With a revamped estimated of one billion animals killed by the devastating Australia fires, more help is needed to save native animals, some of which are threatened by extinction. Although it’s difficult for people outside of Australia to volunteer except for trained emergency personnel, concerned individuals can still help through monetary donations or sending material goods. But people also need to be mindful of the distinction between legitimate organizations and a large number of scammers and disinformation, particularly on social media and fraudulent crowdfunding pages. In an effort to help spread the word how you can help, here is a list of some of Australia’s most respected organizations whose immediate mission is to help Australia’s wildlife and restore its native habitat.
Australian Wildlife Conservancy
Suite 5, Hay St.
Subiaco Western Australia 6008, Australia
As the country’s largest private landowner for wildlife conservation, the AWC is working to support organizations who are helping save wildlife from Australia fires. An independent non-profit organization, AWC currently owns or manages 6.5 million hectares (16 million+ acres) and offers 29 wildlife sanctuaries to 1,700 native animal species threatened by extinction, including mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. In addition to individual monetary donations, AWC suggests giving in other ways including volunteering and fundraising.
Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital
1638 Steve Irwin Way
Beerwah Queensland 4519, Australia
Led by Terri Irwin, wife of the late “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin, Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital is a leader in the effort to treat animals affected by the massive fires. Located along Australia’s Sunshine Coast an hour north of Brisbane, the hospital has treated more than 90,000 animals, including thousands affected by the Australia fires. However, their work is far from over and is seeking funds to build a new ward for flying foxes, a species that’s vulnerable to extinction from the wildfires. The initial goal of $150,000 has already been reached but more donations are needed to treat the thousands of animals that are brought into the hospital. Australia Zoo was founded in 1970 by Steve Irwin’s parents Bob and Lyn. After their son’s death in 2006, ownership of the zoo was transferred to Terri, with significant contributions from her 21-year-old daughter Bindi.
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Koala Hospital Port Macquarie
Cnr Roto Place & Lord St.
Port Macquarie, New South Wales 2444, Australia
Located north of Sydney in New South Wales, the Koala Hospital is a licensed Wildlife Rehabilitation Facility with a treatment room, eight intensive care units and a rehabilitation yard. Currently, numerous koalas are being for burns and other injuries onsite but major surgeries and X rays are performed at Port Macquarie Veterinary Hospital a few miles away. In addition to individual monetary donations, the Koala Hospital offers an “koala adoption” service where donors can select featured koalas, in addition an option to a “plant a koala food tree and small gifts like branded refrigerator magnets. The hospital is open to visitors during regular hours and self-guided or guided tours are available. The hospital is also welcoming international volunteers for the Australia fires through an application process and $80 fee.
RSPCA New South Wales
201 Rookwood Road
Yagoona, New South Wales, 2199, Australia
RSPCA Australia is seeking donations for all of its independent units for the devastating Australia fires, but none more important than in New South Wales. The second oldest unit of the RSPCA founded in 1873, the NSW branch operates nine shelters and four veterinary hospitals that are playing a critical roles in rescuing and rehabilitating animals. Additionally, RSCPA inspectors (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) have worked alongside other service organizations in fire zones and helped with evacuations of animals. RSPCA is requesting a minimum of $38 AUD ($26.23 USD) to help keep its inspectors on the road to respond to emergencies and care for displaced animals. However, the peak organization will accept any donation, large or small. Collectively, RSPCA Australia was founded in 1981 and each Australian state and territory maintains a local unit.
The Rescue Collective
Unit 4, 55 Tenby St.
Mount Gravatt, Queensland, Brisbane 4122, Australia
Volunteers at the Rescue Collective are so busy, they might not be currently taking any clothing donations. However, the Brisbane based non-profit is still seeking donations for Australia fire victims. The Collective also operates an Animal Rescue Craft Guild on Facebook where donations pay for materials to sew or knit items like bat wraps and joey pouches. The Craft Guild Facebook page also provides instructions on how to make animal pouches for hanging possums, wallabies, kangaroos and more. Founded in 2018, the Rescue Collective partners with Animal Rescue Freecycle and supports several Australian-based organizations, like Australia Zoo, Koala Rescue Queensland and Wildlife Rescue Queensland.
WIRES Wildlife Rescue
Suite 39, Lifestyle Working
117 Old Pittwater Road
Brookvale, New South Wales 2100, Australia
Founded in 1985, WIRES is Australia’s largest wildlife rescue and rehabilitation charity. The non-profit offers a number of services provided by its staff, qualified experts and volunteers. These services include rescue and care of injured animals as well as emergency shelter and food and water. WIRES also operates 28 branches and provides wildlife rescue training, in addition to other services like manning phone lines from more than 2,500 volunteers. In December alone, volunteers handled more than 20,000 phone calls to its Wildlife Rescue line and attended more than 3,300 rescues.
Level 1, One Smail St.
Ultimo, Sydney, New South Wales 2007
The Australian unit of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is seeking donations to help care for injured wildlife and their homes. One of the country’s most respected conservation organizations, the WWF is performing several services like establishing partnerships with wildlife response teams, habitat restoration and providing solutions for future generations such as mitigating climate change and nature conservation. A $50 donation could help plant the first 10,000 trees in koala habitat as part of a “Towards Two Billion Trees” program launched in December. A $75 donation could provide for additional emergency care and medicine for injured koalas while $100 or $15 donations can provide for protecting forests and adding pressure on governments to strengthen laws on excessive tree clearing.
Parkville, Victoria, Melbourne 3052, Australia
Zoos Victoria is accepting donations towards its Emergency Wildlife Fund, providing emergency veterinary care and other services. The administrator of three zoos in the Australian state of Victoria, including Australia’s oldest, Melbourne Zoo, Zoos Victoria is bravely helping injured animals in dangerous Australia fire zones and are providing solutions towards long term recovery. Since the establishment of the wildlife fund, many American zoos have contributed towards the cause, including $10,000 contributions from the Columbus Zoo, Miami Zoo and Oklahoma City Zoo. Other American zoological organizations providing assistance include Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Minnesota Zoo and San Diego Zoo. Zoos Victoria is also offering emergency wildlife assistance at the Australian Wildlife Health Centre at the Healesville Sanctuary.
About The Author:
Randy Yagi is an award-winning freelance writer who has covered national/international travel for CBS Local and all things San Francisco for CBS San Francisco. His stories have also appeared in the Daily Meal, CBS Radio, and Radio.com, among others. He is a Media Fellow of Stanford University and a member of the Freelance Council of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW). In addition to dogs, his favorite animal is the koala.
He is a lifelong resident of Santa Cruz County, California.