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How to Help Australia’s Wildlife Amid Devastating Bushfires

By now you probably know that Australia’s human and animal residents, both domestic and wild species, have been devastated by a series of bushfires that have been ravaging the country since September 2019. And as of writing this post, there are no signs of the fires slowing down. 

 

Millions of acres have been burned, thousands of people have been displaced, and at least 23 people have been killed. As for wildlife, it’s estimated that more than half a billion wild animals have perished in the flames — a figure that is expected to exponentially increase as the fires continue to rage.

 

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With Australia being home to more than 300 native species — from marsupials like koalas, kangaroos and wallabies to mammals like platypuses and dingoes — and the country having already lost some 34 species and subspecies in the last 200 years (the highest rate of loss in any region in the world), these bushfires have especially had (and will continue to have) a major impact on the country’s wildlife populations.

 

For those animals who have managed to escape the flames and smoke, habitat destruction and food and water shortages are just some of the aftermath they will have to face in the months to come. In short, things are so dire that even the most heartbreaking images stuggle to conveying the severity of the situation — and that says a lot. 

 

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As dedicated firefighters continue to battle this unprecedented national crisis, on-the-ground relief efforts, wildlife rescue centers, and local residents need all the help they can get, and not just in terms of manpower and media attention. 

 

If you’re located outside of Australia and want to do more than just read the headlines and/or share social media posts, there are a number of opportunities to donate to organizations on the frontlines of Australia’s bushfires

 

If you’re interested in donating to firefighter-focused organizations, the NSW Rural Fire Service (you can donate to specific brigades), Country Fire Service in South Australia (supports volunteer firefighters), Queensland Fire and Rescue, and the Country Fire Association (supports firefighters in Victoria and affected communities) are great places to start. If you would to help feed and provide other essentials for families affected by the fires, consider making a donation to St Vincent Society.

Wildlife Rescue and Relief Organizations Taking Donations

For anyone looking to support wildlife-focused efforts, below is a list of reputable organizations that are conducting frontline rescue and relief operations and are currently accepting donations.

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WIRES

 

Wildlife rescue nonprofit Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service (WIRES) is rescuing and caring for thousands of injured, orphaned, and homeless native animals. You can donate to WIRES here.

 

Port Macquarie Koala Hospital

 

Donations to the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital will go towards installing automatic drinking stations for wildlife searching for water in Australia’s burnt areas. Donations will also support the establishment of a wild koala breeding program, designed with the hopes of reversing the species’s threat of extinction. You can donate to the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital’s GoFundMe page here.

 

Adelaide & Hills Koala Rescue

 

Adelaide and Hills Koala Rescue work closely with members of SAVEM (South Australian Veterinary Emergency Management) who are on standby to enter the fire grounds and tend to any livestock, domestic pets and/or wildlife caught up in the fires. You can donate to their efforts via THIS GoFundMe campaign. 

 

The Rescue Collective

 

If you prefer to donate items rather than money, The Rescue Collective, a group based in Brisbane, is gathering food, medical supplies, bedding and more — you can check out their current wish list on Facebook by clicking here.

 

Animal Rescue Craft Guild
(part of The Rescue Collective)

 

For those who enjoy crafting, sewing or knitting, you can contribute to the efforts of the Animal Rescue Craft Guild by making bedding, bandages, joey pouches and more for injured or orphaned animals. To get sewing patterns and other important information visit the Guild’s Facebook page here.

 

RSPCA

 

Last but not least, the RSPCA is also accepting donations. The organization’s efforts include helping members of the public gather and evacuate their pets and livestock as well as assisting at evacuation centers. Their staff is also entering affected areas to rescue and treat native wildlife. You can make a donation to the RSPCA NSW here.

 

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Thanks in advance for any support you’re able to provide and as always, feel free to share this post or even just the above donation links with anyone looking for a way to help.

 

Please know that every single contribution counts in times like these, no matter how small it may feel to us as individuals. By coming together we can make a HUGE difference for the wild places, wild things, and human beings that have been impacted by Australia’s devastating fires. <3

 

[Cover photo courtesy of David Clode on Unsplash]  

 

 

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How to Help Australia's Wildlife During the Fires


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