Australian Seabird and Turtle Rescue, South Coast Branch,

The mission of Australian Seabird and Turtle Rescue, South Coast Branch is to reduce the human impact on wildlife through rescue, research and education.

The amount of love and care that is put into rescuing and caring for these animals is incredible. We were lucky enough to chat to the Rescue and Rehabilitation Coordinator of the South Coast Branch, Lisa Hood.

Is the branch run by volunteers? Yes except for our General Manager and her assistant who are based in Ballina at head office.

How big of an area do you cover and how many volunteers do you have? South coast branch covers a geographical range of 450km. From Sutherland to Eden. We have about 30 volunteers on the south coast

Are you trained by the organization? Yes, all volunteers are trained by ASTR. An initial basic workshop is attended and then one on one or small group training with a mentor for the practical elements of rescue and rehab continues for as long as necessary.

What wildlife do you rescue? Seabirds, shorebirds and marine reptiles (snakes and turtles)

What is the most common problem? Fishing tackle entanglements is probably the most common injury we see.

Do you house animals at your homes? Yes all members licensed for rehab can care for animals at home.

How many birds have you rescued in the last 12 months? We generally do about 100 pelican rescues a year plus more of everything else. We’ve already done 80 rescues since 1st Jan this year covering about 15 different species. (now March)

What do you love about the organization? Knowing we make a positive difference to the lives of native wildlife everyday.

What can we in the community do to help ? You can start with these few very easy changes…. Stop using single use plastics now. Say no to plastic straws, use a refillable water bottle, get a keep cup for your coffee & take your own bags to the shops! Pick up rubbish and discarded fishing tackle whenever you can especially around the coast.

I noticed Ballina has the main website and your branch only Facebook, what’s the best way for people to donate directly to your branch? Contact us through FB messenger, email [email protected] or our hotline 0431 282 238 for our bank details.

A big thank you to Lisa and the team for all the amazing work you do.

The South Coast of NSW is home for us so this organization holds a special place in our hearts. My Fathers family are known as “bird people” with a big love for our feathered friends. Every family yard has an aviary sanctuary. I do not have a want for an aviary, however the love of birds is in my DNA. Bringing awareness to the safety of our seabirds and wildlife is a way I can express this love.

My Majo is donating 5% of sales to this incredible organization. We will also be adding a donation box to our market stall stand. They need all the help that they can get. Mostly run by volunteers who are out of pocket for vet bills, food, huge amount of water, huge petrol bills and of course their own time. Some are using their backyards to house these birds and animals while they are healing.

Thank you , thank you , thank you.

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