member of WIRES you will need to complete Rescue & Immediate care training, which will provide you the necessary skills and ability needed to handle animals in distress whilst ensuring your personal safety.


Rescue & Immediate care training course will authorise you to rescue Australian Native animals, but further training is required before you will be able to foster care for these animals.


Not all WIRES members participate in rescue or foster care, many fulfill other duties necessary for the smooth running of the organisation, such as fundraising, transporting of wildlife, community education etc. All roles within WIRES are vital to ensure the best outcomes for the injured and orphaned in our care.




Updated March 2021  

Webmaster: Susanne Ulyatt

© WIRES Northern Rivers 2004-2021