Australia may be 8,000 miles away from the Pacific Northwest but the current fires happening there have international implications and impacts countless people, animals, and ecosystems. Smoke from these fires have even crossed oceans to nearby New Zealand and even Chile!
These fires are a tragic reminder that climate change is a present danger to the Earth and its inhabitants now. An estimated 500 million animals have died (that’s half a billion animals); thousands have lost their home; and sadly, there have been a few people to lose their lives. Koalas are having an incredibly difficult time as these fires rage through some koala colonies. If you feel an affinity to one of Australia’s iconic animals, you can even adopt a koala and support wildlife rehabilitation! Both the World Wildlife Federation and the Port Macquarie Hospital have koala adoption programs. Be warned: because of the high demand, this process may be slowed down a bit so you might have to be patient.
Here are some places to donate to (and a few resources):
- WIRES, a wildlife rescue based in Australia
- World Wildlife Federation
- Port Macquarie Hospital, a koala hospital based in Australia.
- Australian Fire Services, such as:
Here’s how to help Australia bushfire victims By Amy Chillag and Lauren Lee, CNN
- How to Help Koalas, Evacuees, and Firefighters as Australia’s “Apocalyptic” Fires Worsen by Alexandra Whittaker
- How To Help Save Australia’s Koalas After Thousands Died In The Fires by Caroline Burke
- How To Help Australia Wildfire Victims As The Blazes Continue To Burn by Nina Kahn
As with any issue and organization, it’s important to do your own research! In natural disasters like this, I try to make sure that any GoFundMe is directly linked to the person or organization (because there have been some unfortunate cases where that’s not the case). Plus, the site Charity Navigator does a pretty good job at rating different nonprofits but focuses only on nonprofits based in the United States.