Moreton Island Bushfire Animals

Mon, 02 Dec 2019

By Tangalooma Island Resort

Silent Victims of the Bushfire

Wildlife across Australia is in the grips of natural disaster as firefighters continue to battle destructive fires across the bushlands of Australia. The wildlife living in the Gheebulum Coonungai (Moreton Island) National Park are no exception, and with the recent devastating fires,  a number of the birds and animals on the island were sadly affected.

A large electrical storm rolled through the island on Saturday 16th November, sparking a devastating fire that rapidly spread to the northern parts of Moreton Island. A number of residents' homes were under threat around the Cowan Cowan and Bulwer townships, but thanks to the tireless firefighters and local residents, no homes were lost. Aside from a brief period when the winds changed dramatically, Tangalooma was not under threat from the fires and even served as an evacuation centre for numerous campers and displaced Moreton Island residents.

The fire affected many of the native birds, reptiles, mammals and small marsupials living in the bushland, who also had to flee their homes and escape as the trees that housed them were quickly destroyed. The bushfires affected many animals including a little Kingfisher, which was then nicknamed Obi by the Eco Rangers who luckily were able to offer a helping hand at his time in need. Obi was very fortunately found by a resident on the island; completely exhausted and in dire need of assistance. Thankfully, the Eco Centre Team (and George the Welcome Sparrow) were ready to look after him, soon managing to get him comfortable and hydrated.

Poor Obi had suffered the horrific experience of losing his home, and after closer inspection of his feathers, the Eco Rangers discovered singe marks and burnt feathers from the fire. Although Obi was showing signs of improvement after receiving a few meal worms and electrolytes in water, the Eco Rangers later decided that it would be best to send Obi back to the mainland to be fully rehabilitated until he could fly again.

We hope that Obi will soon make a full recovery and be released back onto Moreton Island in the coming weeks. Unfortunately, not all of the birds and animals were as lucky as Obi, and much of the wildlife both on Moreton Island and around Australia still desperately need our help. With the low rainfall forecasted, dry conditions and ongoing land clearing around the country, there are a few easy ways that we can help them.

If you have birds that visit your yard, planting native trees like Grevilleas, Lillie Pillys, Bottlebrush and Banksias help provide shelter and food for our beautiful wildlife. To help them keep hydrated we could even install a bird bath, or if you don’t have access to a bird bath then you can simply place a small bowl of water outside in an area where small birds and mammals can access it if they are dehydrated.

These simple measures can help protect our native wildlife during the summer period and are invaluable to help and protect our native wildlife. The future of these threatened species depends on us making the right choices and taking simple actions to help safeguard them into the future.

About the author

Tangalooma Island Resort

Take the world's 3rd largest sand island…add a splash of sunshine, balmy sea breezes, a dash of discovery and a handful of adventure, and you've got Tangalooma Island Resort. An island oasis, just a 75 minute cruise from Brisbane.

Book Now