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Bushfire affected wildlife and plants to receive $150 million funding boost 

Bushfire affected wildlife and plants to receive $150 million funding boost 
May 12, 2020

The Federal Government has announced a $150 million funding boost on top of the $50 million initial recovery package for native wildlife and habitat areas affected by bushfires.

Delivering on the promise for additional funding based on expert research, the Government’s environmental disaster response will help secure the future of treasured native species from the Koala to the Kangaroo Island Dunnart and the Northern Corrobboree Frog, as well as unique plants such as the Wollemi Pine, Banksias and Bottlebrushes.

The wildlife and habitat bushfire recovery response is further aided by a $94.6 million package to help support zoos and aquariums during the COVID-19 crisis, a $6 million investment in koala hospitals and habitat protection through the Environment Restoration Fund and $2 million for additional research investment through the National Environmental Science Program’s Threatened Species Recovery Hub to guide our bushfire recovery efforts.

Federal Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley noted “we have listened to the experts from the Wildlife and Threatened Species Bushfire Recovery Expert Panel, from wildlife carers, conservation organisations and community groups.

“They are identifying ways to best help our native animal and plant species in terms of recovery and long term protection.

“Since our initial package which has delivered much needed relief for volunteers, land managers, seed banks, veterinarians and zoos, we have been clear that more money would be forthcoming and we intend to put it to the best possible use, using expert advice.”

Available from 1st July over the next two years, the additional $150 million will target on ground action across bushfire-affected regions, including our treasured World and National Heritage places.

The Federal Government will partner with states and territories, Indigenous communities, scientists, zoos, Landcare groups, non government organisations and local communities in the roll out of recovery projects, the updating of threatened species conservation plans and the evaluation and tracking of the recovery effort:

$110 million will be directed to strategic on-ground support for the most impacted native species in vulnerable bushfire-affected regions. These actions will focus on preventing extinction and limiting species decline, including interventions such as feral animal and weed control, revegetation and regeneration, protection of refuges and landscape management delivering umbrella benefits for plants and animals.

$12 million will be made available for projects to engage local communities in conserving their local environment and driving recovery and to support knowledge exchange on Indigenous cultural burning and land management.

$28 million will resource further scientific assessment and planning coordination for our most at-risk species under Australia’s environmental law, ensuring we are well placed to understand the actions needed to recover these species, and support the Expert Panel and Department in their critical advisory and implementation roles.

Targeted interventions for at-risk species will be delivered in bushfire-affected regions across Australia and in vulnerability hotspots such as the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains, the rainforests of the New South Wales north coast and our Alpine environments.

This approach will ensure limiting the decline of as many species as possible and help some of our most special places bounce back.

The impacts of the bushfires on native wildlife and landscapes have been significant. While there are some encouraging signs our native animals and plants are starting to bounce back, experts advise it will take at least a decade or more of sustained effort to recover.

Minister Ley added that beyond the investment announced today, the Federal Government remains committed to developing innovative funding mechanisms to help protect and support the long-term recovery.

“Whether on the ground, or in vital research and planning, this important work will continue where possible to give our precious plants and animals the best chance at survival and long-term recovery.”

Image of Kangaroo Island Dunnart

Related Articles

2nd April 2020 - WIRES and Landcare Australia partner in $1million post-bushfire wildlife habitat regeneration

1st March 2020 - Bushfire impacted Mogo Wildlife Park reopens on NSW south coast

26th February 2020 - Western Australia bushfire wildlife and habitat recovery receives priority support

25th February 2020 - New research highlights impact of Coronavirus and bushfires on Australian business

17th February 2020 - Fire Fight Australia concert raises $9.5 million for bushfire relief

17th February 2020 - Parks Victoria collaborates to protect historic huts from bushfires

16th February 2020 - Endangered Corroboree Frogs survive bushfires in Victoria

23rd January 2020 - Zoos SA plans wildlife recovery strategies following bushfires

15th January 2020 - Environmental and wildlife organisations meet to steer recovery process following bushfires

5th January 2020 - Bushfires push numerous Australian animal species towards extinction

18th November 2019 - Aussie Ark calls for wildlife support during bushfires

12th December 2018 - Queensland National Parks start reopening in aftermath of bushfires

31st December 2019 - Heroic effort by zookeepers saves Mogo Wildlife Park from devastating bushfires

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