DELWP's role

Under Victorian emergency management arrangements, the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning (DELWP) is the lead agency for wildlife welfare arising from declared emergencies.  This covers a range of emergency events including fire, flood and storms.  Response triggers and actions vary on the type of emergency event and sometimes the location or the specific nature of the event itself.

With storms, emergency response activities are targeted on individual situations where wildlife welfare issues need to be addressed.  At all times human safety is the highest priority and no activity that may pose a risk to emergency services or members of the public will be undertaken.

How do storms impact wildlife?

During storm events it is common for wildlife to be displaced through being blown out of trees or having their shelter damaged (eg: falling trees).  In these situations, uninjured wildlife should be left alone as they are likely to be just fatigued and stressed.  In time they will recover and re-establish themselves in their habitat.  This is a normal process.  Capturing, transporting and handling these animals can lead to unnecessary stress and they are best left alone.

Reporting of injured wildlife during floods

During storm events it is common for wildlife to be displaced through being blown out of trees or having their shelter damaged (eg: falling trees).  In these situations, uninjured wildlife should be left alone as they are likely to be just fatigued and stressed.  In time they will recover and re-establish themselves in their habitat.  This is a normal process.  Capturing, transporting and handling these animals can lead to unnecessary stress and they are best left alone.

Individual wildlife that are injured can be reported to authorised local wildlife carers, rescue groups or Wildlife Victoria.  The Help for Injured Wildlife Tool will help you locate and contact the closest relevant wildlife carers and rehabilitation organisations.

The capture of injured wildlife should only occur where it is safe to do so and wildlife rescuers and carers should ensure that the environment is safe to respond.  Improper rescue techniques by an untrained or inexperienced person can cause further distress or injury to the animal, as well as putting the rescuer at risk.

The directions of emergency services personnel should be always followed by members of the public, wildlife carers and rescuers.

Page last updated: 11/10/22