Drone supports bushfire animal survivor search

29/01/2020

While we don’t have a complete picture of the scale of the crisis, leading experts estimate over a billion animals have been killed in bushfires this season, with millions of hectares burnt across the country.

Animals are often the forgotten victims of natural disasters. However, the global generosity and support the Australian bushfires have received has been overwhelming. Thank you!

Top photo: Bushfire affected area on the NSW South Coast.

Last week our disaster management team were in the Shoalhaven and Macarthur regions to assess the impact of the bushfires on Australian animals to support long-term recovery. They also supported the local university in the search for surviving animals using infrared/thermal drone imagery.

Infrared/thermal drone imagery after Australian bushfires

While the team were unable to locate any injured survivors, they were heartened to hear bird songs and insect sounds in the area.

Dr Juan Carlos Murillo, Disaster Response Manager for World Animal Protection said:

“Unlike the other disaster sites, I’ve visited over the past 20 years there weren’t decomposing animal carcasses or the smell of rotting.

 

“This gives me hope that some of the wildlife in this area had sufficient time to escape before the fire hit.”

Until all the fires stop burning, we won’t know the full extent of damage, but we do know the way Australia plans and prepares for animals in disasters needs to change.

From our 50 years’ experience in disaster management we know the hardest work is yet to come. That is why we’re focussing our efforts on the long-term recovery and disaster resilience of Australians animals. 

Animals are often the forgotten victims of natural disasters. However, the global generosity and support the Australian bushfires have received has been overwhelming. Thank you!

Our work wouldn’t be possible without people like you who care so deeply for animals in need.

 

(Image credit: Ian Wallis)