Water For Wildlife

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WIRES is calling on landowners in drought and fire affected areas with an interest in the welfare of local wildlife to apply for a Water for Wildlife drinker.

WIRES, Reece, Wildsip, WWF Australia, PaddlePop and the University of Sydney have partnered on a national project to provide long-term support to wildlife in by supplementing water via arboreal drinkers.

Applications extended

Eligibility Guidelines

Water For Wildlife

Program Overview

800 drinkers are being provided free of charge to recipients in fire and drought affected areas, and in areas where drinkers will support wildlife recovery or minimise risk for wildlife re future emergencies.

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Why provide supplemental water?

Over the Black Summer of 2019/2020, long-term drought compounded by months of horrific fires took a tragic toll on native wildlife. Millions of hectares of habitat were destroyed, nearly 3 billion animals were lost or displaced and the long-term impact of these losses on biodiversity is still unclear.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology 2019 was Australia's hottest on record. Thankfully due to recent rain the coming fire season is expected to be less devastating than 2019/2020, however, the longer term climate forecasts are indicating that fire seasons will be longer and extreme weather events will continue to increase in frequency and intensity.

The Expert Panel appointed by the Federal Government assessed post-fires that 119 animal species were at the highest risk of potential extinction, including the koala. Focusing on how best to support wild populations longer-term WIRES began working with Dr Valentina Mella, Postdoctoral Research Associate - Animal Behaviour and Conservation, School of Life and Environmental Science at The University of Sydney in January 2020.

Dr Mella's past research had previously found that koalas used supplemented water extensively throughout the year, even during cooler months. Time spent drinking varied with season and depended on days since last rain and temperature. The more days without rain, the more time koalas spent drinking. When temperature was high, visits to water stations were more frequent, indicating that in hot weather koalas need regular access to free water. The arboreal drinkers were also regularly visited by other native animals including; sugar gliders, squirrel gliders, feathertail gliders, brushtail possums, tree frogs, geckos, pythons, a variety of birds including eastern rosellas, musk lorikeets, noisy miners, galahs, cockatoos, butcher birds, kites, apostle birds and magpies.

Thanks to the generous support of the global community, WWF Australia, Unilever, Reece and their suppliers, WIRES launched the Water for Wildlife project in 2020 with Robert Frend from Wildsip Pty Ltd who designed and produced the TREE TROFF® drinkers.

To find out more please review these frequently asked questions.

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