Today is World Wildlife Day, an opportunity to celebrate and raise awareness for endangered wild animals and plants. It is the most important event dedicated to animals in the world.

Australia is home to more than one million species of flora and fauna. Many of which are found nowhere else in the world. And what many people don’t know is that Australia has one of the highest mammal extinction rates in the world. 

In 2022 one of our most iconic species, the koala, was officially declared endangered across most of the east coast due to diminishing habitats and climate change. This means they are now at risk of extinction.

An organisation dedicated to ensuring the protection of our animals and their habitats is WIRES — Australia’s largest wildlife rescue organisation. 

The work WIRES does is not just important for caring for sick and injured animals; it’s vital for the continued preservation of our unique native species. 

In recognition of World Wildlife Day, we’re donating $100,000 to WIRES for the rescue and rehabilitation of koalas. 

WIRES Chief Operating Officer Kyla Shelley said the donation would help support their ongoing mission. 

“WIRES is delighted to receive this generous gift from The Lott by NSW Lotteries to help build a new koala rehabilitation facility in South-West Sydney,” she said.

“With koalas listed as endangered in NSW, QLD and the ACT, key threats, including habitat loss and increased urbanisation, are driving this iconic species closer to extinction. 

“This dedicated facility will give more sick, injured, and orphaned koalas the opportunity to receive best-practice care, enabling more koalas to be safely returned to the wild.” 

The Lott by NSW Lotteries partnership manager Ally Ramsamy said it was exciting to further support WIRES and contribute to their mission for our national wildlife.

“We first supported WIRES in 2020 through the Saturday Lotto Bushfire Benefit Draw, where all proceeds from the draw were donated to a number of charities supporting communities impacted by the Black Summer bushfires,” she said.

“We’re delighted to be able to continue this support through our most recent donation.

“With koalas being vulnerable to extinction, it was such an easy decision for us to make this donation to WIRES. 

“Their work is imperative, so we are proud of the part we’re playing in their journey to save koalas.”

To find out more about WIRES and how you can support them to rehabilitate and preserve Australian wildlife, head here.