The best day tours to help australia with bush fire recovery
“There has been an unprecedented desire to assist affected wildlife from travellers across the globe,” said John Daw, Executive Officer of Australian Wildlife Journeys. “The development of these conservation action days is an important step in providing travellers with an opportunity to take an active role in land restoration efforts, whilst enjoying the iconic wildlife encounters our regions are renowned for.”
Australian Wildlife Journeys has recently launched a series of coordinated conservation action days, to assist in rehabilitating habitat to support wild animal populations adjacent to fire-affected areas and beyond.
This initiative will see some of Australia’s leading wildlife tour operators team up with local conservation organisations over various dates in July and August. Opportunities have been scheduled to allow travellers to visit multiple Australian regions, taking into account optimal times for regenerative programs. Activities will range from planting trees and eradicating weeds to assist Koalas in Victoria, through to tracking and monitoring the endangered Kangaroo Island Dunnart population in South Australia.
The Koala, one of Australia’s most iconic and loved species, has experienced significant population loss across bushfire affected regions this summer. Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours has been conducting wild Koala research since 1998 in the You Yangs region of Victoria and are the major supporter and donor of not for profit Koala Clancy Foundation.
Owner and Founder of Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours, Janine Duffy, has been offering Koala Conservation Days once a month for Melbourne residents, but the recently developed Koala Recovery Experience marks the first time that action days have been targeted towards international and interstate travellers, with the option to participate from one to three days.
“Koalas need trees planted, and they need them urgently. Climate change is reducing rainfall and increasing temperatures, leading to Koala deaths by bushfire, drought and heat. In our region, the solution is trees planted along rivers, rich in moisture and cool on the hottest days,” said Duffy.
“We have a vision of a huge network of river forests, planted by volunteers and now travellers, on private farmland and cared for by local farmers. This type of linear forest will keep Koalas cool, hydrated, and also protect them from bushfires.”
One of Australia’s most popular wildlife destinations, Kangaroo Island, is also a key focus for bushfire recovery efforts. The western end of island is habitat for some of Australia’s most endangered species, such as the Glossy Black-cockatoo, Kangaroo Island Dunnart and the Southern Brown Bandicoot.
Kangaroo Island Land for Wildlife, is a biodiversity conservation program, working with landholders with a focus on increasing the population of threatened species. Leading tour operator, Exceptional Kangaroo Island, has recently partnered with Kangaroo Island Land for Wildlife to offer travellers a day tour, providing the opportunity to assist with the recovery of these endangered species, as well as other native plants and animals. This will include tracking, monitoring and improving habitat for the Kangaroo Island Dunnart in the north-western region of Kangaroo Island.
“As wildlife tourism operators, we are totally dependent on a healthy environment, so it’s vital to find ways to support organisations regenerating wildlife habitat such as Kangaroo Island Land for Wildlife”, said Craig Wickham, Owner of Exceptional Kangaroo Island.
“The recent bushfires have highlighted the importance of further research into our native animal populations across the island. Already, new methods have been employed which are finding threatened species such as Sooty Dunnarts and Southern Brown Bandicoots in higher densities than previously anticipated. Our tourism partnership will educate travellers as well as bring resources to those doing important conservation work in refuge areas.”
This mission of land rehabilitation is as important in the vast regions of the country that were unaffected by the bushfires, as it is for those that have been impacted.
FNQ Nature Tours who operate small group wildlife adventures out of Cairns, has partnered with the Australian Quoll Conservancy to assist Australia’s largest carnivorous marsupials in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area in Far North Queensland; one of the richest areas for biodiversity in the world. With an estimated population of less than 350 animals left in the region, conservation efforts are critical to save this lesser-known but fascinating species.
This tour provides guests the unique opportunity to enter research locations not accessible to the public, to check camera traps and motion detection areas to catalogue sightings, document food sources, log behaviours and search for evidence of visits from the Spotted-tailed Quolls.
“The Australian spirit is one of mateship through good and challenging times”, said Daw. “Participating in these projects and supporting regional communities for a few days as part of a longer Australian itinerary, is one of the most effective ways that travellers can create a better future for our wildlife and experience this spirit for themselves.”
These action days include a fee to participate, to cover the program costs and contribute directly to the partner foundations. Travellers can browse dates for the various conservation action tours and book these experiences via the Australian Wildlife Journeys website, or with their preferred travel consultant.