It’s been a long and stressful summer. And it’s not over yet. Thankfully for many, rain is now in the air. Around the same time that bushfire fatigue kicked in – which is an appalling thing to admit. We’ve become hesitant to open Facebook or Instagram as our feeds are flooded with images of the bushfire disaster and it all feels so… helpless. We can’t even begin to image how it feels for those on the ground dealing with the reality, day after day.

Yet, despite feeling overwhelmed, it’s so important not to look the other way. The stats around our wildlife are horrific – an estimated one billion animals have perished – and there is a general acknowledgement that some species may never recover. Whether it’s our time or money (or both), now is the time we need to lean in.

A ray of hope: a jaw-dropping amount of money has been raised. Global press coverage has ensured that animals who have been injured or had their habitats decimated by the fires, have not been forgotten.

Most wildlife rescue groups in Australia do not receive government funding and rely on donations and fundraising activities to fund their operations, as well as the support of volunteers to carry out their work. Many are also considered ‘too small’ to meet the criteria required by the ATO to be eligible to offer tax deductions on donations over $2. This doesn’t make them any less worthy of your money.

And that’s exactly what’s needed most – money. A single rescued joey or koala can cost a shelter up to $2,000 per year. Some shelters care for up to 100 animals – that’s up to $200,000 a year.

If you’ve already given, or simply don’t have the funds, volunteering or product donations are often needed, too. While the immediate threat may have passed for most animals – as well as the wildlife rescue organisations that support them – this is just beginning of a long road ahead.

Here’s our round up of wildlife charities and organisations that are running bushfire appeals, or working with wildlife impacted by the fires. Some you’ll know, others are run by a small group of individuals dedicated to making a difference. You know what to do.

 

NSW

WIRES (NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service Inc.) rehabilitates and preserves Australian wildlife. WIRES has been rescuing and caring for native animals for over 30 years. They have over 2500 volunteers in 28 branches. They receive up to 95,000 requests for rescue advice and assistance every 12 months and in December alone, they received over 20,000 calls, a 14% increase on last year, and volunteers attended over 3,300 rescues for sick, injured or orphaned wildlife.

Where your money goes
+ Raising over $10,000,000, WIRES has announced it will be sharing its bushfire fundraising with other state wildlife rescue groups who have not benefited from the same level of donations.
+ Rescuing and caring for native animals.
+ providing more wildlife information and education to the community.
+ protecting and preserving native animals, training and supporting more volunteer rescuers and carers.
+ Donations over $2 are tax deductible.

Donate here
Volunteer here

Port Macquarie Koala Hospital is committed to the ongoing survival of koala’s (widely reported to be facing extinction). The mid north coast was one of the first areas to be hard hit by the fires and in the weeks since, the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital has raised over $3.5 million for the wildlife affected in the area. This ‘overwhelming response’ has enabled them to start a Wild Koala Breeding Program.

Where your money goes
+ The establishment of three breeding areas (through the lease or purchase of suitable land which will be held in perpetuity for wild koalas and wild koala breeding.
+ Drinking stations distributed to burnt out areas across Australia.
+ Helping with the rescue and treatment of sick and injured koalas and released ack to their home range.
+ Donations over $2 are tax deductible.

Donate here
Volunteer here

Wildlife Rescue South Coast is a 100% volunteer-run organisation dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of Australian Native Fauna. Operating for more than 30 years, they’re the largest wildlife rescue group in the NSW South Coast region.

They operate 24 hours a day and typically respond to over 10,000 rescue calls every year. They’re licenced by National Parks and Wildlife Services to undertake wildlife rescue and rehabilitation from Wollongong out to Southern Highlands and down the NSW South Coast to the Victorian Border.

Their aim is to raise, rehabilitate and release native animals and to help educate the public to the issues confronting local wildlife and environment.

Where your money goes
+ Acquiring medication, bandages, specialist wildlife food and to supply expert veterinary care.
+ Repairing or replacing cages, aviaries and other equipment lost in the fires.
+ The establishment feeding stations, where local community members can pick up food and water to place in their gardens and on properties to help wildlife who managed to escape the fires, survive the next three to four months until growth reappears.
+ Donations over $2 are tax deductible.

Donate here
Volunteer here

Shoalhaven Bat Clinic rescues Microbats and Megabats. All animals in their care are rehabilitated for release back into the wild. They also provide training to carers and to educate members of the public.
Stress and death due to food shortages resulting from the drought and bushfires are of huge concern have seen mass deaths occurring in New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria.

Where your money goes
+ Food, supplements and medication ($20 helps feed a flying fox for one week).
+ Donations over $2 are tax deductible.

Donate here
Volunteer here
All their carers are vaccinated and specially trained in rescue and rehabilitation. Non vaccinated Volunteers are always required as each day up 35 kilos of fruit may be cut daily in the off season. T

FAWNA (For Australian Wildlife Needing Aid) works closely with Koala Preservation Society and Koalas in Care in the mid north coast of NSW. They are the only group licensed for all species in its 18,000 sq km area (and WIRES is not licenced to work on this part of the North Coast). In the last financial year, FAWNA handled over 3,000 animals, birds and reptiles.

Where your money goes
+ FAWNA has been running a Food4Wildlife & News Box Appeal. So far, $2,000 worth of kangaroo pellets and wild bird seed have been purchased for distribution through community collection points.
+ FAWNA also run a Carer’s Support Fund to help with the high costs of specialized equipment and other associated costs associated with rehabilitation work.
+ Donations over $2 are tax deductible.

Donate here
Volunteer here

LAOKO Snowy Mountains Wildlife Rescue is responsible for looking after the wildlife in The Snowy Monaro Region which also includes Kosciuskzo National Park. They have limited resources and run solely on volunteers.

The wildlife of The Snowy Mountains Region and its surrounding areas have been devastated with the fires and LAOKO are in desperate needs of funds.

Where your money goes
+ Feed, milk formula, bottles, teats, heating pads, medical supply and vet bills.
+ The setup of water and food drop-off areas within the affected areas so that the local wildlife that has survived will have access to food and water.

Donate here
Volunteer here

Wildlife Animal Rescue & Care Society Inc. (ARC) was established in 1897 the Central Coast of NSW to care for injured, orphaned and sick native animals with the ambition to return them to the wild.

Where your money goes
+ Training programs and a junior membership program to help children learn about wildlife, care for animals in the form of food, vet fees and medication.
+ Donations over $2 are tax deductible.

Donate here
Volunteer here

Wild2Free Kangaroo Sanctuary has been decimated by the fires. Consequently, their original fundraiser, set up in December help wildlife victims of the NSW South Coast Fires, needed to be refocussed. On New Year’s Eve, all three properties belonging to W2F members were destroyed in the fires.

Where your money goes
+ Funds raised will now be spent on rebuilding their sanctuaries so Wild2Free they can continue their work of rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing injured and orphaned native wildlife (mostly kangaroos). + Donations urgently needed.

Donate here

VICTORIA

Wildlife Victoria has been operating for over 30 years. They receive about 80,000 requests for help a year and help over 50,000 animals. Despite being hard hit by the fires, Wildlife Victoria have received significantly less donations than other better-known charities. They are in urgent need of donations.

Where your money goes
+ Money will be distributed to wildlife shelters and carers to help rebuild enclosures and equipment lost in the fires, enabling them to continue their life-saving work.
+ Funds will also support those that are struggling to cope with the enormous number of animals that will need care in the coming weeks and months.
+ Donations over $2 are tax deductible.

Donate here
Volunteer here.  NB Wildlife Victoria are unable to accept any requests for volunteers at this time and have asked that you follow them on Facebook and/or revisit this page in several months when registrations reopen. However, you can still get involved and fundraise for Wildlife Victoria. Details here.

Mallacoota Wildlife Shelter is located in an area hit hard by the fires, with Mallacoota being likened to a war zone. With a huge number of badly burnt animals being brought to the shelter, they’re in desperate need of funds.

Where your money goes
+ Caring for sick, injured and orphaned native wildlife and rehabilitating and releasing them back into the wild.

Donate – they’ve asked for direct donations here: SA Johns Wildlife Shelter / BSB: 062649 / Account: 10126146 (For international donations, the Commonwealth Bank Swift Code is CBTAAU2S)

Koalas in Care was established in 2005 on the mid north coast of NSW and is made up of volunteers who offer a 24 hours koala rescue and care service, looking after approx. 65 koalas each year. While they’ve received enough product donations, they are still in need of financial support.

Where your money goes
+ Caring for sick and injured koalas and rehabilitation to return them to their natural habitat.
+ Collection of fresh leaf supplies.
+ Developing their Tree Farm Project that will provide long term solution to the need to obtain ongoing fresh Eucalyptus leaf supplies for koalas to forage when admitted to KIC.

Donate here
Membership here

Warriors for Wildlife is dedicated to rescuing sick, injured, orphaned or abandoned animals in need. They assist wildlife shelters with donations of supplies through fundraising and help educate the public in wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and habitat conservation.

Where your money goes
+ Warriors 4 Wildlife are coordinating across Victoria and Australia wide-scale donations and transportation for all wildlife and animals affected in the fires.
+ Providing significant support for the scores of shelters that have been forced to shut their doors due to the proximity of these fires.
+ Donations over $2 are tax deductible.

Donate here
Supply/Product donations here
Volunteer here

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Nature Foundation SA – Kangaroo Island Conservation Programs conserves, restores and protects South Australian landscapes, flora and fauna to ensure their survival. We aim to lead the way in sustainable nature conservation.

Where your money goes
+ A wildlife Recover Fund has been set up with funds being used to re-establish habitat, particularly for threatened and vulnerable species.
+ To local landholders, Landcare, and community groups in fire affected regions to urgently undertake native plantings, feral animal and weed control, and fencing – this will give both threatened animal and plant life the best chance of recovery.
+ Funds will also be directed to restore habitat in fire-devastated national parks – particularly on Kangaroo Island.
+ Donations over $2 are tax deductible.

Donate here
Volunteer here

Adelaide Koala Rescue operates a free 24/7 koala rescue service in South Australia. Their koala rescue and rehabilitation team is highly experienced and includes veterinary and animal science professionals, ecologists, research scientists, natural resource managers, veterinary students and conservationists.

AKR has been working tirelessly to help koalas affected by fires in South Australia. In December 2019m AKA launched and successfully operated the largest scale rescue of koalas from the Adelaide Hills bushfire zone.

Where your money goes
+ Running the recently established Emergency Triage Centre to cater for the influx of burnt, displaced and orphaned Koalas.
+ Creating a habitat for rescue Koalas that currently have nothing to return to.
+ Assisting Revegetation of properties, and establishing a permanent AKR centre including hospital and rehabilitation faculties.

Donate here
Volunteer here

Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park has over 150 species of Native Australian Wildlife and is a popular tourist attraction. However, with over 150,000 hectares being lost on Kangaroo Island, it has stepped up to care for animals impacted by the fires.

Where your money goes
+ A fundraiser has been started to help with care, pain relief, medication and the infrastructure needed to house and treat the large number of koala and animals coming into their care. As well as koala milk and supplements
+ Once conditions improve and access is granted to the fire ground, a qualified team will be going out to rescue wildlife caught in the fires and relocate those left without a food source or home.

Donate here

Adelaide Koala and Wildlife Hospital provides free emergency vet services to injured wildlife at their hospital in Plympton. They take in injured or orphaned wildlife with the aim of rehabilitation and release whilst also participating in a wide variety of educational programs for students, carers, veterinary students and the public.

Where your money goes
+ Medical treatment for injured koalas injured by the fires.
+ In addition, funds are used to rescue, rehabilitate and release native wildlife. Funds are also used for education and awareness programs and research and development to ensure the long term survival of koalas.

Donate here

Fauna Rescue SA was established in 1988 and the largest rescue group in SA run by over 400 volunteers. Each year, their Wildlife Volunteers receive over 15,000 calls for help with injured or sick wildlife.

Where your money goes
+ Caring for the rescue and rehabilitation of sick or injured wildlife.

Donate here
Volunteer here

Raymond Island Koala and Wildlife Shelter established in 2013 to build a purpose built Koala facility to specialise in the care and rehabilitation of sick and injured koalas and to raise orphaned and abandoned joeys. As a volunteer-run organisation, they rely solely on donated funds. They have been impacted by fires and urgently require financial support.

Where your money goes
+ With ongoing costs of up to $50,000 per year, donations are spent on vet bills (formula milk for wildlife, medication, x-rays, medical supplies), laundry expenses, animal feed (kangaroo pellets, hay, sweet potato, applies and bird seed), transport and protective clothing for rescuers.

Donate here

Save Our Wildlife Foundation offers 24/7 care and relieves the suffering of orphaned, sick and injured native animals through effective rescue and rehabilitation, and support research that will benefit them in the longer term.

Where your money goes
+ $20 supports an orphaned ringtail possum joey while $500 supports koala research into renal failure, mange and chlamydia.
+ Donations over $2 are tax deductible.

Donate here
Volunteer here

QUEENSLAND

Koala Rescue Queensland, located on the Sunshine Coast, provides 24 hour rescue service for sick, injured and orphaned koalas throughout Queensland.

They’ve been hard hit by the fires, losing all their climbing ropes, throw lines, harnesses, haloes and poles and have set up a bushfire appeal.

Where your money goes:
+ To the rescue and medical help of sick and injured koalas.
+ Their average monthly expenses exceed $3000, with fuel being the main expense.
+ Current monthly donations only cover a quarter of the rescue expenses so rescues are largely self-funded. Every donation, big or small is greatly appreciated.

Donate here

Wildlife Rescue Queensland specialises in the rescue, rehabilitation and release of native Australian wildlife and provide a 24 hour hot line.

Where your money goes
+ Caring for hundreds of animals each year, many requiring hospital care. Every donation helps them continue our wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and release operations.

Donate here
Volunteer here

The Rescue Collective works together with like minded people, to support animal rescue, wildlife organisations and their volunteers across the East Coast of Australia. They mobilised an extensive volunteer network and set up the largest animal supply program ever in Australia to get product and food into bushfire locations.

Where your money goes
+ ARC have set up a Bushfire Appeal with at target of $150,000 (at time of writing they’re at $87,294).
+ In addition to medications, money will be spent on food – they’ll be dropping 10 tonne of food to starving animals in burned out bushland every fortnight.

Donate here 
Follow their Facebook page here (for updates and call outs).

Currumbin Wildlife Hospital treats, rehabilitates sick, injured and orphaned native wildlife before releasing them. Located on the Gold Coast, they’re one of the busiest wildlife hospitals in the world, admitting over 12,200 animals a year (including 600 koalas) – a service that is provided free of charge to the community.

With the severe drought conditions and intensifying bushfires, the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital has seen around a 20% increase in admissions from in and around the fire zones.

Where your money goes
+ Medical supplies, vet bills and food.
+ $100 covers the cost of milk formula needed to hand raise an orphaned possum while $6,000 would treat a koala suffering from disease.
+ Donations over $2 are tax deductible.

Donate here

TASMANIA

Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary operates Tasmania’s largest 24-hour wildlife rescue service. This innovative service provides safety and care to thousands of animals every year. They operate with the assistance of trained community rescuers and the devotion of hundreds of wildlife carers, all of whom donate considerable time, money and energy to helping wildlife in need.

Where your money goes
+ 24/7 Wildlife Rescue Service
+ Bonorong Wildlife Hospital – Tasmania’s first fully dedicated wildlife veterinary clinic to provide care to the hundreds of animals rescued each year. It is free for the public to drop off wildlife for care and rehabilitation.
+ Easter Quoll Breeding program
+ Donations over $2 are tax deductible.

Donate here
Training here

Hobart Community Veterinary Hospital  provides a 100% charity approach to wildlife veterinary work with a core focus on treatment for release or for conservation. Having the support of quality registered carers and sanctuaries, they’re able to send their wildlife patients into rehabilitation programs, slow release programs and permanent conservation homing in quality wildlife sanctuaries when releasing back into the wild is not an option.

Where your money goes
Tens of thousands of dollars of charity work is offered to Tassie wildlife by the Hobart Community Veterinary Hospital.
+ $50 will pay for a complete physical exam by an experienced wildlife vet
+ $85 will pay for an x-ray for a pademelon who has been hit by a car
+ $15 will pay for an antibiotic injection to a wombat who has an infected cut
+ $125 pays for a Tasmanian Devil to have an anaesthetic to remove a pouch tumour

Donate by Bank Deposit:
Acct Name: G2Z Ltd
BSB: 084 707 Account: 188 416 664
Reference: Happy Pet Fund

NATIONAL

Animal Rescue Collective is a joint project of many rescue groups around Australia. Their goal is to work with community, rescue organisations and others to grow a well-supplied and supported national rescue network. They connect people who need products with people who have them – ultimately helping rescuers and animals in care.

You can make a donation, find a comprehensive lists of goods needed and your nearest drop-off hub and info on how to volunteer here 

Animals Australia is Australia’s leading animal protection organisation recognised throughout the world for their investigations and campaigns against animal cruelty. Animals Australia have set up special bushfire appeal.

Where your money goes
+ Donations made to Animals Australia’s bushfire appeal will provide immediate support to expert wildlife vets to travel to fire-devastated areas – where they are helping any surviving animals, and ensuring local wildlife carers have the support and resources they need.
+ They’re also channelling much-needed funds directly to groups, vets and individuals helping animals in the hardest hit regions.
+ Animals Australia will also be assisting with the longer-term needs of affected wildlife, who have lost their habitats and their food source.

Donate here

RSPCA Australia is the national body of the RSPCA (with an RSPCA in each state and territory that provide services to animals in need). In the national office, RSPCA Australia works to influence animal welfare policy, practice and legislation across the country. RSPCA Australia has set up an National Bushfire Appeal.

Where your money goes
+ Funds raised in the Bushfire Appeal will be utilised once the active fire zones clear. Working alongside government and emergency agencies, veterinarians and local authorities, The RSPCA will begin the difficult job of entering affected areas to identify and assess injured animals.
+ Their work will continue for months after the fires have ceased.
+ All donations over $2 are tax deductible.

Donate here

Humane Society International (HSI) is the largest international charity working for a more humane and sustainable world for animals. They are leaders in saving endangered species and their habitats and reducing cruelty in farming, trade and other industries. They are also a leader in global disaster response and recently deployed a disaster response team to Kangaroo Island to assist with rescue and recovery efforts in the region.

Where your money goes
+ HSI established a Wildlife Emergency Response Fund in November. Funds raised help wildlife carers face this devastating tragedy by providing emergency truckloads of water and supplementary feed for rescued wombats, kangaroos and flying foxes across Australia.
+ Donations will be used to fund the building of additional rehabilitation enclosures for koalas and other wildlife.

Donate here

WWF, founded in 1961, is active in over 100 countries with a global mission to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. They are considered one of Australia’s most trusted conservation organisations.

WWF have set up an Australian Bushfire Emergency fundraiser special.

Where your money goes
+ The WWF Australian Wildlife and Nature Recovery fund will be used to deploy emergency funds to care for our injured wildlife and when the fires clear, help restore the forest homes our koalas, kangaroos and other animals have lost.
+ WWF will be partnering with wildlife response organisations, communities and scientists nationally for a swift and effective response and recovery, including restoring forests and damaged wildlife habitat.

Donate here
Adopt a Koala here 

FARM ANIMALS

While we’ve focused on Australian Wildlife charities and organisations, farm animals have also been hit hard by the fires. For a great list of both farm animal sanctuaries and a more extensive list of wildlife organisations, please check this doc put together by Voiceless here

About the Author

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