27 December 2019
While the threat to human life and property from Australia’s bushfires remains the absolute priority, the increasing impacts on our native wildlife also continue.
Concerns are growing for a number of nationally listed threatened species including Koala populations in NSW, the Western Ground Parrot in Western Australia and the Kangaroo Island Dunnart.
While some mapping has commenced for Koala habitat areas in northern NSW, it will take weeks and months to accurately assess the impacts on national wildlife populations.
The fire situation remains highly active and authorities must wait until areas are declared safe before making formal assessments.
Planning is already underway through the office of the Department of Environment and Energy to work with scientists, State organisations, National Parks Authorities, Natural Resource Managers and Indigenous land managers to identify recovery priorities and future protection strategies.
While that work takes place, I would like to acknowledge the inspirational efforts of wildlife hospitals, veterinarians and volunteers who are caring for native wildlife during these fires.
If you see an injured animal Report injured animals to the RSPCA https://www.rspca.org.au/, Wires https://www.wires.org.au/rescue/interstate-rescues or local vets and take their instruction.
Remember that not all animals are safe to handle, flying foxes, kangaroos and birds of prey in particular, require expert handling
Even those who live in urban areas, away from the fire front, can help to ease stress on our native animals during these difficult times.
Leave water dishes and buckets around your garden or property to help distressed animals, put them around trees and garden spaces where animals like to be and take care to manage your pets in the process.
Remember to always include your pets in your fire plan.