Australia fires: here’s how to help

Posted by Imogen Searra on 6 January 2020

Images of the impact of the wildfires have emerged on social media, showing the toll the devastation has taken on wildlife. Some rain has started to fall in parts of Australia today, which has brought hope to locals. While providing some relief, it is not enough to put the fires out yet.



Many have taken to social media to call for donations that will be put toward aiding those affected by the fires. Here is a list of reputable organisations at the forefront of this emergency that you can donate any amount to:


1. Australian Red Cross Disaster Recovery and Relief

2. Salvation Army Disaster Appeal

3. New South Wales Rural Fire Service

4. Victorian Bushfire Appeal


Alternatively, a Facebook donation page created by Australian comedian Celeste Barber has seen 919,983 people raise R367,301,888 raised in 3 days. You can donate directly to this fundraiser by clicking here. Wildlife Information and Rescue Services is also crowdfunding via social media to raise funds. Over 100,000 people have donated so far and you can do so by clicking here.

In the meantime, a four-year-old English springer spaniel named Taylor and a border collie-koolie mix named Bear, are two good dogs helping humans save Australia’s wildlife from the devastating bush fires.

Both Taylor and Bear are trained to sniff out koala droppings or fur, to help fire and rescue services find live animals in scorched areas.

In order to help save the lives of wildlife, the Queensland fire agency dispatched Bear to fire-affected areas, known to be home to a number of koalas. He will track and remain under a tree that a koala is in, indicating where officials need to look. Koalas can be very difficult to spot with the naked eye as their fur camouflages them.

Bear in action. Image: Facebook

Similarly on the New South Wales mid North Coast, Taylor has helped bring injured koalas to safety. Her trainer, Ryan Tate spoke to ABC News and said: ‘What we essentially train the dog to do is enjoy that love for sniffing the environment but to discriminate a particular smell so every day out in the field for her is the best day of her life.’

On a windless days, Taylor will sit under trees with an animal in it. Other times she will find fresh scats and wildlife volunteers from Port Macquarie Koala Hospital will work to spot the animal.

Professor Chirs Dickman, an Australian biodiversity expert at the University of Sydney, estimates that almost half a billion animals have been lost to the fires so far. He explains that the number refers to the animals affected and not specifically those that have been killed. Read his full statement here.

Taylor and her trainer, Ryan Tate. Image: Facebook


Image: Twitter




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