In the wake of the 2019-20 bushfires which ravaged parts of the continent, killing more than a billion animals, Australian Wildlife Conservancy has received a $1.3 million boost from ShareGift Australia, a public ancillary fund.
AWC Chief Executive Tim Allard says the funds will help AWC continue its work to secure the future for threatened native species.
“This gift will help us to secure the future of endangered species, like the Gouldian Finch, Purple-crowned Fairy-wren and Northern Quoll, by enabling us to address the key threats to their survival – like feral animals, weeds and wildfire – on a landscape scale,” Mr Allard said.
“The recent catastrophic bushfires which saw the destruction of more than a billion native animals highlighted the important role that organisations like AWC have in protecting Australia’s biodiversity.
“This generous gift comes at a critical moment for Australia’s wildlife. With around 80 per cent of AWC’s team based in the field, this gift will make a big impact at the front-line of conservation and could spell the difference between survival and extinction for a whole suite of iconic Australian species.”
This is ShareGift’s first ever funding to a single charity over $1 million. It’s Executive Director, Anna Draffin, said: “We are pleased to support Australian conservation with this significant gift given the recent devastation caused by the bushfires, hence, the ShareGift board’s decision to bring forward the timing from its usual annual funding round.”
ShareGift’s share sale donation service allows any Australian retail shareholder to donate a parcel of shares, large or small. Collectively, ShareGift has contributed over $3 million to Australian communities since its inception.
AWC staff have been mobilised and are working with organisations and landholders whose properties were devastated by the fires.
In northern New South Wales, AWC staff are working with South Endeavour Trust to measure the ecological health of two of its properties, and on Kangaroo Island off the South Australian coast, AWC has partnered with Kangaroo Island Land for Wildlife and private landholders, the Doube family, successfully completing construction of a feral predator-proof fence to create a critical refuge for the endangered Kangaroo Island Dunnart. Stage 2 will see the refuge expanded to 370 hectares to protect up to seven threatened animal species.
“We have a fantastic team of dedicated and skilled field ecologists and land managers, but we cannot fulfil our mission without the commitment and support of our wonderful donors and volunteers. We are very grateful for this generous gift.” Mr Allard said.