Victoria’s bushfire emergency: Biodiversity Response and Recovery
The Victorian Government's Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) has developed a response program to combat the impact of the 2019/20 bushfires on Victoria's biodiversity. These response and recovery actions formed the basis of the Bushfire Biodiversity Response and Recovery (BBRR) Program. The Victorian Government has provided $51.5 million for the execution of the BBRR program. This has been supported by $3 million from the Australian Government’s Wildlife and Habitat Bushfire Recovery Package.
An Impacts on Biodiversity Report was released in 2020 which showed that the 2019/20 Victorian bushfires burnt approximately 1,500,000 hectares across Victoria. The bushfires have impacted threatened species and their unique habitats, including approximately 78% of the remaining Warm Temperate Rainforest in Victoria.
The report assessed the impact of the Victorian bushfires on over 4400 species. It found that 244 species of plants and animals had at least 50% of their likely statewide habitat burnt, 215 of which are rare or threatened species.
In 2021, this program will continue to guide actions to act on biodiversity response and recovery to the 2019/20 bushfires.