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May 10, 2016 12:52 PM ET

Archived: Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife – Tasmania’s Burning: 40 devastating fires ravaging wilderness areas and we need your help to feed and treat wildlife that survived these devastating fires

iCrowdNewswire - May 10, 2016

Tasmanian Bushfire Appeal.

Tasmania’s Burning

There have been over 40 devastating fires ravaging wilderness areas across Tasmania, burning more than 100,000 hectares since January.

While fire is part of ecosystem processes in most parts of Australia, in alpine Tasmania it is a big problem. Tasmania’s alpine wilderness isn’t meant to burn.

Unlike many of the ecosystems on mainland Australia that have evolved with fire, many of the dominant species in Tasmania’s alpine wildernessCANNOT cope with fire. It instantly kills plants that have lived for thousands of years such as the Pencil Pine.

Some of Tasmania’s most threatened animals live in these alpine areas, such as the Tassie Devil, Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle, Spotted-tailed Quoll along with many other native animals.

You can help!

We need your help to feed and treat wildlife that survived these devastating fires. Animals with significant injuries will also need to be taken into care.

Your help is also needed to fund monitoring efforts, so scientists can understand the long term impact of these fires, which are so unusual in the alpine environment.

How the funds will be used

The Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife (FNPW) started this fundraising campaign to mount a two pronged response to these devastating fires.

Half of the funds raised will go to Wildcare Inc. This organisation has several wildlife carers groups such as the Wildlife Emergency Response & Recovery Unit (WERRU), who are going out to the fire-affected areas with the Tasmanian Fire Service and remote area specialists. They are rescuing injured wildlife and putting out food for remaining animals as we speak.

This injured wallaby was discovered by wildlife photographer Dan Broun shortly after the fires.

As well as helping the injured animals in the short term, it’s important to understand the effects of fire in these habitats and facilitate their long term recovery. That’s why the other half of the funds will go to Professor James Kirkpatrick from the University of Tasmania and his team to assess and monitor the effects of these alpine fires.

Professor Kirkpatrick explains “The type of fire that has recently occurred on the Central Plateau has a devastating effect on our ancient pines and beeches. From observing previous fires, after more than half a century we are yet to observe substantial reinvasion across fire boundaries.”

“In order to adequately manage our natural heritage, we need to know what happens next. Which plant species will recover from these fires? How far will they penetrate into the burned areas? In what situations will they occur? Are they inhibited by native animal/rabbit grazing?”

With over 40 years’ experience studying fires in Tasmania, Professor Kirkpatrick will be able to report on the significance and consequences of these fires, which will help with future management plans.

From the Field

Here are just a couple of updates about two fire locations from WERRU. There are many other areas being accessed by wildlife rescuers due to the number and size of the Tasmanian fires.

Arthur River area –

Approximate size of the Fire Zone is nearly 51,000 hectares.

Judy is leading a small team in that area, working with the Sisters Beach Fire personnel and local Parks & Wildlife Rangers, to support feeding the wildlife that remains.

There have been reports of joeys roaming around (probably having been ‘thrown’ from mums fleeing the fires). We are hoping to get in to catch these little guys and have provided extra pillowcases for holding the joeys to the Rangers going out on patrols in the meantime.

There are some areas of very rugged country that we won’t be able to get into at all but Judy, Leah and the team are doing a great job, working with the locals to help feed and take care of their own populations of wildlife.

We have sent up medical supplies from the WERRU stores and we have arranged for feed to be available to support the locals looking after the local wildlife.

A recent trip by WERRU volunteers found several healthy echidnas who were able to dig to safety, however many other land mammals were not so lucky.

Lake Mackenzie area –

This is still a very volatile region, and the Fire Agencies are doing all they can to hold the line at the Great Western Tiers especially. There are peat fires burning in some boggy areas, which will probably burn for many months to come, and makes access difficult for us.

A storehouse for food has been set up in Deloraine, to assist various carers in the area, who are feeding many times their usual numbers, and to provide a ready store of feed supply when we get in there.

We are hoping to have at least two teams in the field here in the coming weeks, as the Fire Zone in this area becomes stable. Black walks (searching for injured animals) and setting up feeding stations will be the priorities in here.

These Cushion Plants were burnt just a few weeks ago.

What We Need

All of these incredibly worthwhile efforts which are helping the wildlife of Tasmania wouldn’t be possible without significant funding.

To give you an idea of costs involved, here is a shopping list of what we need:

  • $2,000+ per month for feed pellets and fresh produce for burnt out areas to help surviving animals. The larger the affected areas, the more food will be required.
  • $400 for a medical kit to take to fire affected sites.
  • $350 to feed just one injured animal for a year.
  • $300 per month for fuel to allow wildlife carers to travel to affected areas, rescue wildlife and put out food.
  • $1000 will allow Professor Kirkpatrick and his team to conduct a research field trip to assess the damage.

Will you help support injured wombats and other animals?

Thank you!

Your donation will directly assist this recovery effort. The hard work that dedicated volunteers are putting in needs support during this crisis.

To say thank you for your generosity, FNPW has gathered together some amazing incentives from generous donors.

Depending on your donation amount, you could go in the draw to win one of several spectacular prizes from Tasmania. If you wish to go into the draw for a particular prize, make sure to donate the corresponding amount (check out the Impact Levels panel on the top right of this page).

You could win a $500 voucher to the award-winning accommodation at the Pumphouse Point on Lake St Clair, family passes to the Tahune Airwalk and Pennicott Wilderness Tours, and lots more!

A big thank you to all the local Tasmanian companies who have generously supported this campaign!

Who We Are

The Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife funds conservation projects and acquires land for the National Parks system right across Australia. In the past we have funded multiple conservation research projects by the University of Tasmania and on ground works by Wildcare Inc. We have a proud history of supporting recovery efforts after bushfires, such as after the 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires in Victoria and more recently.

For more information visit: www.fnpw.org.au

All donations are tax deductible

All donations that do not receive a prize WILL receive a tax deductible receipt.

Devastating fires have ravaged vast areas of Tasmanian wilderness and many are still burning. Donate to help the recovery of precious plants and animals in these World Heritage National Parks.

Team Members

Susanna Bradshaw



Contact Information:

Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife

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