PCA staff nominated five charities balancing aid for people, animals and land across affected areas in Australia.
Spreading the need between local emergency support for affected wildlife and long term wildlife and habitat recovery, staff chose to donate to Wildlife Victoria and the WWF-Australia (WWF) Bushfire Recovery Fund.
Wildlife Victoria has been assisting wildlife in need for over 30 years. In a normal year without any bushfires, Wildlife Victoria receives around 88,000 requests to their Emergency Response Service and sends help to over 50,000 animals.
During the devastating bushfires, Wildlife Victoria was inundated with emergency calls regarding impacted wildlife, particularly in the Gippsland Region.
Since the fires the impact of COVID-19 has not made things any easier, but Wildlife Victoria staff and volunteers have been quick to implement appropriate protocols to keep the much needed support going.
“Due to our supporters’ generous donations we have been able to provide support to all affected shelters and carers,” says Dr Megan Davidson, CEO of Wildlife Victoria.
“We have been able to distribute over $1 million in grants across bushfire and bushfire prone areas locally to assist the continuation of care for local wildlife.”
Wildlife Victoria not only assisted wildlife shelters during the fires but has since helped many of them rebuild their facilities, enabling the shelters to continue to care for and rescue Australian native wildlife.
In addition to supporting shelters, Wildlife Victoria also supports local volunteers in providing food for surviving native wildlife in affected areas while the vegetation recovers from the fires.
Wildlife Victoria and WWF rebuild after the devastating fires
By the end of the fire season 18 million hectares of land had been burned, and an estimated 3 billion animals lost.
With a global pandemic unfolding not long after the fires, it was WWF’s goal to look at long-term measurements, recovery and protection.
In response, WWF Australia established a national bushfire response framework to:
- Respond urgently to the needs of fire-affected wildlife;
- Protect and restore what remains and intervene to mitigate the risk of future fires; and
- Future-proof Australia’s landscapes, drawing on leading climate adaptation science.
As the task of bushfire recovery began, the plan to regenerate Australia arose from the ashes of the devastating fires.
Over the winter, WWF undertook a ‘listening project’ to hear first-hand from bushfire-affected and Indigenous communities. This understanding has helped shape a vision for both people and nature.
Despite the pandemic, bushfire recovery is still front of mind and very close to people’s hearts - helping nature’s recovery can’t wait for COVID to be over.
To regenerate Australia, WWF is aiming to re-imagine how to solve environmental and related social problems, collaborating with a wide range of partners, sharing ideas and IP across sectors.
Regenerate Australia is a roadmap to recovery and regeneration to help restore wildlife and habitats, rejuvenate communities impacted by the bushfires, boost sustainable agriculture and future-proof Australia.
To support Wildlife Victoria or WWF Australia, please follow the links below
Images courtesy of Wildlife Victoria and Douglas Gimesy.
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