As destructive wildfires continue to rage across Southern Australia, conservationists and wildlife experts fear for the survival of various animals. Half a billion animals are feared to have perished since the fires first started in September, leaving many native Australian fauna under threat of extinction—including the beloved koalas. While the deadly bushfires rage on, opportunities to donate to the animals impacted by the Australian fires are in abundance, and we’ve gathered them below.
The state of the Australian bushfires is catastrophic as thousands of people are displaced and buildings and homes are destroyed. Since September, more than 11 million acres have been lost, including those in Victoria and New South Wales, both of Australia’s most populous states. Support for those impacted by the Australian fires is crucial.
While trees burn, various wildlife are impacted, raising concerns for extinction. For instance, the future of koalas has long since been in question, but now with the bushfires tearing through Australia’s “Koala Triangle” (a region where in the majority of the nation’s koalas on the Australian east coast live), the threat of extinction is even more immense. Before the fires, the area’s koala population was expected to become extinct in as little as 30 years. Now, this timeline has been potentially accelerated.
“The fires have burned so hot and so fast that there has been significant mortality of animals in the trees, but there is such a big area now that is still on fire and still burning that we will probably never find the bodies,” Nature Conservation Council ecologist Mark Graham said, as reported by news.com.au. Graham added, “[Koalas] really have no capacity to move fast enough to get away [from the fast-moving flames].”
Aside from the threat of extinction, the loss of habitats and the struggle to rehabilitate numerous injured animals are also major concerns. Of course, these fires are a threat to both people and animals. Details on how to donate to those impacted by the Australian wildfires (including victims, firefighters and charity organizations) can be found here, while details on donating to organizations helping the animals impacted by these fires can be found below.
Here’s how we can help the wildlife victims of these fires during this devastating time.
Donate to the World Wildlife Fund
Donations to the the World Wildlife Fund will go towards supporting the injured animals impacted by the fires, particularly the koalas. You can donate to the WWF here.
Donate to 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.
Donate to the 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. Donate to the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital’s GoFundMe page here.
Donate to the RSPCA of New South Wales
The RSPCA of New South Wales is working to evacuate, rescue and treat pets, livestock and wildlife in impacted areas. Make a donation to the RSPCA of New South Wales here.