© Mattywilliamsphoto, © WWF-Australia / Sii Studio, © Ryan Pollock, © WWF-Australia / Milk Truck Cinemas

How your bushfire recovery donation is making a difference

Thanks to your generous donations we've been able to support 148 projects and more than 175 partnerships across the country to restore what was lost in the 2019-20 Australian bushfires.

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

Every dollar has an impact

The scale of Australia’s bushfires during the summer of 2019-20 was unprecedented and catastrophic. Thirty four people tragically lost their lives, almost 3,000 homes were lost and the impact on our forests and wildlife was immense. Over 12 million hectares of forest and woodlands were burnt, and nearly 3 billion animals impacted, pushing many of our threatened species, including the koala, to the brink of extinction.

The global response to this crisis was immediate and overwhelming. WWF-Australia is deeply touched by the incredible generosity shown by supporters and partners across the country and around the world. With your help, we were able to act quickly and at scale to get emergency funds to the frontline and mobilise our resources to plan the essential work that would be needed to help get Australia’s wildlife on the road to recovery once the fires were out. Since then, we have been working across the country to assess the loss, protect and restore habitat and strength laws to protect endangered species.



Here’s how your donation has been making a difference

So far we have been proud to support 148 projects and more than 175 partnerships across the country.

Our bushfire funds are being deployed over multiple years to deliver long-term restoration plans, as well as through investment in large-scale, high impact regeneration projects.

Some highlights of our bushfire work include:

• Partnering with over 40 wildlife rescue and care organisations in bushfire zones to respond to the emergency at scale.
• Helping to establish and equip Australia’s largest mobile wildlife hospital, based in Byron Bay.
• Installing over 1,000 wildlife monitoring cameras across bushfire affected areas.
• Planting nearly 250,000 trees, including more than 81,000 koala food and habitat trees.
• Engaging more than 100 landholders in restoration projects to restore koala corridors and habitat.
• Supporting the restoration of 9,994 ha of habitat.
• Investing $1.32 million into innovative projects designed to help wildlife survive and recover from future bushfires.
• Supporting 13 Indigenous-led projects with $3.7 million.
• Supporting 70 vets, vet nurses and vet students to undertake training in wildlife treatment and care.


  Bushfire recovery map

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

Minty the possum suffered burns to all four paws during the bushfires of summer 2019-20 © WWF-Australia / Matthew Harris

Responding to the emergency at scale

In a disaster of this scale, no one organisation can meet the needs of all the wildlife across the country. But together there are many incredible groups making it possible by doing critical and important work on the front line.

WWF-Australia partnered with over 40 wildlife rescue and care organisations in bushfire zones and directed immediate and urgent funds to respond to the emergency at scale.


This included:

  • Urgent care: supporting specialist veterinarians who are providing care and medical treatment to injured wildlife across Australia.
  • Food and water: providing starving wildlife with food and water in bushfire impacted regions.
  • Finding koalas and other fire-affected wildlife: deploying koala detection dogs and drones to bushfire sites to search for surviving koalas and conducting rapid threatened species assessments in fire-affected areas.
  • Supplies and triage: getting veterinary supplies to bushfire triage sites.

Learn more about our emergency response partners here.


Darren Grover, Head of Healthy Land and Seascapes, WWF-Australia inspecting burnt trees on Kangaroo Island © WWF-Australia / Paul Fahy

Darren Grover, Head of Healthy Land and Seascapes, WWF-Australia inspecting burnt trees on Kangaroo Island © WWF-Australia / Paul Fahy

The road to recovery

The devastation to our natural environment caused by the bushfires has been unprecedented and the recovery work ahead is immense.


Over the coming months and years, funds will be used to:


  • Assess the loss: enable the ongoing assessment of the impacts on wildlife and their habitats.
  • Restore wildlife habitat: restore what has been lost and protect remaining wildlife habitat from deforestation through our Towards Two Billion Trees plan.
  • Support Indigenous and rural fire management.

Learn more about the projects already underway to restore what we’ve lost.

A pair of Kangaroo Island glossy black-cockatoos in unburnt habitat in Cygnet Park, Kangaroo Island, 2020. © WWF-Aus / Paul Fahy

Kangaroo Island glossy black cockatoos found in un-burnt habitat © WWF-Australia / Paul Fahy

Future-proofing Australia

Even months after the last fire went out, we are still counting the cost of the damage and loss to wildlife and habitat. To protect the future of our forests and wildlife and to prepare for fire seasons to come, we must deliver a national wildlife and nature recovery plan.


Your donations help us:


  • Strengthen policy: allow us to work with governments to strengthen climate policy and biodiversity laws.
  • Species adaptation: support long-term conservation efforts for Australia’s native wildlife.
  • Secure Australia’s natural resources: ensure that Australia’s precious natural resources are protected for people and nature.
  • Innovate: explore and implement innovative solutions to help mitigate the impact of climate change and drive climate preparedness.
Here are some of the projects already underway.


The Australian Wildlife and Nature Recovery Fund

The WWF Australian Wildlife and Nature Recovery Fund was established in January 2020 in response to the catastrophic bushfires of 2019-20. The fund delivers:

Wildlife response: partnering with wildlife response organisations, communities and scientists nationally for swift and effective recovery at scale.

Habitat restoration for people and nature: restoring forests and homes for wildlife, stopping deforestation, cultivating habitat connectivity, core landscapes and Indigenous and rural fire management.

Future-proofing Australia: driving innovative solutions to help reduce climate change, driving climate preparedness, species adaptation and long-term wildlife and nature conservation efforts towards securing Australia’s natural resources for people and nature.

Allocation of funds

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

© WWF-Aus / Paul Fahy

A WWF-Australia Emergency Wildlife Response Partner:

- Has a reputation for efficiency, effectiveness, solvency and strong track record in relation to its treatment of animals;
- Has well-considered rescue and release protocols;
- Can confirm that its euthanasia policy, or approach, is for medical reasons only and that the decision is made by a trained professional;
- Has the capacity to scale its response based on the donation (i.e. that any donation will lead to additional benefits);
- Is able to assist with science-based species recovery in the future.


Support costs

Every donation received is critical in helping WWF-Australia respond to the impacts of the bushfires.

Delivering a response at this scale requires the skills and resources of the entire organisation: from our conservation scientists, ecologists, field teams and policy and legal experts, to the team that answers your calls and emails, accepts and deploys your donations and keeps you up-to-date with the latest news from the field.

We’re doing everything possible to keep support costs to a minimum.

WWF-Australia office © AP / Rick Stephens

© AP / Rick Stephens


We couldn’t do any of this work without the generosity of our supporters in Australia and around the world. Join us on this journey. Together it’s possible.




How we work


The response and rescue efforts as the world came together during Australia’s devastating 2019-20 bushfires.

Read more


Working together to protect wildlife and restore habitats after the fires.

Read more


Securing the future of Australia’s native wildlife and precious natural resources for people and nature.

Read more

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