More critically endangered wildlife thought wiped out by bushfires emerge - National Tree Day Blog

More critically endangered wildlife thought wiped out by bushfires emerge

Stories of survival are still cropping up around the country six months on from the summer’s devastating bushfires. Two critically endangered species thought to have not survived the bushfires have resurfaced in different parts of the country, overjoying conservationists.

More than 90% of the smoky mouse’s habitat, in southern NSW, had been ravaged by the fires and conservationists feared the worst for their survival. Motion-sensor cameras were set up in the months that followed, and conservationists watched with delight as the native rodent was spotted alive and well at seven different burnt out locations. 

Conservationists were similarly astonished when the critically endangered Kangaroo Island dunnart recently emerged from badly burnt bushland on Kangaroo Island off the coast of South Australia. The island was hit hard by the fires, destroying vast swathes of bushland and its wildlife, as well as many properties. 

The species, which is only found on the island, was spotted in an area that was left with no green vegetation, showing a resilience much larger than the pocket-sized animal. The Kangaroo Island Land for Wildlife team have worked with local landowners to monitor the movements of the animal. 

Peter Hammond, whose property had been used to track the dunnart, told Kids News the discovery as “the most exciting thing to happen this year”. He and other members of the community remain baffled as to how the animal survived the devastation of his property and the entire surrounding district.

Volunteers have been busy building shelter tunnels to provide safe passage for the dunnart and other small threatened creatures as they are under threat from feral cats and other predators also seeking survival in a now barren land.

These discoveries of unlikely survival have provided much needed delight to both locals and conservationists in the aftermath of one of the worst bushfires to sweep the country. Stories of destruction are finally being joined by stories of recovery, regeneration and resilience.


Positive Action

  • If you’re a cat owner, ensure it remains close to home as feral cats are a primary predator for the Australia's threatened marsupials.
  • Join a bush regeneration team in your local area to help the environment recover from the bushfires and provide sanctuary for its wildlife.
  • Find out how you can support native regeneration in your area with National Tree Day.


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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.

Laura Chalk

Laura joined Planet Ark in 2016. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience having travelled the world and a background in teaching English as a second language among other things.