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Bushfire in Western Australia, 2 February 2021 © DFES Incident Photographer Evan Collis

Bushfire in Western Australia, 2 February 2021 © DFES Incident Photographer Evan Collis

Statement from WWF-Australia on WA's bushfire emergency

04 Feb 2021

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Statement from WWF-Australia CEO, Dermot O’Gorman

 

 

WWF is saddened by the ongoing bushfire emergency in Perth in Western Australia.

Our thoughts are with the families who are suffering after fire destroyed more than 80 homes over the past three days.

We are in touch with staff and conservation partners, all remain safe at this stage.

It is too early to know the impact on wildlife. The fire is still out of control and many areas are inaccessible.

WWF has reached out to a number of wildlife responders and shelters offering assistance when it is safely possible.

WWF has also been in contact with WA government officers offering support.

At present wildlife response needs are low, but demand is likely to pick up once the fires cease and it is safe to assess the affected sites and access the animals.

One area we are concerned about is a nature reserve that WWF has supported – that was recently burnt - home to the only known self-sustaining population of Western Swamp Tortoise – one of the rarest reptiles in the world.

It’s hoped most of the Western Swamp Tortoises survived because at this time of year they hibernate in holes in the ground or beneath deep piles of leaf litter.

The WWF team in WA will stay in contact with local wildlife responders and parks and wildlife staff and stands ready to help when required.

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