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Blue Mountains Koala rescue program to benefit from WIRES and Landcare funding

Blue Mountains Koala rescue program to benefit from WIRES and Landcare funding
April 22, 2020

A Blue Mountains Koala rescue program, Science for Wildlife, is one of a number of groups set to financially benefit from WIRES and Landcare Australia’s $1million bushfire recovery

Science for Wildlife, a not-for-profit organisation is dedicated to the survival of Blue Mountains Koala populations. After bushfires tore through the region, devastating unique native species habitat, Science for Wildlife has focused on a number of activities with their Blue Mountains Koala Project including research to ensure effective native species replanting, rehabilitated koala release and community engagement in a bid to ensure the future of remaining koala numbers.

The WIRES Landcare Wildlife Relief and Recovery Grants is a ground-breaking alliance between two not-for-profits who have been part of the fabric of local communities for over 30 years.

The largest wildlife rescue organisation in the country, WIRES rescues and rehabilitates native animals. They are also working on a range of relief and recovery plans to implement the best solutions to assist surviving wildlife and ensure the survival of remaining animals.

Landcare Australia supports the Landcare grassroots movement of individuals and groups who have a shared vision to restore and protect the environment in local communities through sustainable land management and conservation activities.

Facilitated by unprecedented public appeals and donations, the newly announced $1million WIRES and Landcare Wildlife Relief and Recovery Grants will provide a necessary lifeline to the continuing crucial work by Science for Wildlife and other local Landcare environment networks and community groups working to restore bushfire impacted habitat across the country. Eligible groups can access funding of up to $20,000.

Science for Wildlife Executive Director, Dr Kellie Leigh advises “The WIRES Landcare Relief and Recovery Grants Program is great because it includes so many recovery activities including surveys, impact assessments, targeted research and citizen science.

“That helps us look at which species of eucalyptus we need to replant for these surviving koala populations across the region and identify the priority areas for these koalas. We want to learn where they’ve survived after fire and prioritise those habitats for conservation and this needs to be based on science. Which is why we’re so excited about this partnership which encourages and endorses this activity because you can’t just plant random eucalyptus species and hope that koalas and other threatened species will use them.

Dr Leigh added “the scale of these fires was unprecedented and a lot of us have had to take on actions we weren’t really prepared for. Ordinarily, we work at a population level but during the fires we moved into animal welfare as well by putting out water stations and setting up food drops across as many sites as we could manage, targeting threatened species colonies.

“Like so many other organisations, it’s changed how we operate and the Wires Landcare Relief and Recovery Grants Program offers that level of flexibility to support us expand our work where we most need to.”

WIRES Chief Executive Leanne Taylor said this partnership with Landcare Australia marks the beginning of a powerful union, committed to protecting and preserving Australian wildlife, habitat and local communities from the effects of climate change and extreme natural disasters.

Taylor noted “this partnership between Landcare Australia and WIRES is an important step towards the restoration and recovery of Australian wildlife and landscapes deeply scarred by the unparalleled impacts of bushfires and drought.”

Welcoming the new partnership, Landcare Australia Chief Executive Dr Shane Norrish said the grants program will improve outcomes for wildlife support and associated habitat rehabilitation projects.

Dr Norrish added “through partnerships like this, Landcare Australia is getting on with the job of providing funding to local groups quickly and helping to drive and coordinate national bushfire and drought response with targeted high-priority actions, which are delivered on the ground by locals

“For over 30 years, WIRES has actively rehabilitated and preserved Australian wildlife and inspired others to do the same. Now WIRES are funding community-led protection of habitat by actively supporting Landcare groups and networks, and other environmental community groups to improve the outcomes for wildlife and biodiversity.”

Applications for grants will remain open until 30th April with successful applicants notified late May.

Landcare Australia will be considering applications from:

  • Landcare groups, networks, or community environmental organisations undertaking works in an area affected by drought or bushfire in 2019 or 2020; with
  • Projects that are directly-related to the implementation of bushfire or drought-related wildlife recovery activities including;
  • post fire habitat restoration/creation projects
  • installation and monitoring nest boxes
  • revegetation of habitat and food trees for native fauna

Species the grant program aims to assist include:

  • Threatened Glossy Black Cockatoo
  • Sugar Glider
  • Brush-Tailed Rock Wallaby
  • Koala
  • Kookaburra
  • Regent Honeyeater

For more information on Science for Wildlife go to

For more information on WIRES Australian Wildlife Rescue Organisation go to

For more information on Landcare Australia go to

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8th December 2019 - Queensland Government announces new plans to protect koalas

16th November 2019 - Taronga Conservation calls for urgent funding to address emerging koala crisis

26th February 2019 - NSW Government to boost Koala population and improve national park access

11th December 2018 - Improved mapping leads to better outcomes for koala habitat

7th September 2018 - Land clearance to cause Koala extinction in NSW by 2050

18th July 2018 - Gold Coast City Council looks to boost local koala habitat

14th July 2018 - World-class koala research facility operational at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

7th July 2018 - Australian Reptile Park welcomes record koala breeding season

7th May 2018 - NSW Government announces koala reserves in attempt to reverse declining populations

19th November 2017 - Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife backs creation of new Victorian koala habitat

12th June 2017 - $3.3 million revamp for Brisbane’s Daisy Hill Koala Centre

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