RSPCA SA volunteer teams given access to Flinders Chase National Park, first feeding stations set up

February 13, 2020

RSPCA South Australia’s recovery work on Kangaroo Island is into its fifth week, with the second round of volunteer teams continuing to boost local efforts to feed bushfire-affected wildlife.

Working under the direction of National Parks and Wildlife SA, the teams entered the Flinders Chase National Park on Tuesday. It was the first time they have had access to the park, which has remained closed to the public since fires swept through last month.

RSPCA South Australia teams have now established feeding stations at more than 40 locations across the island, and there is clear evidence that animals are consuming the feed. Team members will soon install motion-activated cameras to gather information on the numbers and species of animals eating at the stations.

As with the first volunteers who kicked off the program on Monday February 3, six of the nine people selected to join RSPCA South Australia’s feed distribution program are island residents. (More than 13,500 registered their interest in volunteering after the call went out on January 24. Applications have now closed.)

Overseeing the volunteer operation is a newly appointed Field Operations Manager. Melanie Lambert is a former Naturalist Guide at Kangaroo Island’s Southern Ocean Lodge, and has returned to the island five weeks after bushfires incinerated the iconic site.

The current team leaders include RSPCA South Australia Inspector Emma Shepley, who was part of the organisation’s emergency response for animals in the wake of fires in the Adelaide hills last December.

The volunteer teams are operating in collaboration with landholders and local wildlife rescue groups.

So far they have:

  • Established two feed distribution depots at Parndana and Nepean Bay, south of Kingscote. Islanders who wish to support native animals on their properties are now able to collect feed from either of these depots at no cost.
  • Established more than 40 feeding stations on private properties (including plantations) and inside Flinders Chase National Park. Some stations are at ground level and some have been set up in trees to protect native animals at risk from predators.
  • Continued to use GPS (Global Positioning System) tracking to pinpoint via satellite navigation the exact location of feeding stations and facilitate regular replenishment of feed
  • Set up shelters (made by volunteers) for ringtail, brushtail and pygmy possums in trees that have no foliage due to the fires
  • Assisted National Parks and Wildlife SA with aerial feed drops – the first took place on Wednesday February 5 and the second is due to take place today

RSPCA South Australia is also providing financial support to local residents and groups who are caring for and rescuing wildlife impacted by the bushfires.

RSPCA South Australia will continue to coordinate volunteer teams on the island for the next three to five months. The duration is dependent on the time it takes for native vegetation food sources to regenerate sufficiently to sustain animals that are currently at risk of starvation.

Also currently on Kangaroo Island is RSPCA South Australia Veterinarian Dr Lauren Eyre, who has returned to the island for a second time since the fires. She is assisting in the treatment and care of injured wildlife brought to the main triage centre, located inside the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park at Parndana.

This ongoing emergency response is being funded by donations made to RSPCA South Australia’s Bushfire Appeal.

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12 thoughts on “RSPCA SA volunteer teams given access to Flinders Chase National Park, first feeding stations set up”

  1. Lee Gallagher

    Hi, this is great news. If there is anything I can do to help, I am willing and able at any time.
    Many thanks, Lee

  2. Tim Carroll

    Thankyou for the update really appreciate it ,I like to hear how its all going on the island and how our little fury friends are doing ,I wish I could be there to help out ,fantastic work everybody is doing sincerely Timbo.

  3. Kerry Rensonnet

    Wow fantastic you are doing great work. Julie Clark and myself can’t wait to help cheers Kerry

  4. Amber Fenton

    Hi Team
    Amazing
    Thank you for your efforts
    It’s heartening to know how much planning monitoring & hard work goes on to ensure the survival of our precious Native species
    Sending my heartfelt gratitude to all of you
    You’re making a difference
    Warmest regards
    Amber

  5. Heidi Ross

    Thankyou for the encouraging progress on the mercy effort for the wildlife on KI.
    You are all doing an amazing job assisting best as can ,to help our beautiful animals recover.

  6. Lorraine Hall

    Wonderful news & amazing work being done. Thanks for the update. So proud we have organizations like yours with public support to help as well when needed. Can’t wait to be a part of that for our beloved creatures that need us through no fault of their own. Bless you all. ❤

  7. Karine De Mari

    Congrats to all the teams working there… I wish I could be part of it…
    If you need more volunteers, I stay open.
    Good luck to everyone and many thoughts to the wildlife…..

  8. Mary Michayluk

    Thank you so much for giving us these great updates. I filled out a volunteer application and I’m willing and able to be there in a heartbeat if needed!!
    A big thank you to the volunteers that were chosen. And of course gratitude to all of you at this amazing agency. PS I saw a CBS News report in the states that included video of a starving kangaroo. When media crews go do you give them kangaroo pellets in case they happen upon a needy animal?

  9. Sue Willoughby

    This is wonderful news and great to get the feedback looking forward to being able to help out when my time comes around

  10. Jason Gallop

    Is there any way to find out how far down the list I am place to go over & how long until

    1. Hi Jason, thank you for applying to volunteer! At this stage we are still developing the volunteer rosters on a rolling fortnight basis, so we may be in contact in the coming weeks and months for you to be a member of one of our volunteer teams. We will look to provide as much notice as possible. We have sent a few email updates to applicants, but if these have ended up in your junk mail, you may like to add bushfires@rspcasa.org.au to your contact list so you don’t miss further updates. Thank you.

  11. Megan Gardner

    Great work, thank you and am still able to volunteer if my name comes up!

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