It was announced today that The Birmingham Zoo has designated $10,000 to help save populations of wildlife impacted by the devastating Australian bushfires.
In an urgent response to the current disaster in New South Wales, the Birmingham Zoo is taking immediate action to support the needs of affected wildlife and for habitat rehabilitation.
University of Sydney Professor Chris Dickman has estimated that a billion animals of varying species – not including insects, frogs, bats or fish – may have perished in the fires. More than 1.5 million acres of the bushland has been affected.
Birmingham Zoo President and CEO Chris Pfefferkorn, stated the $10,000 donation will come from the Zoo’s Conservation Fund and will be donated to the Zoo and Aquarium Association, Australasia, a sister organization to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums here in the United States.
According to a release, the Zoo has partnerships with several Australian conservation organizations that are working to save wildlife in Australia’s unique ecosystems. Several Zoo staff have worked with such organizations over the years and have conducted boots-on-the-ground research in an effort to conserve many keystone species that hold entire ecosystems together.
“Birmingham Zoo has deep compassion for the tremendous loss of Australian wildlife, ecosystems and for the people affected by the ongoing bushfire devastation,” said Chris Pfefferkorn, Birmingham Zoo president and CEO. “We are concerned for the animals and our Australian colleagues—this hits home for us, it’s personal to us – we are going to do all we can to help our Australian wildlife conservation partners have the tools they need to recover.”
The community can help with the current Australian bushfire crisis by visiting the Birmingham Zoo on Valentine’s weekend. From Feb. 14-16, a portion of the funds from each paid admission ticket will be donated to ZAA for increased aide to wildlife affected by wildfires.
The zoo will be matching up to $5,000 from paid admissions on that weekend with the goal of donating a total gift of $20,000 to support the wildlife of Australia. All funds raised will be used for critical care and long term recovery, restoration and rehabilitation of Australian wildlife.
In addition, zoo officials are encouraging anyone wanting to contribute to donate to the Zoo and Aquarium Association, Australasia Wildlife Conservation Fund.