RSPCA's Emergency Response Plan - Kangaroo Island Bushfires
Huge swathes of Kangaroo Island’s pristine habitat have been destroyed in the devastating January 2020 bushfires. Wildlife that survived the fires is now at high risk of succumbing to starvation and dehydration.
RSPCA South Australia fears a “second wave” animal welfare disaster is looming. Urgent action is needed now to save surviving animals.
That’s why we’ve created our three-month Emergency Response Plan. It provides surviving native animals with life-saving veterinary care, food and water.
Three teams of three RSPCA volunteers will be stationed on the island, working to seven-day rotating rosters under the leadership of a dedicated project manager.
Need 1: Veterinary care for injured animals
RSPCA will continue to provide veterinary support to the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park, where many animal survivors are being taken for triage and treatment.
RSPCA will provide two expert staff members – one vet and one vet assistant – on rolling five-day rosters, including weekends, for as long as needed.
Need 2: Feed and water for surviving animals
With so much natural habitat and sources of food destroyed, macropods (kangaroos, wallabies, etc), possums and koalas that survived the bushfires now face starvation and dehydration. With help from volunteers, we will focus our efforts on these species, which have specific dietary needs and are least able to adapt to the changed landscape.
We will coordinate two RSPCA volunteer teams who will man a food depot, allowing locals to pick up food for their own properties. These two teams will also coordinate food drops and distribution in various island locations.
A third RSPCA volunteer team will collect eucalyptus leaves daily to supplement feeding of surviving koalas in affected areas.