Responding to Cyclone Yasi in an Already Beleaguered Queensland
Just days after our "final" post on the Australia flooding response, I find myself in Queensland with Tania Duratovic assessing the extent of the damage cyclone Yasi did to more than 100 wildlife care facilities in the region. Yasi was a category five cyclone almost the size of the United States, so the damage could have been a lot worse if it had hit land more centrally.
Still, the damage is pretty widespread. With the land totally saturated and a lot of vegetation stripped during the floods the environment just didn't have much capacity to absorb a storm of this magnitude. One wildlife carer we spoke to had accepted 34 birds in one day, and had six more on the way.
In addition to injured wildlife, we also expect a lot of animals will need food and shelter until their natural habitat is able to support them. Another wildlife carer we spoke to lost power at her center and had to relocate all the animals to her house. It’s likely that 50% of the wildlife care facilities sustained damage during the storm and need to be rebuilt to provide safe shelter for animals.
There are a lot of people doing good work for animals here. We’ll be working with the local wildlife association, wildlife care facilities, and vets to implement both a coordinated response to the immediate crisis and a plan to restore the long-term capacity to support wildlife in the region.
For more information on the International Fund for Animal Welfare efforts to save animals in crisis around the world, visit http://www.ifaw.org