Caring for Wildlife Affected by Bushfire
Fire has been, and will always be a part of the Tasmanian landscape, with some vegetation types being dependent on fire, while others are sensitve to fire. However, bushfires can have impacts on native animals in bushfire-affected areas.
Injured or orphaned wildlife
As a result of bushfires some animals may be injured or orphaned. There are wildlife rehabilitators who are trained to rescue animals and treat injuries associated with bushfires.
If you find injured or orphaned wildlife, call DPIPWE's Wildlife Management Branch on 6165 4305 between 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday; after hours, please call Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary on 0447 264 625.
The Department manages a network of wildlife carers and works with other volunteer groups and wildlife parks to provide care for injured animals. If you are interested in becoming a registered wildlife rehabilitator, please contact:
Tips for assisting bushfire-affected wildlife in the landscape
Bushfires can reduce the food available to surviving wildlife populations. If short-term supplementary feeding in the fire-affected landscape is to be considered, the following points provide some guidance to avoid any unintended impacts:
- Bowls of water can be provided. These should be placed away from your house, as they may attract snakes, and should include sticks or rocks to prevent insects and small animals from drowning.
- Do not distribute supplementary food including hay, vegetables and fruit in national parks, reserved land or other areas of conservation significance. Hay contains seeds that will spread weeds and exotic plants.
- Only provide supplementary food on private land with the permission of the landowners.
- Avoid leaving large amounts of food in the environment. Uneaten pellets, hay, vegetables and fruit will become mouldy and attract large numbers of rodents.
- Some fruit and vegetables can cause bloat, as a wild animal’s digestive system is not designed for non-native food.
- Pellets containing grain and chaff can promote the development of diseases including lumpy jaw in macropods.
- Feeding may cause animals to congregate. This may led to increased aggression, disease spread and make them easy prey for predators.
- Do not feed on the sides of roads as this is a safety hazard and may lead to increased roadkill.