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Zoo and Aquarium Association develops plan to help wildlife recover from Australia’s bushfire crisis
The Zoo and Aquarium Association Australasia (ZAA) is mobilising its Wildlife Conservation Fund to support a large-scale, coordinated response of zoos, wildlife parks and aquariums to the drought and bushfire crisis.
The ZAA drought and bushfire response will focus on wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and long-term species recovery. It will bring together the significant expertise, resources, equipment and facilities across its network of accredited organisations to help native animals in the crisis affected areas.
With scientists now estimating more than one billion native animals affected by Australia's bushfire crisis nationally, the specialised expertise and facilities at ZAA-accredited zoos and wildlife parks will play a crucial role in the extensive short and long-term wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and recovery work ahead.
Many ZAA member zoos run wildlife hospitals, rescue and rehabilitation facilities, and those in or near fire affected areas are facing an overwhelming number of native animals requiring support now and well into the future.
James Biggs, ZAA's Manager Conservation and Australasian Species Management Program, was quoted on the ZAA website as stating "this crisis will set back biodiversity in the Australian landscape for decades and regeneration of the impacted habitats will take years,.
“The welfare-accredited zoos and wildlife parks in our membership can help with long-term care, rehabilitation and recovery of these animals with a goal of safely returning them to a liveable habitat.
“More than that, ZAA and our members are experts in managing wildlife breeding programs so we can help to support or establish government endorsed breed-for-release activities to begin putting additional animals back into these habitats.
“With estimates of native animals affected now over one billion, this work may help to revive and sustain populations of wildlife in affected areas.”
The ZAA drought and bushfire response will use an approach that aims to execute three key phases:
Phase one - placing rescued native animals with appropriate facilities and expert care for treatment, ongoing rehabilitation and preparation to return to the wild.
Phase two - assessing the impacts on wildlife and habitat to understand where rehabilitation efforts are most needed.
Phase three - medium and long-term recovery efforts to return healthy animals to regenerated habitats and revive and sustain populations of wildlife in affected areas.
The public can help these wildlife rescue efforts by contributing to the ZAA Wildlife Conservation Fund (WCF) via direct deposit or easy online payment via GoFundMe. The funds raised will be allocated by the ZAA Wildlife Conservation Committee appropriately to focus on:
• Rescue and rehabilitation of drought and fire-affected Australian native wildlife with the specific end-goal of returning healthy rehabilitated animals back to the wild;
• Restoration, rehabilitation and ongoing care and resilience improvement of drought and fire-affected Australian native habitats;
• Science and research geared toward reassessing species status, habitat regeneration and other science-related projects;
• Activities that continue to support or help establish federal and/or state endorsed, targeted breed for release conservation activities.
Generous offers of support and financial assistance are pouring in from zoos and aquariums in Australia, New Zealand and globally. In addition, over $40,000 has been generously donated by the community so far.
Click here to make a donation to ZAA’s Wildlife Conservation Fund.
Image: Southern Koala 'Four Paws' receiving pain relief at Adelaide Zoo. Courtesy of Zoos SA.
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6th January 2020 - Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital treats 90,000th patient
5th January 2020 - Bushfires push numerous Australian animal species towards extinction
31st December 2019 - Heroic effort by zookeepers saves Mogo Zoo from devastating bushfires
28th December 2019 - Aussie Ark declares NSW State of Emergency for wildlife
20th December 2019 - Bushfires see luxury NSW Blue Mountains resort suspends arrivals
16th December 2019 - Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens threatened by bushfire
13th December 2019 - New Sydney Zoo opens with committment to support wildlife conservation and education
18th November 2019 - Aussie Ark calls for wildlife support during bushfires
11th November 2019 - NSW declares state-wide national park closures due to extreme fire conditions
12th October 2019 - Wildlife Retreat opens at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo
29th September 2019 - ZAA-accredited zoos and aquariums highlight their activities through Conservation Week
18th September 2019 - New report highlights the increased threat of climate change on Australian wildlife
18th July 2019 - Zoos and aquariums celebrate and educate through Plastic Free July
17th September 2018 - ZAA-accredited zoos to collaborate on conservation and animal welfare
3rd April 2014 - Wellington Zoo wins ZAA Exhibit Award for Hero HQ
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