For more than 20 years Margaret Clinton has volunteered at WIRES. Over this time she has cared for numerous kangaroos, lizards and birds. Now, after bushfires have scorched much of the bush around the region, her job has become more difficult.
Ms Clinton said after volunteers had picked up animals and rehabilitated them, they were usually returned to where they were found.
She said if that area was burnt it made relocating difficult and native wildlife had to be kept in care for longer.
"It's difficult because you need to keep up their physical strength during that time so we need enclosures.
"Before the fires there was drought, so some of our animals have been suffering from malnutrition and a loss of habitat."
The dedicated volunteer said sometimes it was very difficult to find an appropriate release site for an animal due to "understandable" tensions between farmers and native wildlife.
She said WIRES volunteers were often faced with an ethical dilemma between rescuing an animal and ending its suffering. She said when a joey was found in a pouch on the side of the road a choice had to be made. To leave that animal to die or to try and rehabilitate and use it as a replacement for the one that was killed.
While Ms Clinton praised members of the community for wanting to help wildlife after the fires, she said to "make sure what you are doing will assist".
"One of the water stations put up recently had a bowl at the bottom that was an incorrect size, some animals tumbled into the water bowl and drowned.
"It is wonderful people spend the time, energy and the money to do something but sometimes it can be detrimental."
Meet some of the animals rescued across the Southern Tablelands:
Pixie a wombat joey was orphaned when her mother was killed by a vehicle collision near Bigga. The photo shows her snugged up and fast asleep in her 'pretend pouch' after a bottle. She was with WIRES carer Kay Muddiman for six months before she was transferred to another carer for a successful release several months later.
Tawny a tawny frogmouth was caught on barbed wire near Crookwell. He had torn a hole in his wing, but miraculously no bones were broken. The vet advised keeping him contained in a very small aviary until the wound healed. Then followed several weeks in a large aviary, with twice daily physio to get the wing muscles back up to flying strength, then he was successfully released.
Xavier a wallaroo joey was orphaned when his mother was killed in a vehicle collision near Binda. The picture shows him on one of his twice daily walks in the bush to get him used to the 'big outdoors'. After around four months in care he was transferred for release.
Visit www.wires.org.au for more information.
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