Bushfires: Aussie Birds need Help!
Hundreds of bushfires are now raging across the country – even in habitats that don’t usually see fire. Experts predicted a tough bushfire season and that’s become a terrible reality.
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The Aussie bush is as dry as we’ve ever seen it, with many areas in severe drought. These conditions have contributed to a perfect storm for extreme bushfires. Already, huge tracts of habitat across the country have been destroyed.
Millions of Aussie birds have already been impacted by the bushfire crisis. It’s likely fire will affect over 50 bird species and subspecies.
This is an unprecedented wildlife emergency.
The future of Aussie Birds
Ce can act now to save and protect the future of Aussie birds in fire hotspots around the country. To do this, we’ll focus our efforts on the most vulnerable birds and areas, with three key actions to help save them:
1. FIRE EMERGENCY TEAMS: As soon as it’s safe after fires, we need to get Fire Emergency Teams in to check for birds. These teams are made up of BirdLife staff and volunteers and our partners who work together to survey birds after fires, evaluate the situation, and investigate how we can best support the surviving birds.
Tragically, millions of birds have likely already perished, falling victim to the intense fires. The breeding habitats and food sources of millions more have been incinerated.
Once the flames subside, we need to be ready to survey impacted areas and implement the best strategies to protect survivors.
2. HABITAT REFUGES: It’s also critical that in the longer term, we ensure surviving birds have safe homes. It sounds simple, but maintaining suitable vegetation keeps moisture in the soil. This makes habitats more fire-resistant and keeps fire intensity lower. Importantly, it also helps with regeneration after fire.
3. PEOPLE- AND BIRD-SAFE BURNS: Inappropriate fire management can put many threatened bird species at even more risk.
With your support, we can continue to work with landowners and councils to safely reduce fuel loads, while keeping birds and their food sources and homes safe at the same time. For example, low-scorch burning practices that avoid key feeding trees are vital for birds like the South-eastern Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo.
These three simple yet powerful actions are the best defence to protect bird populations in some of the most fire-affected and fire-prone habitats around Australia.