Community Spirit Blossoms After Fires

Image source: Photographer Bernard Jean

As we recover from recent bushfires, the community spirit is blossoming. Jolene Ogle discovers an army of dedicated locals who are giving nature a helping hand.

bushfire recoveryThe Queensland bushfire season is upon us with a series of bushfires already experienced in our local area. For the Peregian Beach fire alone, 120 Queensland Fire and Emergency Service trucks were on the scene along with eight
aircraft, 300 Rural Fire Service (RFS) and Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) firefighters and 60 SES volunteers.

While the team did an extraordinary job to protect homes and residents, the impact on wildlife has been immeasurable.

Rachel Lyons of Wildcare Australia (pictured with Kim Morris of Bushland Conservation Management and two of the nest boxes that will be installed in local bushlands) said finding survivors was almost impossible.

“The Peregian fire was such a hot, intense blaze,” she says. “The animals were just incinerated. It was catastrophic
for those who couldn’t get away in time.”

The good news was that no koalas were impacted in the Peregian Beach fire, as confirmed by well-known koala
enthusiast and Queensland Koala Crusader member Bernard Jean.

In the immediate aftermath of the Peregian Beach fire, the community raised a whopping $26,000 for the RFS
and following the Cooroibah and North Shore fires, the community was quick to start a fundraising campaign to support volunteer organisations working with local wildlife.

The IN Noosa Magazine launch party was held just a few days after the Peregian Beach fire was contained and it felt right to use the event as a chance to raise funds for those working on the frontline, protecting and rehabilitating local wildlife.

Guests donated $600 with the funds going to Wildcare Australia, a not-forprofit organisation that cares for wildlife,
who commissioned the construction of nest boxes for the Glossy Black Cockatoo.

Noosa Landcare managed the project with Tree Fix volunteering to install the boxes high in mature trees within the
National Park to provide a safe home for the birdlife returning to the scorched regions of Noosa. Thanks to our wonderful clients and team who contributed!

A long and hot summer is predicted for Australia, making it hard for our native wildlife. Rachel says native flying foxes were facing one of the worst dehydration epidemics.

“Flying Foxes are one of the most important species for pollinating eucalyptus trees that in turn, feed our wild koala populations,” she said. “They also spread seeds that help rejuvenate bushlands like those burned in the Peregian fire.”

How to help:

  • Leave out a shallow bowl of water for wildlife. Put a rock in it to ensure lizards and small animals don’t get trapped;
  • Place fruit in a mesh bag and hang it at least two metres high to help feed flying foxes and other local fruit-eating animals;
  • Placing a nest box in any tall trees can help replace old-growth trees with big hollows and give animals somewhere safe to rest;
  • Don’t encourage wildlife into your yard if they will be at risk from your dog or cat.


About the Author /

Jolene has worked in the local media industry for more than five years. She is now a small business owner, mother to one sassy toddler and a newborn baby and loves to share stories about Noosa from its glorious food scene to the inspiring people.


  • Bob Carey
    Dec, 2019

    Your printed version contains an important photo of the two women with the Glossy Black Cockatoo nest boxes,but is missing from this online one. Could you please include it , as i am referring friends to your article. Thank you

    • Deb Caruso
      Dec, 2019

      Hi Bob, Our office is closed until 6 January but I will see if I can upload the photo in question. 🙂 You can also read the article online by going to the “latest edition” page.

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