* Liverpool City Council Wildlife Hospital Feasibility Study

Liverpool City Council
Liverpool, NSW

Liverpool City Council is considering the establishment of a koala-specific or wildlife-general hospital to serve a conservation function for the Liverpool Local Government Area and south-west Sydney more broadly, in line with recommendations stemming from the Koala Population and Habitat in NSW Parlimentary Inquiry (2019). Biolink has been engaged to prepare a business case for such a venture, both from the perspective of a need for increased veterinary support for wildlife and with regard to existing opportunities for wildlife-tourism in this region.

Extensive consultation with the existing network of wildlife carers revealed that grey-headed flying foxes and koalas are the two most commonly encountered threatened species in Liverpool, from a veterinary care perspective. Koalas are most commonly rescued from Holsworthy within Liverpool and from Campbelltown / Wollondilly when taking a broader geographic perspective. The number of koalas requiring veterinary care within Liverpool is an estimated average of 1.25 annually, with ~25-75 likely to be requiring veterinary care each year across south-west Sydney more broadly. Established koala hospitals routinely treat 250-350 koalas annually (Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, Lismore Koala Care and Research Facility). Large numbers of non-threatened native species also require veterinary care within Liverpool, most commonly rainbow lorikeets, common ringtail possums and eastern blue-tongue lizards, among many others. The funding and operational models of similar ventures in animal care tend to rely on a combination of philanthropy, tourism and volunteers.

The relatively recent development of mobile wildlife hospitals was explored and costed. The establishment and on-going costs of more traditional wildlife hospitals was also examined, as were legal / licensing obligations, space and zoning requirements. 

A draft of this report is currently being reviewed by Liverpool City Council and is expected to proceed in the coming months.