Local wildlife need your help this summer. Check out these small actions you can take to make a big difference.

Leave water out on hot days


During hot days, Victoria’s native animals can suffer heat-stress and even die – they often have few ways of escaping the heat. Providing wildlife safe access to water is something we can all do to help wildlife stay cool.

  1. Find a shallow, plastic or ceramic (non-metal) dish
  2. Find a shady spot close to shrubs or trees, away from pets and roads
  3. Place your dish at ground level for small mammals, birds and reptiles, or somewhere higher for possums or gliders.
  4. Place a rock or stick in the water for animals to climb out if they fall
  5. Keep the water clean for wildlife by changing it everyday and more regularly on really hot days
  6. Relax and enjoy the wildlife visiting your garden – see who comes to cool off.

Keep your dogs on a leash near fire-affected areas


Some of Australia’s native plants and animals are on the path to recovery after the devastating fires last summer. Pet dogs who roam off leash in and around fire-affected areas can pose a risk to the recovery of vulnerable native wildlife. 

Domestic dogs can be a greater risk to wildlife in burned areas. Wild animals may be more exposed and weakened, therefore more susceptible to stress from the presence of roaming dogs and vulnerable to harassment


Ensure your dogs are kept on a leash in or near fire-affected areas.  

Keep your cat safe at home


Our urban areas have never played a more important role as refuge areas for birdlife who have lost their habitat to bushfire. Pet cats who are left to roam can post a risk to the safety and recovery of these vulnerable native species and others.


This summer, choose to be a wildlife-friendly pet owner and ensure you keep your cat inside.

For tips and tricks to give your cat the safest and happiest life at home join the 26,000 members of our Safe Cat, Safe Wildlife community safecat.org.au  

Create a wildlife-friendly backyard

Presented by Gardening Australia 

As Victoria recovers from last year's bushfires, our gardens play an important role as refuge areas for birds, bats and other wildlife who have been displaced. 

We've teamed up with ABC TV's Gardening Australia to bring you a series of how-to videos to create a backyard that will help wildlife thrive during summer.


Ensure all netting used on fruit trees is Wildlife safe. This means ensuring the netting is a fine mesh, a good tip is anything you can stick your pinky finger through is too big. The netting is more similar to a shade cloth material and can be found at most home hardware stores, it is often referred to as hail guard or crop protection netting. White netting is best as it is more visible and detectable to wildlife.

When fitting the netting ensure it is strung tightly around a frame to avoid tangling any wildlife that may land on it. The netting should also be secured tightly around the base of the plant, limiting any room for wildlife to climb up and get caught inside the netting. 


Count the birds in your backyard


Our urban areas have never played a more important role as refuge areas for birdlife who have lost their habitat to recent bushfires. Citizen scientists recording bird sightings play an important role in the recovery of these species by providing information on where birds go after fire destroys their preferred habitat. This information helps guide recovery efforts and assists with understanding and planning for future bushfire emergencies. 

  1. Keep an eye out for birds in your backyard
  2. If you spot a bird you can log your sighting at Birds in Backyards via the link below
  3. If you can't identify a bird yourself, head to Birds in Backyards and use the "Bird Finder" tool to help

Drive carefully to protect wildlife 


An estimated 10 million animals are hit on Australian roads every year. Local species affected by bushfires or heat may be travelling across roads in search of food and water.

  • Ensure you drive carefully and stay alert to wildlife in regional and country areas. 
  • Try to limit your travel between sunset and sunrise, especially near forested or high wildlife areas.
  • Use high beam headlights when safe and watch the sides of the road carefully. As you approach the animal, return to normal headlights to avoid dazzling them or causing erratic behaviour.
  • If you find an injured or heat stressed animal visit our Emergency Wildlife Help to help you locate and contact the closest relevant expert who can give you the best advice

Seek help for injured or heat stressed wildlife


Time is often one of the most important factors for a sick, injured, orphaned or distressed animal. There are a number of organisations you can contact no matter what time of the day or where you are located that can provide emergency help for wildlife.


Follow the below link to see a list of the relevant organisations who you can contact to help distressed wildlife. 

Donate to Zoos Victoria Bushfire Emergency Wildlife Fund


When the devastating bushfires of last summer hit Victoria, we launched the Bushfire Emergency Wildlife Fund. This fund  is dedicated to the rescue and recovery of bushfire-affected wildlife and enhancing preparedness for future wildlife responses. This summer, you can help ensure that wildlife stand a chance against bushfire, by donating to support our crucial work.


Follow the link below to make a donation to Zoos Victoria’s Bushfire Emergency Wildlife Fund.

Support for this project has been provided by the Equity Trustees Animal Welfare Program.