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Wildlife suffers in fires

from Wildcare Queanbeyan

It looks like the bush fire risk and extremely hot weather is going to be with us for some time. Whilst priority must be given to saving people, property and stock animals we also need to spare a thought for our native wildlife. The very hot weather affects many species. Over the last few weeks flying foxes along the eastern part of NSW have been affected with hundreds, if not thousands, dying from heat stress.

Some wildlife groups have been inundated with suffering animals and are now trying to rehabilitate them. As well as shelter, native wildlife needs a good supply of food and water to survive. We can help our wildlife by keeping bird bathes topped up and if there is no other water source, such as a pond or dam, place shallow bowls of water on the ground for reptiles, possums and other critters.

Maryanne Gates, the President of Wildcare, suggests “Where there has been a bush fire, it is hoped property owners can find time to have a look around particularly at dusk, dawn and overnight, when animals are more active – to find out what wildlife remains.

“It may be possible to put out a number of watering and feed stations to keep wildlife alive. Wildcare and other local wildlife groups may be able to help. Where there are injured animals, wildlife volunteers may be able to catch and treat them.”

“In our area, there have been few animals coming into care from the recent bush fires, but this may be because we have yet to take time to check out burnt-out areas.”

‘Tony’ [pictured], whose fur melted in the extreme heat of the Cooma bushfire, was rescued and is now in the care with his local wildlife group (LAOKO). Please keep a look out for injured or orphaned animals and contact your local wildlife group for help and advice.

Wildcare (6299 1966) covers the area around the ACT.

LAOKO (6456 1313) operates to the south in the Cooma region.

NARG (4846 1900) is based around Braidwood.

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