FAQs #ForOurFauna

What is #ForOurFauna?

#ForOur Fauna is an online hashtag campaign aiming to raise awareness for animals impacted by climate change.

There hasn’t been an opportunity for animal care professionals and animal lovers to grieve the loss of these animals since last summer. By bringing our online community together, we can start the process of healing, raise our voices for animals who cannot, help stop the destruction of habitats and reduce the number of species being pushed to extinction by tackling climate change.

Why join #ForOurFauna campaign?

  • We are coming together as an online community to grieve the animals who were lost.

  • We want increase awareness and knowledge of how climate change is impacting animals, to create a better future for animals.

  • We must act now on climate change to protect animals from worsening extreme weather, such as bushfires.

  • We can do this by reducing our reliance on fossil fuels: coal, oil and gas, and move as a community to renewable energy such as solar and wind.

  • There are lots of actions you can take as an individual, family or business to play a role in addressing the climate crisis. Learn more by taking one of the pledges outlined as part of this event.

Should I talk about #ForOurFauna & the impact of climate change on animals?

A really important part of being involved in this event is explaining the why to your community so that they can tell their families and friends, as well as choose to take action on behalf of animals. We’ve gathered together some of the clearest facts about last summer and their impact on animals to help you tell that story.

Why did these fires spark so much change?

Australia’s bushfires over the 2019/20 season were unprecedented in scale and destruction. Fueled by climate change, the hottest and driest year ever recorded resulted in fires that burned through land two-and-a-half times the size of Tasmania (more than 17 million hectares) and affected nearly 80 percent of Australians.

  • The 2019/2020 summer saw some of the worst bushfires on record in Australia, fueled by climate change.

  • The hottest and driest year ever recorded resulted in fires that burned through land two-and-a-half times the size of Tasmania.

  • 450 Australians lost their lives to smoke and fire and thousands were made homeless.

How did the Megafires of 2019/2020 effect animals?

Australia’s animals were not spared from the horrors of the 2019/20 bushfires with an estimated three billion animals killed or displaced from their homes. They are not alone, with animals both wild and domestic being threatened by climate change.

  • These fires had a devastating impact on Australia’s animals.

  • An estimated 3 BILLION animals we killed or displaced by the fire.

  • Some animals were unable to escape the flames, and perished, while others did not have food or water to survive in their wake, succumbing slowly to thirst and hunger.

  • Hundreds of thousands of domestic animals were killed, such as cows and sheep, as well as the many wild mammals, birds and reptiles.

Further Reading

To better understand the impacts of climate change on animals, check out the following:

Australia holds the grim record of being the first country to oversee a known mammalian extinction as a result of climate change.

For thousands of years, generations of Melomys rubicola lived and bred on a sandy bank in the Torres Strait known as Bramble Cay. Some time between 2009 and 2014 the last of this species died.

An Australian rodent has become the first climate change mammal extinction - the Bramble Cay melomys

Extreme heat fuelled by climate change causes animal deaths.

One third of Australia’s Spectacled Flying Foxes died in just two days in November, 2018 as a result of a heat wave:

How one heatwave killed 'a third' of a bat species in Australia

Animals dehydrated through prolonged extreme heat may perish after drinking sea water. This is becoming an annual occurrence in some parts of Australia.

127 ringtail possums were found dead after drinking sea water in the Mornington Peninsula in early 2019:

'Falling out of trees': dozens of dead possums blamed on extreme heat stress

Even if animals survive extreme weather events, their habitats may be too decimated to recover.

The glossy black cockatoo lost an estimated 75% of its habitat in the 2019/20 bushfires:

Bushfires on KI ravage glossy black-cockatoo habitat

Changing temperatures as a result of climate change can alter habitat ranges, breeding patterns and food sources.

The mountain pygmy-possum is at risk from thinner snow conditions and dwindling food sources:

Mountain Pygmy-possum (Burramys parvus) - Threatened Species Day fact sheet

Increased temperatures are causing the feminisation of aquatic animals.

Increased temperatures are causing the feminisation of sea turtles, with 99% of those hatching from northern Great Barrier Reef beaches now female:

Warming warning over turtle feminization