In photos:

2021 in Review: what we've achieved as we Regenerate Australia

14 Dec 2021


  • Partnerships
  • bushfire
  • Christmas
  • climate change
  • renewable energy
  • Regenerate Australia
2021 has been a critical year for WWF-Australia.

It’s been yet another year like no other. With the help of our supporters, donors, and dedicated partners, we were able to action crucial projects designed to help us Regenerate Australia. Thanks to you, we're already seeing results.

With your support, we’ve taken a significant step forward in regenerating our environment and saving our native species.


Here’s a snapshot of what the team at WWF-Australia achieved with your help in 2021.


Eyes on recovery


Mother and baby wombat captured in a photo from a camera trap


In January 2021, WWF-Australia launched Eyes on Recovery, supported by Google's philanthropic arm, - a project that aims to deploy more than 600 sensor cameras to bushfire-affected areas around Australia. By monitoring the surviving wildlife, we can find solutions to bushfire recovery for a whole range of native species.


Renewables Nation: leading the way to make Australia a renewable energy superpower


Renewable energy wind workers © WWF-Australia / serts / iStock

PHOTO: © Greg Brave /

We launched our Renewables Nation campaign to urge the Australian Government to take drastic action to reduce emissions and make Australia a renewable energy superpower. Our campaign prompted the government to commit to $4.1 billion in funding for our nation's renewable energy transition.


A cool solution for flying foxes


Atmospheric cooling system in action for grey headed flying foxes © WWF-Australia Sprinkler system gives hope to flying foxes © WWF-Australia


Flying foxes are very sensitive to heat stress, so we found a solution to help regulate their body temperature in the hot Australian summer - aerial sprinklers. Jointly funded by WWF-Australia, the City of Greater Bendigo, and the Department of Land, Water, Environment and Planning, these sprinklers help keep the flying foxes and their habitat cool on sweltering days.


10-years of partnership with John West


Salmon swimming, taken at a salmon farm © Erling Svensen / WWF

PHOTO: © Erling Svensen / WWF

In 2021, WWF-Australia and John West celebrated 10 years of protecting our oceans. The partnership has been a catalyst to drive change and promote sustainable fishing practices around the globe.


1 in 3 Aussies switched off for Earth Hour


The Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House switched off their lights for Earth Hour 2021 © Quentin Jones / WWF-Australia

PHOTO: © Quentin Jones / WWF-Australia

1 in 3 Australians made the #SwitchforNature this March during Earth Hour 2021. Joined by a record 192 countries, it was the biggest and most successful Earth Hour yet!


17,000 WWF-Australia supporters signed up to protect our unburnt forests

Defending the Unburnt Six. This image is a composite © WWF-Australia

PHOTO: © WWF-Australia

More than 17,000 WWF-Australia supporters signed the petition to save precious habitat areas. In collaboration with the Environmental Defenders Office, we’re urging the government to protect these critical areas of unburnt environment.


The panda turned 60!


Dr Prishani Vengetas tending to a tawny frogmouth © WWF-Australia / Free Vreman

PHOTO: © WWF-Australia / Free Vreman

Since forming in 1961, WWF has worked alongside millions of incredible supporters to protect the environment and wildlife all around the world. In April this year, the panda celebrated 60 years of advocating for people and nature!


Climate-ready restoration for Australia


Greening Australia and WWF-Australia - Climate-ready restoration © Greening Australia

PHOTO: ©  Greening Australia

WWF-Australia and Greening Australia partnered to find innovative solutions to the growing risk of climate change. Thanks to the help of supporters, we’re implementing new ways of restoring nature so it’s strong enough to survive for future generations.


Eleven hawksbill turtles had their first taste of freedom


Birri Gubba Juru Elder and Gudjuda senior ranger Jim Gaston releasing hawksbill turtle at John Brewer Reef with James Cook University’s Turtle Health Research staff © WWF-Australia/Woody Spark

PHOTO: © WWF-Australia / Woody Spark

WWF-Australia assisted the release of eleven hawksbill turtles onto the Great Barrier Reef as part of research to help understand sea turtles. Together with the Gudjuda and Girringun Rangers, we supported the raising and release of these turtles with James Cook University's Turtle Health Research staff.


Investigating the feminisation of green sea turtles

WWF’s Chris Hof beside a green turtle at Heron Island © WWF-Australia / Jacinta Shackleton

PHOTO: © WWF-Australia / Jacinta Shackleton

Our team made some new ocean friends when they visited Heron Island to survey turtle breeding season. WWF-Australia, the University of Queensland, and the Conflict Islands Conservation Initiative are working with the support of furniture company Koala to reverse the feminisation of green turtles.


Regenerate Australia - the largest wildlife and landscape restoration program in Australia's history

Community Tree Planting at Cook Reserve Ruse, Campelltown © WWF-Aus / Leonie Sii

PHOTO: © WWF-Australia / Leonie Sii

Since launching in July, more than 20,000 people have joined Regenerate Australia and supported our mission of restoring what Australia lost in the 2019-20 bushfires. That’s over 20,000 trees planted!


Finding modern solutions to future-proof our environment

VHF solar ear tag © WWF-Australia / patchworks

PHOTO: © WWF-Australia / Patchworks Agency

From habitat pods to Bluetooth bling for koalas, we’re excited to be supporting innovative projects helping to save our native species. WWF-Australia is investing $1.32 million into innovative projects helping to protect our wildlife from the threat of bushfires.


Bettongs bounced back after more than 100 years

A brush-tailed bettong is released in Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park on Yorke Peninsula © WWF-Australia /

PHOTO:  © WWF-Australia /

We supported a comeback more than 100 years in the making - the return of 40 brush-tailed bettongs to Yorke Peninsula! Marna Bangarra is an ambitious project to rewild 150,000 hectares of picturesque landscape in South Australia. The project is jointly funded through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program, the Northern and Yorke Landscape Board, the South Australian Department for Environment and Water, WWF-Australia and the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife, in partnership with the Narungga Nation Aboriginal Corporation and with the support of Traditional Custodians, the Narungga People.


Rewilding the platypus


Rob Brewster holding a platypus during a habitat survey © WWF-Australia / Rob Brewster Rob Brewster holding a platypus during a habitat survey with UNSW platypus researcher Tahneal Hawke © WWF-Australia / Rob Brewster

PHOTO:  © WWF-Australia / Rob Brewster

After missing for almost 50 years, the platypus is returning to Sydney’s Royal National Park. The team has been in-the-field day and night, planning the rewilding strategy and catching glimpses of this elusive animal. We’re proud to be working with Taronga Zoo and NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service to rewild this iconic species in its historic home.


'Climate Resilient by Nature'


WWF Pacific staff and Saeraghi community members, on the island of Ghizo in the Western Province of Solomon Islands © Piokera Holland / WWF Solomon Islands

PHOTO:  © Piokera Holland / WWF Solomon Islands

In partnership with the Australian Government, the Climate Resilient by Nature project is a nature-based solutions program to address climate change, protect ecosystems and diversify livelihoods in the Indo-Pacific.


Taking action to save koalas


Koala joeys in care at Ipswich Koala Protect Society © WWF-Australia

PHOTO:  © WWF-Australia

So far, more than 15,000 people have sent the Prime Minister and Minister for the Environment an urgent message asking them to uplist the conservation status of koalas to 'Endangered'. Uplisting their conservation status will give them the protection they need not just to survive but thrive.


Supporting crucial work restoring hectares of vital koala habitat 


Darren Grover, Head of Healthy Land and Seascapes, planting koala habitat trees in Swan Bay, NSW © WWF-Australia / Free Vreman

PHOTO:  © WWF-Australia / Free Vreman

The WWF-Australia team love any chance to get their hands dirty, and so far, we’ve helped restore over 200,000 koala food and habitat trees and 5,149 hectares are currently under restoration! Restoring koala habitat is essential to reaching our goal of doubling wild koalas numbers on the east coast by 2050.


And releasing a few koalas along the way!


Andy the koala released © WWF-Australia

PHOTO:  © WWF-Australia

Thanks to the help of supporters, WWF-Australia has assisted the rehabilitation and release of native wildlife of all shapes and sizes, like Andy the koala, who was in the care of the Ipswich Koala Protection Society before he was old enough to be released back into the wild.


The year might be coming to an end, but our mission to Regenerate Australia is ongoing.


Darren Tanya and Prishani

PHOTO:  © WWF-Australia / Free Vreman

We’re working with Indigenous leaders, communities and land managers to support Indigenous-led revitalisation of cultural fire management on Country.


Great Eastern Ranges: Cores, Corridors and Koalas in the Jaliigirr landscape © WWF-Australia

PHOTO:  © WWF-Australia

So far, over 77,000 WWF-Australia supporters urged the Australian Government to do more to end the extinction crisis


Greater glider © Josh Bowell

PHOTO:  © Josh Bowell

...and 71,000 people voiced their support for global action to reduce plastic pollution in our oceans.


Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) with a plastic bag, Moore Reef, Great Barrier Reef, Australia © Troy Mayne / WWF

PHOTO:  © Troy Mayne / WWF-Australia

WWF-Australia is supporting Friends of the Koala and Byron Mobile Wildlife Hospital to ensure no animal is more than two hours from critical care.


A koala in care with RSPCA Queensland, cuddling a panda plush © RSPCA QLD / Peter Wilson

PHOTO:  © RSPCA QLD / Peter Wilson

We’re also continuing our work through the Materials & Embodied Carbon Leaders’ Alliance (MECLA) to decarbonise Australia’s building and construction industry.


Construction workers © Scott Blake via Unsplash


And with the help of our dedicated partners, we were able to action some very special projects.




A pair of Kangaroo Island glossy black cockatoos © WWF-Aus / Paul Fahy

PHOTO:   © WWF-Australia / Paul Fahy

With the help of furniture company Koala and the Kangaroo Island Landscape Board, more than 7,100 she-oak trees have been planted on Kangaroo Island, providing the Kangaroo Island glossy black cockatoo with their exclusive food source.


First Nations Clean Energy Network


First Nations Clean Energy Network

PHOTO:   © First Nations Clean Energy Network

As part of Renewables Nation, WWF-Australia partnered with Original Power to support the First Nations Clean Energy Network. This powerful network will ensure First Nations People play a central role and harness the opportunities from Australia’s renewable energy.




Marri (Corymbia calophylla), Western Australia © Shenaye Hummerston / WWF-Aus

PHOTO: © Shenaye Hummerston / WWF-Australia

This year, WWF-Australia partnered with Botanica by Air Wick to create The Rare Bloom Project™. In collaboration with the Australian Seed Bank Partnership, we will work to help save 120 native Australian wildflowers from the threat of extinction through a conservation program of seed collection, germination trials and propagation. This year we have worked to protect over 30 species including the Corunna daisy.


 Working with small business


Annie the koala finds a tree after being released into the wild © Zoos Victoria

PHOTO: © Zoos Victoria

We’ve started working with the small business community for the first time. The collective capacity of small and medium businesses to generate change is absolutely enormous. Their industry-specific knowledge and influence is a powerful tool and we’re excited to work together towards greater conservation wins.


It's been an unforgettable year.
On behalf of all of us at WWF-Australia, thank you for your support in 2021.
We can’t wait to see what we can achieve together in 2022.

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