Sam Rye Partners Wild Futures

Restoring Homes For Threatened Species – Bushfire Recovery with Boral

Refuge from Bushfires

With an estimated 1.25 billion animals killed during the 2019-20 bushfires, and 18.5 million hectares of land burnt, our bushfire recovery efforts are focused not only on restoration of affected communities, but also preparing for and mitigating future bushfire impacts.

We’re delighted to be supported in these efforts by Boral who have got behind us as our National Bushfire Recovery Partner. Through this major partnership, Boral will be funding a diverse range of projects to help restore habitats and support wildlife impacted by the fires.

“As a proud Australian business, Boral is committed to supporting its neighbours and the broader community, especially during difficult times. The past 12 to 18 months have been among the most challenging we have faced as a nation, starting with the bushfires in late 2019 that left behind so much destruction and heartache.”

– Zlatko Todorcevski, Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director of Boral


The CVA Bushfire Recovery effort focuses on the twin goals of habitat recovery & resilience, and community recovery & resilience, which is at the heart of mission to strengthen the health of communities and ecosystems for mutual benefit, across Australia.

So, in the months and years after significant fire events, whilst it’s important to focus on the acceleration of restoration processes which benefit native plants and animals, and suppress invasive weeds and pest animals, we also recognise the importance of building community connection and promoting healing through connection to place. This approach is backed up by seminal studies such as ‘Beyond Bushfires’ by University of Melbourne.

In addition to initial environmental recovery needs, we’re also focusing on important refuge areas – remaining patches of lesser-burnt bushland and nearby habitats become important refuges for species to recover and repopulate the surrounding area over time. And on the community side, we are working to support local communities to participate in and become leaders of their own recovery response has better long-term outcomes.

To do this important work, we’ve identified four priority areas where everyday people can make a difference for threatened species which have been pushed to the brink during Black Summer:



The Hawkesbury Nepean was directly burnt in the 2019-20 bushfires by the Gospers Mountain fire (approximately 100,000ha, covering 50% of the Hawkesbury LGA). The area has a number of high priority species and threatened ecological communities. CVA is working with several key partners including Landcare networks and other community and research groups to help restore and protect both burnt and refuge habitat.

Gospers Mountain Black Summer Fire NSW - European Space Agency

Image courtesy of European Space Agency

We will restore 2 sections of waterways to protect Platypus, including monitoring activities (eDNA collection), weed and erosion control. In addition we’ll be engaging and connecting people within bushfire-affected communities, and rallying around landholders to restore vital habitat for Koalas, Cumberland Plain Woodland plants, Woodland Birds and Kangaroos. Activities in this region will benefit threatened species koala, platypus, swift parrot, Large Bent-winged Bat. They will also benefit other species: quolls, echidnas, sugar and squirrel gliders, possums, wallabies, flying foxes – all essential for maintaining healthy ecosystems.



Supporting the restoration of a property near Dorrigo in mid-north coast NSW that was severely affected by the bushfires. The local landholders here are keen bush regenerators and have their own nurseries where they are raising plants and helping neighbours recover from bushfires. With nearly 30 threatened or vulnerable species of plants and animals the property has been surveyed by ecologists and university researchers as a surviving remnant of Gondwanan Rainforest in mid-north coast NSW.

We aim to support landowners with additional local community volunteers to restore habitat for threatened species through in-person events, build connections and capacity to foster long term community resilience. 800 plants will be established to enrich diversity of native plants which would occur naturally in this area. Activities will support threatened species including: Koala, Brown Tree-Creeper, Spotted-tail Quoll, Wompoo Fruit-dove, Superb Fruit-dove, Rose-crowned Fruit-dove.



Over 140,000ha was burned in the Richmond Valley which sits in the Northern Rivers region of NSW. Pre-Bushfires it had been suffering from persistent and severe drought, but is home to state forests and national parks as well as private forested land which are home to 413 species, five populations and 18 ecological communities listed as endangered or vulnerable in the Northern Rivers Catchment Management Authority (NRCMA) area.

We will engage community and local landholders to restore habitat for threatened species through in-person events. We’ll be building connections and trust and fostering long term community resilience. Activities will support threatened species including: Koala, brown tree-creeper, Bordered Guinea-flower, Pale-Headed snake, Swift Parrot.



Fires engulfed Kangaroo Island and burnt almost half of the 440ha island, much of which affected the Flinders Chase National Park with very severe burns experienced through large parts of this area. With its rugged wilderness and unique native plants, Kangaroo Island is home to some of Australia’s most iconic wildlife species. 90% of the endangered Kangaroo Island Dunnart habitat was burnt, 75% of the endangered Glossy Black-Cockatoo population lived in the bushfire zone, and estimates are that only 5,000-10,000 of the previously 50,000 Koala population survived.

Kangaroo Island after Black Summer Fires - Image by Stephen Mitchell

Kangaroo Island after Black Summer Fires – Image by Stephen Mitchell

Here we will engage and activate local community in weed control activities to protect pockets of remnant bush that were unburnt, and remove seedlings growing back in severely burnt forests. Community building and long term community resilience locally, as well as offering opportunities for people from SA or other states to travel to Kangaroo Island to engage in recovery activities. Activities will benefit threatened species such as: the Kangaroo Island Dunnart, Kangaroo Island Glossy Black-Cockatoo, and Koalas (note: the southern Koala population is not listed as threatened).


Glossy Black Cockatoo - Image by David Cook

Glossy Black Cockatoo – Image by David Cook


“The 2019-20 bushfire season is still raw in the hearts and minds of millions of Australians and there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to support the recovery of our communities and the habitats of our native species. We are grateful to have Boral as our National Bushfire Recovery Partner. With their funding and support we are able to continue our recovery efforts and support the healing and restoration of our communities.”

– Phil Harrison, CEO of Conservation Volunteers Australia


We look forward to working with these communities in the months ahead, and making a difference to bushfire recovery for threatened species and their habitats, and the communities and individuals who get involved in the recovery efforts.

To get involved in any of these projects, jump into our volunteering hub and search for the regions mentioned above.

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To get involved in any of the projects above, jump into our volunteering hub and search for the regions or "bushfire"