In photos:

2020 in Review: An unforgettable year for nature

17 Dec 2020

Keywords

  • bushfire
  • environmental laws
  • hawksbill turtles
  • koalas
  • renewable energy
  • coronavirus

2020 was the year that everything changed. Our nation watched in horror as bushfires ripped through the country.

 

Our hearts continue to go out to the families who lost loved ones and the communities who lost their homes. Many thanks to the firefighters and volunteers who battled the blazes, and front line workers and vets who worked tirelessly to save wildlife.

 

Amongst the ashes, we found hope for recovery.

 

With generous donations from all around the world to WWF’s Australian Nature and Wildlife Recovery Fund, WWF-Australia was able to start rebuilding and restoring what was lost in the devastating fires, with a vision to Regenerate Australia.

 

Here is a snapshot of the year in pictures.

 

Our hearts broke as we watched our nation burn all summer…

Kookaburra after a bushfire, Wallabi Point, NSW © Adam Stevenson

PHOTO: ADAM STEVENSON

A kookaburra surveys its destroyed home after a bushfire passed through Wallabi Point, NSW.

Bushfire in Bowraville NSW, November 2019 © Adam Dederer / WWF-Aus

PHOTO: ADAM DEDERER

The orange glow of the bushfire front in Bowraville, NSW.

Koala on Kangaroo Island after bushfires © Brad Fleet / Newspix

PHOTO: BRAD FLEET / NEWSPIX

A koala clings to a burnt tree on Kangaroo Island, SA.

 

Once the fires cleared, we hit the ground to assess the damage...

Aerial of the Kangaroo Island bushfire aftermath in 2020© WWF-Australia / Sii Studio

PHOTO: WWF-AUSTRALIA / SII STUDIO

An aerial view of the bushfire aftermath on Kangaroo Island, SA.

Kangaroo Island glossy black-cockatoo survey  © WWF-Aus / Paul Fahy

PHOTO: WWF-AUSTRALIA / PAUL FAHY

Darren Grover (Head of Healthy Land and Seascapes, WWF-Australia) and Mike Barth (Natural Resources Kangaroo Island) assess the bushfire damage to a glossy black cockatoo nesting box on Kangaroo Island, SA.

Detection dogs Taz (liver and white) and her cousin Missy (black and white) from OWAD Environment. © WWF-Australia / Veronica Joseph

PHOTO: WWF-AUSTRALIA / VERONICA JOSEPH

WWF-Australia deployed koala detection dogs Taz (left) and Missy (right) from OWAD Environment into bushfire-affected areas to find koalas and conduct assessments on their habitat. This was made possible thanks to generous donations from supporters to WWF’s Australian Wildlife and Nature Recovery Fund.

 

and helped wildlife in urgent need…

Jennifer Ford and Tim Cronin from WWF-Australia loading vegetables as part of an aerial food drop program © WWF-Australia / Veronica Joseph

PHOTO: WWF-AUSTRALIA / VERONICA JOSEPH

Donations also allowed WWF-Australia to supply fresh food as part of the NSW Government’s aerial food drop program to support wildlife that still remained in bushfire-impacted areas.

Brush-tail rock-wallabies eating carrots from aerial food drop © WWF-Australia / Veronica Joseph

PHOTO: WWF-AUSTRALIA / VERONICA JOSEPH

Brush-tail rock-wallabies feeding on carrots dropped from the aerial food program.

Minty the possum suffered burns to all four paws and his tail due to the Australian bushfires © WWF-Australia / Matthew Harris

PHOTO: WWF-AUSTRALIA / MATTHEW HARRIS

Minty the possum in care with Wildcare at Carwoola, NSW. Minty suffered burns to all four paws during the bushfire crisis.

Dr Anne Fowler with RJ the juvenile flying fox © WWF-Australia / Leonie Sii

PHOTO: WWF-AUSTRALIA / LEONIE SII

Dr Anne Fowler - one of the many hardworking Australian Veterinary Association vets across the country who worked tirelessly to save wildlife impacted by the bushfires. Here she is pictured with RJ, an orphaned flying fox.

Swamp wallaby joey © WWF-Australia / Leonie Sii

PHOTO: WWF-AUSTRALIA / LEONIE SII

An orphaned swamp wallaby joey treated at Milton Village Vet during the aftermath of the bushfire crisis..

 

Even when COVID-19 stopped the world, we found ways to adapt...

Ranger Jess and Jenn Ford watching Annie the koala © WWF-Australia

PHOTO: WWF-AUSTRALIA

Thanks to generous donations, WWF-Australia was able to fund the construction of three rehabilitation enclosures at Phillip Island Nature Parks for koalas like Annie (pictured). Earlier in the year, Annie received critical care at Zoos Victoria for burns suffered during the Mallacoota fires in Victoria. Jennifer Ford (Emergency Wildlife Response Officer, WWF-Australia) visited Annie to check in on her recovery process.

Maryanne the koala released to the wild © WWF-Australia

PHOTO: WWF-AUSTRALIA

Maryanne, the koala, was found earlier in the year during bushfires near Wivenhoe Dam, QLD and was treated for her burns by the RSPCA QLD - one of the first recipients of WWF-Australia’s funding thanks to our generous supporters. Here, Maryanne is being released back into the wild after making a full recovery thanks to the care of Ipswich Koala Protection Society.

Bushfire aftermath at Batemans Bay, NSW © WWF-Australia / Leonie Sii

PHOTO: WWF-AUSTRALIA / LEONIE SII

WWF-Australia assesses new regrowth and bushfire recovery in Batemans Bay, NSW.

 

As our wildlife healed, we looked to Regenerate Australia to restore what was lost…

Dr Stuart Blanch, WWF-Australia, participating in a smoking ceremony © WWF-Australia

PHOTO: WWF-AUSTRALIA

Dr Stuart Blanch (Senior Manager, Landclearing and Restoration, WWF-Australia) participating in a smoking ceremony. In partnership with Great Eastern Ranges, WWF-Australia is helping to restore the health and resilience of forest habitat in the Jaliigirr landscape.

 

This site is cared for and managed by Coffs Harbour & District Local Aboriginal Land Council. All environmental restoration work has been and continues to be undertaken by the Durrunda Waajarr Rangers, the Repair to Country team.

Eli the koala joey in care at Ipswich Koala Protection Society © WWF-Australia

PHOTO: WWF-AUSTRALIA

Eli is one of the koala joeys in care at Ipswich Koala Protection Society. Thanks to WWF-Australia supporters, we’re able to support the rescue and recovery efforts of koalas like Eli and help double the number of koalas on Australia’s east coast by 2050.

Byron Bay Mobile Wildlife Hospital © Patchworks Agency / WWF-Australia

PHOTO: PATCHWORKS AGENCY / WWF-AUSTRALIA

On the road! Australia’s largest mobile wildlife hospital is ready for action. Thanks to supporter donations, WWF-Australia helped fund state-of-the-art equipment and support operating costs of the new Byron Bay Mobile Wildlife Hospital which is now ready to deploy for future national disasters.

 

And we had some other wins along the way!

Ruby Heard from Alinga Energy highlights the benefits that solar projects could bring to Indigenous communities © WWF-Australia

PHOTO: WWF-AUSTRALIA

Ruby Heard of Alinga Energy shares her story with us and highlights the benefits that solar projects could bring to Indigenous communities experiencing energy poverty. Campaigns for a renewable recovery secure more than a $1 billion investment.

Earth Hour 2020 lights off at Sydney Harbour © WWF-Australia

PHOTO: WWF-AUSTRALIA

Sydney city was one of many cities around the world that switched off for Earth Hour 2020.

Greater glider in a patch of old growth forest in Munruben, Logan City, south of Brisbane © Josh Bowell

PHOTO: JOSH BOWELL

A greater glider in a patch of old growth forest in Munruben, QLD. WWF-Australia is petitioning for stronger national nature laws to protect endangered species, including the greater glider.

Celebrating 10 years of partnership with the Girringun Aboriginal Corporation © Girringun Aboriginal Corporation

PHOTO: GIRRINGUN ABORIGINAL CORPORATION

WWF-Australia celebrated 10 years of partnership working with the Girringun Aboriginal Corporation and its incredible team of rangers from Far North Queensland.

Microplastics found on Milman Island's beach - © WWF-Australia / Veronica Joseph

WWF-AUSTRALIA / VERONICA JOSEPH

Microplastics clean-up on Milman Island, QLD. WWF-Australia worked with state governments to ban single-use plastics and clean up Australia’s waterways.

A critically endangered hawksbill turtle swims in northern Kia Island, Fiji © Tom Vierus / WWF-US

PHOTO: TOM VIERUS / WWF-US

A critically endangered hawksbill turtle swims in northern Kia Island, Fiji. WWF-Australia started ShellBank to track turtle DNA and protect hawksbill turtles from the illegal wildlife trade.

 

It's been an unforgettable year.

 Thanks to you, we kept going for wildlife and nature.

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