Wildlife Bushfire Recovery

Photo: Doug Gimesy

Wildlife Bushfire Recovery

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Wildlife across Australia have been impacted by natural disasters including drought and bushfire. If you would like to help wildlife that you find in your backyard or in Australia’s big backyard we have put together some tips on the best way to help our backyard buddies.

Top five ways to help wildlife recover from drought and bushfires:

1. Consider regular donations to the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife

2. Install a bird bath or water station (that is safe from cats)

3. Plant native trees

4. Keep your cat indoors

5. Remove unsafe netting from trees


What should I do if I find injured or orphaned wildlife?

If you find injured or orphaned wildlife you should contact local wildlife volunteers.

  • Keep small children, cats and dogs away from the animal to minimise stress.
  • Cover and contain small animals in a box lined with a towel if you are confident handling that animal.
  • Keep the animal inside in a quiet place, allowing it to rest with no disturbance.
  • Offer water by placing it in front and below them, never pour water from a bottle or other containers into an animal’s mouth.
  • Don’t give food to injured animals.
  • Do not attempt to handle snakes, flying-foxes or microbats.


What is the best way to leave water out for wildlife?

Setting up water stations is a great idea but remember that our native animals come in all shapes and sizes: Small animals can drown in large containers and large animals may not be able to access water provided with small outlets.

  • Use strong, shallow containers with a stable rock or stick in them to give safe access out of the water.
  • Place containers at a range of heights so a range of animals can reach them.
  • Change water regularly if possible, to remove contaminants and prevent the spread of disease.

Make your pool a wildlife-friendly drinking spot by attaching a ramp or flotation device to the side of the pool (such as a rope threaded through a pool noodle). This will allow wildlife to escape if they fall in while drinking. Check it daily.


Should I leave food out for wildlife?

Native animals have very specific food requirements. Feeding wildlife is normally discouraged as it can cause dependency, encourage pests and spread disease. This advice is for short term feeding in areas where extreme drought and bushfire has created exceptional circumstances.

  • Don’t set up feed stations in National Parks without permission.
  • Use hay for macropods and wombats, but don’t put it in bushland as it may cause the spread of weeds.
  • Use macropod or goat pellets for kangaroos and wallabies.
  • Put chopped fruit in a bucket and hoist into trees with a rope for bats & possums.
  • Remove uneaten food and clean food containers every day or two.
  • Don’t feed wildlife bread, avocado, chocolate, sugar, honey, dairy products, ‘wildlife balls’, dog or cat food.
  • Put bird seed in an accessible container, don’t scatter it on the ground.

Find out more about your buddies


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