Responding to the Bushfire Crisis on Kangaroo Island

Timeframe: 2020 - 2022
Country/Region: Kangaroo Island, Australia.
Partner: Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC)

Australia has the worst mammal extinction rate in the world. Since European settlement, 31 species have gone extinct. This decline is ongoing: nearly one-third of Australian mammals are currently threatened with extinction and this number may rise as a result of the recent catastrophic bushfires.

The devastating 2019/20 bushfires in southern and eastern Australia have decimated the habitats of many Australian wildlife species. Kangaroo Island, located off the mainland of South Australia was particularly affected by the bushfires with almost half of the Island burnt. Of all Australia’s mammal species, the Kangaroo Island (KI) Dunnart is thought to have been the most severely impacted by the catastrophic wildfires. More than 95% of the habitat of the KI Dunnart was completely obliterated, leaving the surviving KI Dunnarts extremely vulnerable in the aftermath of the fires without access to food or adequate shelter to hide.

Fondation Segré partnered with AWC to secure surviving Dunnarts and place them in the safety of a secure area, providing essential food, shelter and protection from predators. In addition, our funding would help the construction of a larger fenced area (370 ha) to provide a feral predator-free haven in which the remaining Dunnarts can begin to re-establish their population. The proposed actions will be complemented by regular monitoring to track the health and population of the Dunnarts.