Following the 2020 NSW Black Summer Bushfires, Science for Wildlife is the first grant recipient from the newly established Sydney Zoo Foundation, in partnership with the Ottomin Foundation and the Ivany Foundation, receiving $100,000 to support displaced animal species, mainly koalas, in the Blue Mountains area. This is the Sydney Zoo Foundation’s inaugural partnership grant and an opportunity to support a reputable, charitable organisation in its efforts to reinvigorate the Blue Mountains area, where many visitors of the Zoo reside, after the bushfires.
Science for Wildlife is a not-for-profit wildlife conservation organisation based in Sydney and has been conducting long-term population studies of Blue Mountains koalas. It is also supported by San Diego Zoo, who provided US$135,000 of support at the beginning of 2020 for the recovery effort.
Science for Wildlife represents a fitting alignment of interests and pursuits with the Sydney Zoo Foundation, as the Blue Mountains is in relatively close proximity to Sydney Zoo and native animals, and in particular koalas, are a popular attraction. In this context, the Zoo has a key responsibility to be involved in rehabilitation efforts.
Richard Kovacs, Chairman of the Ottomin Foundation and Sydney Zoo Foundation, said “Of the $100,000 provided to Science for Wildlife by the Sydney Zoo Foundation, $80,000 has been directed towards funding the construction and deployment of 80 large koala water towers through five population areas of koala habitat, which will make a large near-term impact. The balance of $20,000 has funded the acquisition and installation of remote monitoring cameras. This will enable remote wildlife surveys and a study of the return of animals to the affected areas.”