In the wake of the bushfires over the holiday period, there has been a big rush to provide supplies and donate items to those in need. Now that schools are back, it seemed like a worthwhile opportunity to share what activities will be of most benefit to support the efforts of recovery.
Fundraising money to donate to wildlife charities and the Victorian Bushfire Appeal is one of the greatest means of helping the fire affected areas recover. Funds will go directly to communities in need and to helping wildlife. You can find more infroamtion through the bushfire appeal website and through major wildlife agencies such as Zoos Victoria and Wildlife Victoria.
The best way to help animals on hot days or during a heatwave is to provide clean, fresh water in shaded locations. The RSPCA has great details on the types of dishes and places to have water to help heat stressed wildlife. You can read more here.
For those travelling to bushfire affected areas, remember that displaced animals that have lost their habitat in the fires will be on the move in greater numbers than usual in the weeks following the fire as they seek new homes and food sources. Please slow down and take extra care on the road when driving in areas where there have been recent bushfires. If you see an injured animal by the side of the road, please note its location and report it to Wildlife Victoria (03 8400 7300).
If you're planning on having a holiday or excursion to a bushfire affected area in the coming months, see what activities are happening in the area that you can join. Weeding is going to be a huge task for landholders over the coming years. With seed banks germinating, weeds will often establish dense stands that can out-compete native plants by blocking sunlight.
Keep an eye on planned activities through the Conservation Volunteers Australia website. They are coordinating volunteer efforts for bushfire relief and have an event series planned for those wanting to be involved in recovery activities who can't necessarily travel to bushfire affected areas.
When young wombats, wallabies, kangaroos, bandicoots, gliders or possums come into care they need to be kept warm and quiet. Wildlife carers are always in need of suitable pouches as they perish quickly from wear and tear and soiling from their inhabitants.
Pouches are used for many different animals, some for two or three young ringtails at once, others for brushtail joeys which are larger and even for very young bandicoots. This means various size pouches are useful. Many people who would like to help our wildlife but are unable to commit to animal rescue or care, can help by making pouches and/or linings.
You can find out more informaiton about making pouches through the WIRES Wildlife Rescue.
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