June 27, 2021

Healing bushfire affected wildlife and communities in the Great Eastern Ranges corridor

Koala taking refuge in the canopy during 2019-2020 bushfires. Copyright shutterstock.com/Mikel Lera

The Great Eastern Ranges (GER) Initiative and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) have combined forces to roll out integrated bushfire recovery efforts to support wildlife and people in three priority landscapes in NSW and Queensland.

As part of GER’s bushfire recovery program, we are working with IFAW on key activities to restore native forests, assist animals in need and boost community healing and resilience over the next twelve months in the Lockyer Valley, Southern Border Ranges and Greater Blue Mountains.

“These areas were unfortunately heavily impacted by the devastating bushfires of 2019-2020. IFAW is enabling us to get a series of additional recovery activities underway through our regional partner network in collaboration with local landholders, traditional custodians and community groups,” says Mr Gary Howling, CEO of GER.

The activities will build on and add value to the vital work that individuals and organisations are already doing in these landscapes, as well as on our existing efforts there.”

Key activities will include the:

  • planting of trees and shrubs to provide homes and food for native animals such as koalas, greater gliders and grey-headed flying foxes;
  • installation of nest boxes and tree cut hollows;
  • engagement of landholders in private land conservation and bushfire recovery planning; and
  • partner and community forums to build local skills and knowledge.

“The catastrophic Black Summer bushfires have left a long-lasting impact on the landscape, wildlife and communities which is why we’re committed to ensuring our support is in place long after the disaster is over,” IFAW Oceania Regional Director Rebecca Keeble said.

“Entire ecosystems which were decimated will take years, if not decades to recover, everything we can do to help with the recovery effort is vital. This important work can’t be done by just one group so we’re partnering with GER and their network of regional and local conservation, Indigenous and community groups, scientific experts and private landholders to give our wildlife and communities the best chances of surviving and thriving together into the future.”

“The projects that we are rolling out through our partnership with IFAW catalyse action by bringing people together. Through close collaboration with local communities and organisations, we can identify the gaps in conservation resources and capacity that we can help to fill, whilst tapping into the wealth of local knowledge and skills in these landscapes,” said Mr Howling.

The task of recovering from last year’s bushfire crisis is immense, and we have a long way to go to reverse the damage that we can. Every bit of funding that enables us to expand our efforts and ensure our landscapes and communities are more resilient into the future is valuable.”

“We thank IFAW for being a strong advocate for GER and for working with us to achieve great impacts on the ground.”

Click here to donate to support these and other GER bushfire recovery projects across the Great Eastern Ranges.

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