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In Australia, wildlife conservation is an important topic and has been for a very long time. Australian wildlife is varied, unique and has some of the greatest diversity on the planet.
In this post, we will cover why wildlife conservation is important, the threats facing our wildlife and how it can be tackled, what you can do to help, and how AWA supports wildlife conservation.
Australia is thought to be home to 600,000 – 700,000 different species and is one of the twelve megadiverse countries; these countries collectively contain 75% of the earths biodiversity (variety of life). Australia also has the second-largest number of endemic (found only in Australia) species in the world. This makes it even more important to save Australian wildlife, if they aren’t conserved here on our home soil they could vanish not only in this country but across the world.
Fauna spotter on construction site. Credit: ausecology
A Koala on a burnt tree, Kangaroo Island. Credit: Julie Fletcher, WWF Australia
Warlpiri people burning spinifex to promote growth in Tanami Desert, Northern Territory.
Credit: Auscape/Universal Images Group/Getty Images
Introduced species and can threaten local wildlife, either by hunting, spreading disease, or using up resources. Common introduced species include foxes which prey upon native rodents and marsupials, and rabbits which can clear and damage vegetation that native animals depend upon. In addition, as much as we love our furry friends, dogs and cats are also introduced and can be a threat to local wildlife. However, there are solutions; desexing, microchipping, and registering of domesticated animals are standard practice in most places to reduce feral populations. In your own backyard you can minimise their exposure to native wildlife with fences, screened off areas and attaching a bell to your pet.
Wildlife conservancy in Australia is also carried out by private or not-for-profit organisations. These entities purchases vast areas of land, ensuring it will never be available for any sort of development and will be dedicated solely to protecting our wildlife. These large scale wildlife sanctuaries sprawl across millions of acres through support from donors and innovative partnerships with Indigenous groups, governments and landholders, they are able to contribute to ensuring our wildlife species survive and thrive.
On a national and local level, there are numerous wildlife rescue organisations active across the country. These organisations help rescue and care for injured or frightened animals and are pillars of the effort to sustain our wildlife. They offer excellent support and can usually be on site very quickly to rescue the animal. They also provide excellent initial first guidance before they arrive such as what to do if you find an injured or stressed animal: you should contact RSPCA, (Royal society for the prevention of Cruelty to Animals), your nearest veterinarian or your local wildlife carer organisation as soon as possible so that it may receive appropriate treatment. Wild animals become stressed by handling, so you should seek expert advice before handling an injured animal. Try to minimise the amount of exposure the injured animal has to people and loud noises. Do not attempt to feed or treat it unless you have specialist knowledge or training.
Wildlife Conservation is not just the responsibility of organisations, charities or communities. You can have an impact and contribute to preserving this fragile ecosystem. World Wildlife Fund Australia recommends to get involved in the following ways:
Other ways to get involved could include volunteering for a local wildlife group, or volunteering your time towards a citizen science project such as the Aussie Backyard Bird Count or Reef Check Australia. If you are fortunate to have a backyard you could invest in some native plants to make your garden more wildlife friendly. And the next time you’re stuck for ideas for a day out, why not head to a local nature reserve; not only will you get to see the wildlife but if you spend some money while you’re there it’ll help a local organisation.
At AWA, it was clear from the get-go that, as people who are passionate about Australian Wildlife Art, we wanted a percentage of our profits to be donated to conservation efforts. The reason the artists are able to paint such beautiful wildlife is because it is still around for us to appreciate and must continue to be. The artists themselves are active across several wildlife organisations and sell their art in order to support these organisations. Our partnership with Friends of the Koala Inc means that through selling our beautiful Australian Wildlife art we can support a local organisation dedicated to preserving one of the most iconic Australian animals, whose habitat is constantly under threat. A percentage of our profit is donated each year to Friends of the Koala Inc to ensure we play a role in conserving our wonderful unique ecosystem. We look forward to a fruitful partnership in 2021!
So nice to see local companies help out with this!!! We found a stranded baby possum in the yard the other day, took it to our local vet and a wildlife carer showed up to take care of it. Thanks for the tips, we try to use as little plastic as possible but we can definitely do more, I’ll talk to the husband and kids!