The South Australian Government has joined forces with Nature Foundation SA to launch a special fund to re-establish habitat for wildlife in the state’s bushfire-ravaged regions.
The Wildlife Recovery Fund is a collaborative project between the National Parks and Wildlife Service SA and the not-for-profit Nature Foundation to assist with the recovery and restoration of flora and fauna in fire-damaged regions across South Australia.
Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said there have been significant impacts to wildlife and habitat across several parts of South Australia, particularly around Cudlee Creek and on Kangaroo Island.
“While many community groups have mobilised to care for injured wildlife, the Wildlife Recovery Fund will be used to re-establish habitat, particularly for the most endangered and vulnerable species,” said Minister Speirs.
“While it’s going to take time to establish a full picture of the damage, we believe a significant number of Kangaroo Island’s koalas have perished, and considerable areas of Glossy Black Cockatoo habitat, including nests, have been destroyed.
“We are also very concerned for the future of the Kangaroo Island Dunnart – one of the species thought to be most at risk, due to habitat loss. The immediate challenge will be to ensure that surviving animals have sufficient habitat in which to find food and avoid predation.
“Our National Parks and Wildlife Service will work collaboratively with the Nature Foundation to ensure we use sound planning, good science and local advice to ensure funds are spent wisely.
“The community response to the bushfires has been incredible and I encourage those who can to give generously.
Nature Foundation Chair Jan Ferguson OAM said the state has experienced catastrophic loss and there is a need to work together on recovery.
“We need to harness good science and advice to ensure funds raised are put to use in the most important places and achieve the best possible outcomes for threatened and vulnerable plants and animals,” said Ms Ferguson.
“Donations will go to local landholders and community groups in fire-affected regions to urgently assist natural regeneration through weed and feral animal control, and fencing. This will give both threatened animal and plant life the best chance of recovery.
“Nature Foundation is proud to be continuing a 40-year tradition by partnering with South Australian farmers, communities and the National Parks and Wildlife Service SA on this new Wildlife Recovery Fund.”