Highest rate of trauma

A koala struck and killed on Romsey Road last month.

Macedon Ranges has the highest rate of wildlife road trauma in the state, adding to a strain on Wildlife Victoria’s services.

CEO Lisa Palma said since 2019, more than 4000 native animals had been struck by cars in the Macedon Ranges alone.

The organisation experienced a 46 per cent increase in state-wide incidents over that same period.

Ms Palma said the figures were likely a gross underestimation, but enough to stretch the organisation to capacity.

“Our hardworking volunteers are out there day and night, 24-7, and so are our Wildlife Victoria teams on the phones, but it’s getting to breaking point,” she said.

As a not-for-profit, just seven per cent of Wildlife Victoria’s funding (equivalent to $500,000 annually) is provided by the state government, but that’s about to dry up.

The 2024-25 state budget did not deliver any new funding for the organisation.

“It means the future of Wildlife Victoria is seriously at risk,” Palma said.

“We may need to stop provision of services or even consider winding down over the longer term. It’s not okay for a charity facing a significant increase in demand.

“We can’t continue to rely on charities like ours and good will to provide a public service for the state and for the wildlife that belongs to the crown.”

In a statement responding to the budget, the organisation criticised the Victorian Government for pledging a further $12 million in funding over the next three years to the state’s highly controversial duck hunting season, while Victoria’s principal wildlife emergency service remained “critically underfunded”.

Call Wildlife Victoria’s 24-hour hotline for help or advice with a rescue on: 8400 7300.