Kangaroo Island lies off the mainland of South Australia, southwest of Adelaide and has a total area of over 440,000 hectares. More than a third of the island is dedicated nature reserve. Flinders Chase National Park sits at the west end of the island.
Impacts of the 2019–20 bushfires
During the 2019–20 bushfires, around 38 per cent of the island was burnt, 83 per cent burnt at high to very high severity.
Map of the Kangaroo Island region following the 2019–20 bushfires
This map shows the extent and severity of the 2019–20 bushfires in the Kangaroo Island region.
Important environmental values impacted by the bushfires that were identified by the Expert Panel for management intervention on Kangaroo Island include:
- 23 animal species such as the Kangaroo Island Dunnart, Kangaroo Island Southern Emu-wren, Glossy Black-Cockatoo, Kangaroo Island Whipbird, Kangaroo Island Echidna, Kangaroo Island Micro Trapdoor Spider, Kangaroo Island Assassin Spider and the Green Carpenter Bee.
- 31 plant species such as the Kangaroo Island Ground-berry, Kangaroo Island Gland Flower, Mountain Woodruff, Kangaroo Island Heath-myrtle and Kangaroo Island Bush-pea.
Glossy Black-Cockatoo. Photo: Rebecca Citroni / AlamyStock Photo
Kangaroo Island Dunnart. Photo: South Australian Government
Kangaroo Island Bush-pea. Photo: South Australian Government
|The Glossy Black-Cockatoo’s favourite food is the seed from the she-oak tree. The 2019–20 bushfires burnt almost 70 per cent of the Glossies’ habitat on the island.
|Before the 2019–20 bushfires, it was estimated that between 300 and 500 Kangaroo Island Dunnarts lived on the island. The small marsupial had more than 95 per cent of its habitat burnt during the Black Summer fires.
|The Kangaroo Island Bush-pea is one of the many species on Kangaroo Island that are not found anywhere else in the world.
Australian Government bushfire recovery funding in the region
$8.7 million has been invested in recovery of native wildlife and their habitat in the Kangaroo Island bushfire region. This investment is in two phases.
Phase 1 – Emergency Response
The Australian Government directly invested $3 million on Kangaroo Island, as part of the initial $50 million investment in bushfire recovery for wildlife and habitats. This includes:
- $986,100 to the South Australian Government to support rapid assessment surveys of priority animal and plant species, and the protection of unburnt vegetation
- $855,000 to the Kangaroo Island Landscape Board to support pest animal control, erosion management and restoration of Glossy Black-Cockatoo feeding and nesting habitat
- $1 million for three grant projects that will support recovery actions for 13 priority invertebrate species, prevent extinction of the Kangaroo Island Dunnart on private land, support recovery of the South Australian Glossy Black-Cockatoos, and manage threats to 17 priority rare or threatened plant species endemic to Kangaroo Island.
Additional funding includes:
- $770,000 for grant projects where some activities are being undertaken on, or are relevant to, Kangaroo Island
- $1 million to Zoos SA for a range of activities, some of which are being undertaken on Kangaroo Island, including: emergency veterinary deployment post-fires, supplementary feeding for the Kangaroo Island Dunnart, and Southern Emu-wren translocation.
Phase 2 – Resilience and recovery
The Australian Government is investing $5 million in the Kangaroo Island bushfire region under the $110 million Regional Bushfire Recovery Fund to increase the resilience and recovery of fire-affected species, ecological communities and natural assets. This includes:
- $3.18 million to Kangaroo Island Landscapes Board for feral cat control, work to support recovery of the Glossy Black-cockatoo on private and public land, weed control, erosion control and predator control
- $1.82 million to the South Australian Government for feral cat control, fire management, and actions to improve habitat for priority species such as the Kangaroo Island Dunnart and support the recovery of threatened plants on Kangaroo Island.
This investment was guided by recommendations from a co-design workshop which was held with stakeholders from Kangaroo Island on 18 August 2020. The workshop report is available on the Workshops and ministerial roundtables page.
A further $700,000 is being invested in this region through 5 projects supported under the $10 million Bushfire Recovery for Wildlife and Habitat Community Grants Program.
A detailed list of funded projects is available on the Activities and Outcomes page.
Australian Government funding for NRM projects is delivered through the Commonwealth’s broader Regional Land Partnerships (RLP) program. See current National Landcare Program investments.