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Media Releases

Contact media@wires.org.au for enquiries or call 0416 272 153.

Read the latest updates on our emergency and bushfire projects here.

Wildlife Research Grants Program

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

WIRES has announced it will fund a $1.5 million wildlife research grants program to be launched early 2022. This program will be run in-conjunction with the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales (RSZ NSW).

The objective of the WIRES RSZ Wildlife Research Grants program is to address the significant knowledge gaps surrounding Australian native species including biology, ecology, and conservation. Recent major ecological tragedies including drought, fires, and floods as well as an ever-growing threatened species list have clearly highlighted the vulnerability of native animals and the need to find effective strategies to mitigate major threats. read more

WIRES response to current NSW mouse plague

Thursday, June 03, 2021

WIRES is monitoring the mouse plague poisoning situation closely and we have had considerable concern and enquiries from the community about the safety to wildlife. Currently we cannot report a noticeable increase in calls for native animals related to the poisoning, however this may not be indicative of a potential issue as the public usually only reports injured, sick and orphaned cases, not deceased native animals, unless there are large and ongoing numbers being found. read more

Thomas Sabo partners with WIRES for Mother's Day

Friday, April 23, 2021

Thanks to our ongoing relationship, you could make a difference to the outcomes of Australian wildlife this Mother’s Day by  purchasing one of two limited edition Koala pieces from the Thomas Sabo collection. read more

RESCUE 101 – WIRES calls for more volunteers

Monday, March 15, 2021

In response to a growing number of wildlife assistance calls WIRES has launched a new volunteer program, Rescue 101, making it easier for new volunteers to join WIRES and assist with the rescue of sick and injured wildlife.

Rescue 101 provides the knowledge and skills an individual needs to help with some of the more common native animal rescues. It will allow the volunteer to attend rescues and transport the animals to a wildlife vet for initial assessment. WIRES’ Rescue Office will follow up with the veterinary clinic, coordinating with the vet to bring the animal into care post treatment, where the animal needs to be rehabilitated with a registered carer.  read more

WIRES Announces Stage 2 Emergency Funding Plans

Friday, February 26, 2021

WIRES has announced the allocation of $35 million in funding as part of Stage 2 plans for their Emergency Fund to help Australian native wildlife

The priorities of Stage 2 plans are focused on Rescue, Rehabilitation and Recovery.

“A major aim of our Stage 2 plan is to build national rescue and rehabilitation capacity through collaboration and long-term programs,” said WIRES CEO Leanne Taylor. “We are extremely grateful for the support received from the community both here in Australia and internationally and we are fully committed to using this opportunity to improve the outcomes for our native animals now and in the future.” read more

Australia’s outdated environmental law urgently needs overhaul

Tuesday, February 02, 2021

The release of the 10-year independent review of environmental laws by Professor Graeme Samuel AC is the reform Australia desperately needs and is welcomed by WIRES. read more

WIRES to Fund Native Animal Diseases Research at University of Sydney

Monday, February 01, 2021

WIRES is funding research at University of Sydney School of Veterinary Science to better understand and manage wildlife diseases. The $200,000 grant over two years will support initiatives to improve disease diagnosis in native wildlife and ultimately improve long-term outcomes.

Disease outbreaks and resurgence in native wildlife are becoming more common due to the combination of climate change, unprecedented bushfires and long-term drought conditions.  read more

Say G’day to American Girl's 2021 Girl of the Year —Kira Bailey

Friday, January 01, 2021
New Character Takes Fans Down Under to Explore Wildlife Protection and Climate Change

Brand Raises Awareness and Funds for WIRES—Australia’s Largest Wildlife Rescue Organisation


American Girl, the beloved brand known for helping girls grow up with confidence and character, and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mattel (NASDAQ: MAT), today unveiled its 2021 Girl of the Year, Kira Bailey. Kira™—a nurturing and inquisitive 10-year-old who cares deeply for animals and the environment—joins American Girl’s line of contemporary characters that inspires children to make a positive difference in the world. Whether she’s caring for an orphaned koala joey or facing a bushfire that’s threatening her great-aunts’ wildlife sanctuary in Australia, Kira confronts critical ecological issues, such as wildlife protection and the threat of climate change, that are more relevant to our planet than ever.

“As American Girl kicks off its 35th year, Kira joins our lineup of diverse and purposeful characters who star in stories that reflect the realities of the times—whether it’s historical or modern-day,” says Jamie Cygielman, General Manager of American Girl. “As we all witnessed the bushfires rage in Australia last year and start up again this September, and the devastating wildfires in the western United States, we knew it was important to focus Kira’s story on the major conservation and climate challenges facing our planet today—causes that are extremely important to today’s youth. Through Kira, we hope our fans will learn that we all have a part to play in taking positive action for our planet.”

To further support Kira’s message, American Girl is partnering with NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service, Inc. (WIRES), Australia’s largest wildlife rescue organisation dedicated to rescuing and caring for sick, injured, and orphaned animals, including those impacted by bushfires and drought. Today through December 30, 2021, American Girl is supporting the organisation’s mission to rehabilitate and preserve Australian wildlife by matching customer donations dollar for dollar up to a maximum of $25,000. To learn more about how American Girl is helping WIRES, visit www.americangirl.com/kira.

“Last year, Australia’s fire season was unlike anything previously experienced in terms of scale and severity, with fires destroying millions of hectares of land—much of which was threatened-species habitat,” says Kyla Shelley, Chief Operating Officer for WIRES. “Wild species worldwide are facing enormous challenges—including extinction—mainly due to habitat loss, natural disasters, and climate change. Just like Kira discovers, everyone can get involved in wildlife rescue and protection, and it’s not too late to make a difference wherever you live.”

To create Kira, American Girl worked hand in hand with author Erin Teagan, who holds a master’s degree in science and travelled to Australia to gain a deeper understanding of Kira’s experiences. Other consultants specialising in Australian wildlife and culture reviewed all aspects of Kira’s world—from manuscripts to products—to help ensure every detail was rooted in real practices and science, with the following two experts playing an integral role:
• Dr. Alison Bee — Veterinarian, owner and manager of Magnetic Island Animal Hospital, a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation facility for sick, injured, and orphaned koalas in North Queensland, Australia.

• Tassin Barnard — Owner and manager of the Australian Walkabout Wildlife Park, a wildlife preserve on the central coast of New South Wales.

In the two-book series, Kira is excited to leave her home state of Michigan and spend her summer abroad at her great-aunts’ Mamie and Lynette’s wildlife sanctuary and vet clinic in Queensland, Australia. There she learns to care for injured or orphaned animals with her new friend Alexis. But when a roving predator and a raging bushfire threaten the sanctuary, Kira must rise to the challenge to protect her family and the animals she loves. In the end, Kira learns you can’t let the fear of the worst keep you from living your best.

Bringing the stories to life is a beautiful 18-inch Kira doll, featuring green eyes and long, wavy blonde hair, that comes dressed in a tie-dye tank, sporty skirt, and lace-up boots perfect for bushwalking. Kira’s signature accessories include an outdoor backpack with koala keychain and a wide-brimmed hat to protect her from the Australian sun. Girls can choose from several other Australian-inspired outfits, including Kira’s girl-and-doll koala PJs, as well as adorable plush animals like a kangaroo and joey, koala, and a wombat (part of Kira’s Wildlife Rescue Set). To extend the play further, there’s Kira’s Animal Exam Table and Comfy Platform Tent—both with over 20 authentic accessories—to fuel girls’ imaginations.

• Visit American Girl retail stores on December 31–January 3 to explore and shop Kira’s world, where kids will receive a free tote bag with a kangaroo joey design and a koala craft while supplies last.

• Watch Kira-inspired videos on American Girl’s popular YouTube and YouTube Kids Channel, including a six-week “Meet Kira” stop-motion series, plus Kira music videos, DIY crafts, and other Kira-inspired content throughout the year.

• Learn more from the experts involved in Kira’s development and other amazing girls who are making a positive difference for our planet by tuning into our “Making of Kira” video and reading about “Why Kira Matters.”

• Have fun on Kira’s free dedicated play site and explore her wildlife sanctuary and play Kira-themed games.

As a companion to Kira's stories, American Girl is also introducing a nonfiction advice book, Love the Earth, for readers 8 and up. The fully illustrated guide helps readers understand climate change and offers tips and tools for living an earth-friendly life. Available January 1, the book is a great choice for emerging environmentalists who want to speak up for climate change solutions. More climate-related events and partnerships will launch in April 2021.

The Kira collection is available December 31, 2020, at americangirl.com and at all American Girl retail locations nationwide and, starting January 1, 2021, at American Girl specialty boutiques at select Indigo™ and Chapters™ locations in Canada and online at Indigo.ca. The Kira doll and book retails for $110 and the Kira books ($7.99 each) can also be purchased through retail and online booksellers.

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ABOUT AMERICAN GIRL
American Girl is a premium brand for girls and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT, www.mattel.com), a leading global children's entertainment company that specializes in the design and production of quality toys and consumer products. Headquartered in Middleton, WI, American Girl offers an inspiring world of dolls, content, and experiences that nourish a girl’s spirit and help develop her strength of character. Best-selling lines include Truly Me™, Girl of the Year™, Bitty Baby®, WellieWishers™, and American Girl’s classic historical characters. The company sells products through its award-winning catalogue, on americangirl.com, in its proprietary U.S. experiential retail stores, as well as at specialty retailers nationwide. By inspiring girls to be their best, American Girl has earned the loyalty of millions and the praise and trust of parents and educators.  read more

WIRES is Preparing for the Bushfire Season

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

With the bushfire season fast approaching WIRES has been working on a range of initiatives and programs in preparedness for emergency weather events that impact wildlife. The focus continues to be on improving emergency response capacity to rescue and care for higher numbers of animals and ensuring appropriate training is readily available and accessible to all volunteers. read more

Aussie Ark Partners with WIRES in Landmark Partnership for Australian Wildlife

Wednesday, September 09, 2020
  • WIRES has granted Aussie Ark $1,045,000 to support the long-term recovery of native threatened wildlife 
  • The funds will be directed towards the support of species recovery and habitat programs
  • The powerhouse partnership between two of Australia’s most vital conservation organisations will deliver on the ground conservation outcomes for wildlife
  •  read more

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