The new Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, opened in 2011, is funded through Phillip Island Nature Parks’ ecotourism activities and the Penguin Foundation adopt a penguin program.
The Centre is purpose built to care for Phillip Island’s sick and injured native wildlife. Starvation, road trauma, pet or feral animal attacks, oil spills and boat trauma are common causes of admittance to the Centre. The Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre provides access to offsite veterinary care and treatment when required. The ultimate aim of wildlife rehabilitation is to return healthy animals to the wild so they can resume life without further support.
Each year the Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre treats approximately 150 little penguins and 300 to 400 other native animals, including short-tailed shearwaters, southern giant petrels, possums and koalas.
"A patch of oil the size of a thumbnail can kill a little penguin"
The Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre can care for up to 500 little penguins in the event of an oil spill.
To date, the largest number of oiled birds treated at Phillip Island Nature Parks was over 438 in a 2001 oil spill. Over 95 per cent of these penguins were released back into the wild thanks to the experience of staff and volunteers. Phillip Island Nature Parks also runs training courses and provides advice to other wildlife shelters across Australia relating to little penguin and seabird rehabilitation.
438 little penguins were treated in a 2001 oil spill near Phillip Island. Over 95% were successfully released back into the wild.
Volunteer wildlife rescue network
Wildlife Victoria coordinates a volunteer rescue/transport network for Phillip Island. The network assists with the collection and transport of sick and injured native wildlife to the local vet or the Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.
If you live on Phillip Island and would like to be a rescue/transport volunteer please contact Wildlife Victoria registration.
Donations to support the ongoing treatment of sick and injured wildlife, and to assist in their transport and care, can be made through the Penguin Foundation adopt a penguin program.