January 2020 Eastern Victoria Bushfires & Biodiversity

This page is set up to share information about biodiversity; potential impacts and recovery related to flora and fauna, including collating a list of post fire research projects in areas which have been impacted upon by the January 2020 bushfires in North East & Gippsland, Victoria.

East Gippsland fire Australian Maritime Safety Authority

One of the fires burning in the East Gippsland Lowlands bioregion 4 January 2020. Image courtesy of Australian Maritime Safety Authority



How you can help

There are many opportunities to contribute to the bushfire recovery efforts through data for wildlife projects, environmental volunteering or looking after your private land.

Bushfire Recovery - community wildlife reporting

Members across the community are asked to report sightings of six key species within fire-affected (and neighbouring) areas; 

  1. Glossy Black Cockatoo / Calyptorhynchus lathami
  2. Eastern Ground Parrot /Pezoporus wallicus
  3. Diamond Python / Morelia spilota
  4. Spot-tailed Quoll / Dasyurus maculatus
  5. Lace Monitor / Tree Goanna /Varanus varius
  6. Koala / Phascolarctos cinereus

See how to report sightings.


iNaturalist: Environment Recovery Project - Australian Bushfires

Contribute your images to help researchers understand how species recover from the 2019-2020 bushfire season.




NatureWatch - Life After Fire

This project brings citizen science wildlife monitoring to four selected regions in East Gippsland over the next 3+ years. It will provide important data on wildlife recovery in high conservation priority areas after the extensive 2019-2020 bushfires. VNPA are partnering with local community groups and landowners, DELWP's bushfire biodiversity recovery program and independent scientists to help fill gaps in knowledge and contribute to strong wildlife recovery and habitat conservation outcomes in the region. From mid-January, 2021, we will be recruiting volunteers to assist with data collection across Autumn and Spring fieldwork seasons. Please get in touch the NatureWatch Coordinator, Sera Blair, to register your interest in joining us for this amazing opportunity or visit https://vnpa.org.au/programs/naturewatch/ 


Australian Citizen Science Association

Citizen Science Bushfire Project Finderdeveloped in collaboration between CSIRO, the Atlas of Living Australia (a National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy capability) and the Australian Citizen Science Association.





Victorians Volunteering for Nature

There are thousands of nature volunteer groups across Victoria. Use the Environmental Volunteering Opportunities - Interactive Map to find out what projects are near you!



Conservation Volunteers Australia

Register your interest in supporting the environmental recovery from the bushfires.



Landcare Gateway

Resources to help and owners navigate recovery after bushfires, including agriculture, weed management and supporting wildlife.



Gardens for Wildlife

Plant a garden that supports your local wildlife. Additional food and nesting resources can support native species while their habitats recovery.



Additional citizen science projects can also be found https://www.swifft.net.au/cb_pages/citizen_science.php


Key bushfire information resources:

Weed management after fire webinars


Weed management after fire webinar series (Live streamed and recorded)






Recent fire history in Eastern Victoria

The January 2020 fires in the North East and Gippsland areas of Victoria have burnt approximately 1.3 million hectares and continue an occurrence of fire in the landscape which has covered almost the entire eastern portion of Victoria over the past 20 years.  Many areas have been subject to repeated fires over the past 20 years, some with short intervals between fires which is likely to have long-term impacts on the ecology of an area, changing species habitats and the ability of some species to sustain healthy populations. 

Note: The following maps were compiled from Visualising Victoria's Biodiversity using a layer from The State of Victoria, Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning FIRE_HISTORY data which represents the spatial extent of the last fires recorded, primarily on public land. The layer stores details of the last time an area was known to be burnt by wildfire or prescribed burning.

2000 to 2005
Fires 1 Fire History Victoria 2000 to 2005
Includes major fires in the North East 2003
2005 to 2010
fires 2 Fire history Victoria 2005 to 2010

Includes Black Saturday fires 7 February 2009.

2010 to 2015
fires 3 Fire history Victoria 2010 to 2015

Significant fires 2013 Highland southern fall and 2014 East Gippsland uplands.

2015 to 2019
fires 4 Victorian fire history 2015 to 2019

Includes 2019 fires in Victorian Alps and Highland southern fall.

1st to 9 January 2020
fires 5 Victorian fires  to January 9 2020

Indicative map only of 2020 fires to 9 Jan. 2020.

2000 to 2019 combined
Victorian fires 2000 to 2019 combined
VVB interactive map. Note: 2020 fires not shown. See emergency.vic.gov.au for the latest information on 2020 fires.



Threatened species in North East and Gippsland across 6 Local Government Areas impacted by fire

six local government areas impacted by fire January 2020

Local Government Areas declared to be in a State of Disaster by the Victorian Government (3 January 2020). Note: The shaded area represents the Local Government Areas included in the Threatened Fauna List and does not represent the areas burnt.


The following is a combined listing of threatened species in 6 Local Government Areas (Alpine Shire, East Gippsland Shire, Mansfield Shire, Towong Shire, Wangaratta Rural Shire and Wellington Shire) declared to be in a State of Disaster (3 January 2020) in the fire areas of North East and Gippsland, Victoria. The Mount Buller, Mount Hotham, Falls Creek and Mount Stirling Alpine Resorts are also included in the State of Disaster area. 

This list includes all threatened species across the 6 Local Government Areas in eastern Victoria, fortunately some species will have little or no impact due to their habitat or ability to move from fire areas.

Victorian conservation status

EW Extinct in Wild
RX Regionally Extinct
CR Critically Endangered
EN Endangered
VU Vulnerable
NT Near Threatened
DD Data Deficient



Common name

Scientific name

Conservation status

* Species not likely to be impacted by fires in North East & Gippsland, Victoria   Vic FFG

North East & Gippsland  – threatened birds

Australasian Bittern Botaurus poiciloptilus EN listed
Australian Bustard Ardeotis australis CR listed
Australian Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus dubius EN listed
Australian Painted Snipe Rostratula benghalensis australis CR listed
Australasian Shoveler* Anas rhynchotis VU
Azure Kingfisher Alcedo azurea NT
Baillon's Crake Porzana pusilla palustris VU listed
Barking Owl Ninox connivens EN listed
Black Bittern Ixobrychus flavicollis australis VU listed
Black-browed Albatross Diomedea melanophris melanophris VU  
Black-eared Cuckoo Chrysococcyx osculans NT  
Black-faced Cormorant Phalacrocorax fuscescens NT  
Black Falcon Falco subniger VU listed
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa VU  
Blue-billed Duck* Oxyura australis EN listed
Brolga Grus rubicunda VU listed
Brown Treecreeper Climacteris picumnus victoriae NT
Bush Stone-curlew
Burhinus grallarius
EN listed
Caspian Tern* Hydroprogne caspia NT listed
Chestnut-rumped Heathwren Calamanthus pyrrhopygius VU listed
Common Diving-Petrel* Pelecanoides urinatrix NT  
Common Greenshank* Tringa nebularia VU  
Common Sandpiper* Actitis hypoleucos VU  
Curlew Sandpiper* Calidris ferruginea EN  
Crested Bellbird Oreoica gutturalis NT listed
Diamond Dove Geopelia cuneata NT listed
Diamond Firetail Stagonopleura guttata VU listed
Eastern Bristlebird Dasyornis brachypterus brachypterus EN listed
Eastern Curlew* Numenius madagascariensis VU listed
Eastern Great Egret Ardea modesta VU listed
Elegant Parrot Neophema elegans VU  
Emu Dromaius novaehollandiae NT
Fairy Prion* Pachyptila turtur VU  
Fairy Tern* Sternula nereis nereis EN listed
Freckled Duck Stictonetta naevosa EN listed
Glossy Black-Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus lathami lathami VU listed
Glossy Ibis* Plegadis falcinellus NT  
Great Knot* Calidris tenuirostris EN listed
Greater Sand Plover* Charadrius leschenaultii CR  
Grey-crowned Babbler Pomatostomus temporalis temporalis EN listed
Grey Falcon Falco hypoleucos EN listed
Grey Goshawk Accipiter novaehollandiae novaehollandiae VU listed
Grey-headed Albatross* Diomedea chrysostoma VU listed
Grey Plover* Pluvialis squatarola EN  
Grey-tailed Tattler Tringa brevipes CR listed
Ground Cuckoo-shrike Coracina maxima VU listed
Ground Parrot Pezoporus wallicus wallicus EN listed
Gull-billed Tern* Gelochelidon nilotica macrotarsa EN listed
Hardhead* Aythya australis VU
Hooded Plover Thinornis rubricollis rubricollis VU listed
Hooded Robin Melanodryas cucullata NT listed
Intermediate Egret Ardea intermedia EN listed
King Quail Coturnix chinensis victoriae EN listed
Latham's Snipe Gallinago hardwickii NT  
Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius mongolus CR  
Lewin's Rail Lewinia pectoralis pectoralis VU listed
Little Button-quail Turnix velox NT  
Little Egret Egretta garzetta nigripes EN listed
Little Tern* Sternula albifrons sinensis VU listed
Magpie Goose* Anseranas semipalmata NT listed
Major Mitchell's Cockatoo Lophocroa leadbeateri VU listed
Marsh Sandpiper* Tringa stagnatilis VU  
Masked Owl Tyto novaehollandiae novaehollandiae EN listed
Musk Duck* Biziura lobata VU
Nankeen Night Heron Nycticorax caledonicus NT
Northern Giant-Petrel* Macronectes halli NT listed
Orange-bellied Parrot Neophema chrysogaster CR listed
Pacific Golden Plover* Pluvialis fulva VU  
Pacific Gull* Larus pacificus pacificus NT  
Painted Honeyeater Grantiella picta VU listed
Pectoral Sandpiper* Calidris melanotos NT
Pied Cormorant* Phalacrocorax varius NT
Plains-wanderer Pedionomus torquatus CR listed
Powerful Owl Ninox strenua VU listed
Red-backed Kingfisher Todiramphus pyrropygia pyrropygia NT  
Red-chested Button-quail Turnix pyrrhothorax VU listed
Red Knot* Calidris canutus EN  
Regent Honeyeater Anthochaera phrygia EN listed
Regent Parrot Polytelis anthopeplus monarchoides VU listed
Royal Spoonbill* Platalea regia NT  
Ruddy Turnstone* Arenaria interpres VU  
Sanderling* Calidris alba NT  
Shy Albatross* Diomedea cauta VU listed
Sooty Owl Tyto tenebricosa tenebricosa VU listed
Sooty Oystercatcher* Haematopus fuliginosus NT  
Southern Giant-Petrel* Macronectes giganteus VU listed
Speckled Warbler Chthonicola sagittatus VU listed
Spotted Harrier Circus assimilis NT
Spotted Quail-thrush Cinclosoma punctatum NT  
Square-tailed Kite Lophoictinia isura VU listed
Superb Parrot Polytelis swainsonii EN listed
Swift Parrot Lathamus discolor EN listed
Terek Sandpiper* Xenus cinereus EN listed
Turquoise Parrot Neophema pulchella NT listed
Wandering Albatross* Diomedea exulans EN listed
Whimbrel* Numenius phaeopus VU  
Whiskered Tern* Chlidonias hybridus NT
White-bellied Sea-Eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster VU listed
White-faced Storm-Petrel* Pelagodroma marina VU  
White-fronted Tern* Sterna striata NT  
White-throated Needletail Hirundapus caudacutus VU listed
White-winged Black Tern* Chlidonias leucopterus NT
Wood Sandpiper* Tringa glareola VU

North East & Gippsland– threatened mammals

Broad-toothed Rat Mastacomys fuscus mordicus EN listed
Brush-tailed Phascogale Phascogale tapoatafa VU listed
Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby Petrogale penicillata CR listed
Burrunan Dolphin* Tursiops australis EN listed
Common Bent-wing Bat Miniopterus schreibersii (eastern ssp.) VU listed
Dingo Canis lupus dingo DD listed
Eastern Horseshoe Bat Rhinolophus megaphyllus megaphyllus VU listed
Eastern Pygmy-possum Cercartetus nanus NT  
Eastern Quoll Dasyurus viverrinus RX listed
Eastern Wallaroo Macropus robustus robustus EN listed
Fat-tailed Dunnart Sminthopsis crassicaudata NT  
Greater Glider Petauroides volans subsp. volans VU listed
Grey-headed Flying-fox Pteropus poliocephalus VU listed
Humpback Whale Megaptera novaeangliae VU listed
Leadbeater's Possum Gymnobelideus leadbeateri EN listed
Little Pygmy-possum Cercartetus lepidus NT  
Long-footed Potoroo Potorous longipes VU listed
Long-nosed Potoroo Potorous tridactylus tridactylus NT listed
Mountain Pygmy-possum Burramys parvus CR listed
New Holland Mouse Pseudomys novaehollandiae VU listed
New Zealand Fur Seal* Arctocephalus forsteri VU  
Rufous-bellied Pademelon Thylogale billardierii RX listed
Smoky Mouse Pseudomys fumeus NT listed
Southern Bettong Bettongia gaimardi gaimardi EX listed
Southern Brown Bandicoot Isoodon obesulus obesulus NT listed
Southern Myotis Myotis macropus NT  
Southern Right Whale* Eubalaena australis CR listed
Spot-tailed Quoll Dasyurus maculatus maculatus EN listed
Squirrel Glider Petaurus norfolcensis EN listed
Swamp Antechinus Antechinus minimus maritimus NT listed
White-footed Dunnart Sminthopsis leucopus NT listed
White-footed Rabbit-rat Conilurus albipes EX listed
Yellow-bellied Sheathtail Bat Saccolaimus flaviventris DD listed

North East & Gippsland – threatened fishes

Australian Grayling Prototroctes maraena VU listed
Barred Galaxias Galaxias fuscus CR listed
Bluenose Cod (Trout Cod) Maccullochella macquariensis CR listed
Coxs Gudgeon Gobiomorphus coxii EN listed
Dargo Galaxias Galaxias mungadhan CR listed
Dwarf Galaxias Galaxiella pusilla EN listed
East Gippsland Galaxias Galaxias aequipinnis EN listed
Empire Gudgeon Hypseleotris compressa VU listed
Flat-headed Galaxias Galaxias rostratus VU  
Flinders Pygmy Perch Nannoperca sp. 1 VU  
Freshwater Catfish Tandanus tandanus EN listed
Freshwater Herring Potamalosa richmondia RX listed
Grey Nurse Shark Carcharias taurus DD listed
Macquarie Perch Macquaria australasica EN listed
McDowalls Galaxias Galaxias mcdowalli CR listed
Murray Cod Maccullochella peelii VU listed
Murray-Darling Rainbowfish Melanotaenia fluviatilis VU listed
Golden Perch Macquaria ambigua NT listed
Roundsnout Galaxias Galaxias terenasus EN listed
Shaw Galaxias Galaxias sp. 7 CR listed
Southern Pygmy Perch Nannoperca australis (Murray-Darling lineage) VU  
Striped Gudgeon Gobiomorphus australis NT  
Tapered Galaxias Galaxias sp. 8 CR listed
Yarra Pygmy Perch Nannoperca obscura VU listed

North East & Gippsland – threatened reptiles & amphibians

Alpine Bog Skink Pseudemoia cryodroma EN listed
Alpine She-oak Skink Cyclodomorphus praealtus CR listed
Alpine Tree Frog Litoria verreauxii alpina CR listed
Alpine Water Skink Eulamprus kosciuskoi CR listed
Bandy Bandy ermicella annulata VU listed
Booroolong Tree Frog Litoria booroolongensis CR listed
Brown Toadlet Pseudophryne bibronii EN listed
Carpet Python Morelia spilota metcalfei CR listed
Common Long-necked Turtle Chelodina longicollis DD  
Dendy's Toadlet Pseudophryne dendyi DD  
Diamond Python Morelia spilota spilota EN listed
Eastern She-oak Skink Cyclodomorphus michaeli NT listed
Eastern Snakenecked Turtle Chelodina longicollis DD  
Giant Bullfrog Limnodynastes interioris CR listed
Giant Burrowing Frog Heleioporus australiacus CR listed
Glossy Grass Skink Pseudemoia rawlinsoni VU  
Green and Golden Bell Frog Litoria aurea VU  
Growling Grass Frog Litoria raniformis EN listed
Guthega Skink Liopholis guthega CR listed
Large Brown Tree Frog Litoria littlejohni EN listed
Leathery Turtle Dermochelys coriacea CR listed
Martin's Toadlet Uperoleia martini CR listed
Mountain Skink Liopholis montana DD  
Rosenberg's Goanna Varanus rosenbergi EN listed
Smooth Toadlet Uperoleia laevigata DD  
Southern Barred Frog Mixophyes balbus CR listed
Southern Toadlet Pseudophryne semimarmorata VU  
Spotted Tree Frog Litoria spenceri CR listed
Striped Legless Lizard Delma impar EN listed
Swamp Skink Lissolepis coventryi VU listed
Tree Goanna (Lace Monitor) Varanus varius VU  
Tussock Skink Pseudemoia pagenstecheri VU  
Tyler's Toadlet Uperoleia tyleri DD  
Woodland Blind Snake Ramphotyphlops proximus NT

North East & Gippsland – threatened invertebrates

Alpine Spiny Crayfish Euastacus crassus EN listed
Alpine Stonefly Thaumatoperl a alpina VU listed
Aquatic Invertebrate Archaeophylax canarus DD  
Brittle Star species* Amphiura triscacantha VU listed
Brittle Star species* Ophiocomina australis VU listed
Caddisfly Archaeophylax canarus DD listed
Eastern Freshwater Shrimp Australatya striolata VU listed
East Gippsland Spiny Crayfish Euastacus bidawalus VU  
Golden Sun Moth Synemon plana CR listed
Harpactacoid copepod Canthocamptus longipes DD  
Large Ant Blue Acrodipsas brisbanensis EN listed
Murray Spiny Crayfish Euastacus armatus NT listed
Orange Ringlet Butterfly Hypocysta adiante RX listed
Orbost Spiny Crayfish Euastacus diversus EN listed
Planarian (flat worm) Spathula tryssa VU  
South Gippsland Spiny Crayfish Euastacus neodiversus EN listed
Stonefly Riekoperla intermedia EN listed
Variable Spiny Crayfish Euastacus yanga VU  

* Species not likely to be impacted by fires in North East & Gippsland, Victoria

Data Source: Information in this table has been derived from the Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning, Victoria, January 2019. Advisory List of Threatened Invertebrate Fauna in Victoria (2009)-pdf,  Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries, Advisory List of Threatened Vertebrate Fauna in Victoria (2013)-pdf  and Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning, Flora & Fauna Guarantee Act 1988, Threatened List, November 2019 pdf 

See also: separate lists of threatened species for each of the 6 Local Government Areas declared to be in a State of Disaster (3 January 2020).

Feature species  

Note: Species geographic range maps are derived from the Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, 2020 and represent all known historic records and do not imply that the species is still present.


Threatened birds
Eastern Bristlebird

Dasyornis brachypterus brachypterus - Endangered, FFG Listed.

Eastern Bristlebird

The geographic distribution of the Eastern Bristlebird in Victoria is centred in areas burnt by the East Gippsland fires. At the time of the fires only one population was known to remain in Victoria, near Mallacoota.  Impacts on this species from fires in East Gippsland are likely to be exacerbated by loss of habitat along the south coast of NSW.

As of 5 February 2020, a combined effort from DELWP, Parks Victoria, Zoos Victoria, Currumbin Sanctuary, Fisheries Victoria and Monash and Wollongong universities have managed to capture 15 Eastern Bristlebirds from the only population in Victoria, near Mallacoota. The birds will be housed at Zoos Victoria until such time the fires are over and it is safe to release them back into the wild. Map: VBA 2020 (all known historic records), Image: Tony Mitchell. Eastern Bristlebird.

Ground Parrot 

Pezoporus wallicus wallicus   - Endangered, FFG Listed

Ground Parrot

Once found in only a few locations, it is doubtful if this species occurs anywhere else in Victoria apart from East Gippsland, which has habitat severely impacted by fire. Image: Graeme Chapman. Map source; VBA 2020.

Sooty Owl 

Tyto tenebricosa tenebricosa  - Vulnerable, FFG Listed

Sooty owl Image: Jame White copyright

A significant part of the Sooty Owl’s known distribution in eastern Victoria has been impacted by the 2020 bushfires. Loss of nesting hollows and depletion of habitat for prey species such as gliders and possums could impact the viability of Sooty Owl populations in eastern Victoria. Surveys are required to determine the extent of habitat loss and population status. Image copyright: James White. Map: VBA 2020 (all known historic records in Victoria).


Threatened mammals
Broad-toothed Rat

Mastacomys fuscus mordicus  - Endangered, FFG Listed.

Broad-toothed Rat

Only found in two main areas of Victoria. The populations in eastern Victoria’s high-altitude areas above 1200 m were considered a stronghold for the species but now require reassessment after the fires. On the Zoos Victoria Fighting Extinction watch list. Map source: VBA 2020. More about Broad-toothed Rat.

Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby 

Petrogale penicillata - Critically endangered, FFG Listed

Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby

During the height of the fires it was feared this species could have been severely impacted upon. Fortunately, aerial observations carried out in early February 2020 found some of the crucial rocky gorge habitat for this species intact. Aerial feeding has been carried out to enhance survival. Further on-ground research is required to fully understand the impacts from these fires. Overall, the Brush-tailed Rock-Wallaby has suffered a major decline across its former Victorian distribution. It is struggling to survive in the wild in the Grampians and in Victoria, East Gippsland was considered its main stronghold. A Zoos Victoria Fighting Extinction species.  More about Brush-tailed Rock WallabyMap source VBA 2020; all historic records of Brush-tailed Rock-Wallaby.


Eastern Pygmy Possum

Cercartetus nanus - Near threatened

Eastern Pygmy Possum
The Eastern Pygmy-possum is widespread but only abundant in the coastal areas of East Gippsland which contain Coast Banksia - much of this habitat is now burnt. The Eastern Pygmy-possum has had a significant decline in the Box-Ironbark Forests and may no longer be present.  Populations which were thought to be fairly stable in the Eastern Highland are now in doubt, Map source: VBA 2020


Greater Glider (Southern)

Petauroides volans - Vulnerable

Greater Glider Image source: Arthur Rylah Institute and Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
The Southern Greater Glider is widespread in the eastern half of Victoria. It is found across most of Gippsland and the North East Forests. There has been a significant decline in the Central Highlands and now fires in the North East and Gippsland are of real concern. Image: ARI. Map source; VBA 2020.


Long-footed Potoroo

Potorous longipes - Vulnerable, FFG Listed

Long-footed Potoroo Image: Arthur Rylah Institute
Highly likely to suffer habitat loss and population decline due to proximity of fires in key areas of habitat. Image: ARI. Map source; VBA 2020.
Mountain Pygmy Possum

Burramys parvus - Critically endangered, FFG Listed

Mountain Pygmy Possum
This species is actively managed at Mt Hotham High Plains and a small population at Mt Buller but impacts from fires could be very detrimental to this species. A Zoos Victoria - Fighting extinction species.  Map source; VBA 2020.
Southern Long-nosed Bandicoot

Perameles nasuta - Not on Victorian Threatened species Advisory List

Southern Long-nosed Bandicoot

Although not on the current threatened species advisory list for Victoria this species will have suffered major decline throughout parts of its range in Victoria. Reassessment of conservation status likely. Image:  Saul Veerman. Map source; VBA 2020.


Spot-tailed Quoll

Dasyurus maculatus maculatus - Endangered, FFG Listed

Spot-tailed Quoll

Only found in a small number of areas in Victoria. East Gippsland was considered a stronghold but will require reassessment as it is highly likely to have suffered a major decline in the eastern part of Victoria as a result of the fires. More about this secies. Image: SWIFFT. Map source; VBA 2020.

Threatened fish

A number of Critically endangered native fish have been rescued as part of the East Gippsland Water-life Rescue project. The project is designed to reduce the risk of a species becoming extinct, particularly in cases where their habitat has been impacted by ash and sedimentation entering streams from the fires. By rescuing enough individuals of each species and holding them in a secure aquarium facility it hoped reintroductions can be undertaken when stream conditions become suitable. Other species include; Yalma Galaxias (north of Orbost) and Shaw’s Galaxias. Macquarie Perch have been rescued from the Buffalo River near Abbeyard. 

East Gippsland Galaxias

Galaxias aequipinnis      Endangered, FFG Listed

East Gippsland Galaxias Image: Tarmo Raadik
Confined to a very small area of habitat in East Gippsland. Loss of stream habitat and poor water quality likely to be major factors in this species being able to survive.  A sufficient number rescued to enable reintroduction when stream conditions improve.  Image: Tarmo Raadik. Map source: VBA 2020.
McDowell’s Galaxias and Dargo Galaxias
McDowell's Galaxias and Dargo Galaxias

McDowell’s Galaxias - Critically endangered (left); Dargo Galaxias - Critically endangered (right) . Distribution map source: VBA 2020.

The Mallacoota Burrowing Cray, and Gippsland Freshwater Mussel have also been part of the East Gippsland Water-life Rescue project.

Threatened reptiles & amphibians
Alpine She-oak Skink 

Cyclodomorphus praealtus  - Critically endangered, FFG Listed.

Alpine Sheoak Skink

Found only in isolated alpine areas in Victoria's North East – likely to have been impacted by fire. A Zoos Victoria Fighting Extinction species. Image: Zoos Victoria. Map source: VBA 2020.

Diamond Python

Morelia spilota spilota - Endangered, FFG Listed.

Diamond Python Image sources: Arthur Rylah Institute, Victorian Biodiversity Atlas

Confined to a very small area of habitat in East Gippsland, likely to be severely impacted by the January 2020 fire. Image source: ARI, Map source: VBA 2020.

Giant Burrowing Frog

Heleioporus australiacus - Critically endangered

Giant Burrowing Frog

A poorly understood species which is the subject of Zoos Victoria Fighting Extinction involving research and monitoring. Map source: Image: Zoos Victoria. Map source; VBA 2020.

Wildlife response & recovery

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning Bushfire Response for wildlife

DELWP has set up special web pages with information concerning bushfire response: 

DELWP Biodiversity Bushfire Response and Recovery

Biodiversity Response and Recovery Newsletter - February 2020 pdf

Impact of the Victorian fires on biodiversity - Summary 

Impact of the Victorian fires on biodiversity. - Detailed report 23/1/2020 pdf 

Bushfire response: community information

Wildlife care response

Victorians Volunteering for Nature

Arthur Rylah Institute

ARI conducts research into the responses of flora and fauna to fire.


Zoos Victoria Recovery fund

Zoos Victoria recovery fund: https://www.zoo.org.au/fire-fund/

Threatened Species Recovery Hub

Conservation response to the 2019-20 wildfires

After the catastrophe: a blueprint for a conservation response to large-scale ecological disaster

Victorian Landcare Gateway  - Fire Recovery Resources

A wide range of practical fire recovery land management information on livestock, fencing, pastures, soils, weeds, native vegetation, riparian areas and erosion, wildlife, horticulture, assistance and support services available, and fire research and reports.  https://www.landcarevic.org.au/resources/fire-recovery/


Research and monitoring of flora & fauna in fire affected areas

SWIFFT encourages information sharing on biodiversity related activities and projects which involve species or areas burnt in eastern Victoria. 

Please contact SWIFFT so we can compile a list of who is undertaking what projects on this page.

Add your project to Visualising Victoria’s Biodiversity interactive map. http://www.vvb.org.au/vvb_map.php

Select – 'Share' > 'Submit a project' and follow the prompts.


Response of native species to the 2019–20 bushfires and introduced predators in far East Gippsland

Robley, A., Cally, J.G., Murray, A., Bluff, L., Collyer, A., Borg, N. and Phillips, L. (2022). The response of native species to the 2019–20 bushfires and introduced predators in far East Gippsland. Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research Technical Report Series No. 329. Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Heidelberg, Victoria. View Report

This study suggests that the 2019–20 bushfires had minimal impact on the immediate (6-months) post-fire occurrence of all assessed native species, including Long-footed Potoroos, in far East Gippsland. However, there was evidence that the severity of the fire did impact site occupancy in 2020. Lace Monitors appear to be the most impacted by the fires with both Long-nosed Potoroos and Long-nosed Bandicoots also being detected at fewer sites post-fire. Long-footed Potoroos were more likely to occur at sites with low fox densities. There was no relationship between the presence of feral cats or wild dogs and the occurrence of any of the monitored species. View full rport




East Gippsland's Range Restricted Flora

Despite the importance of East Gippsland for biodiversity, surprisingly little environmental research has been undertaken in support of on-ground efforts to conserve, maintain and restore species and ecosystems in the region. Over 100 plant species in East Gippsland are listed as vulnerable or endangered at the national- or state-level, while the status of a further 90 remains uncertain. Many of these plants exist as small and/or localised populations and, for a great majority, their known distributions were severely burnt in the 2019/20 bushfires. More about the project.


East Gippsland Water-life Rescue project

Rescuing threatened aquatic species after the East Gippsland bushfires. Source: DELWP.


Bushfire Recovery - community wildlife reporting

Report sightings of six key species within the 2019/2020 fire-affected (and neighbouring) areas.

More about the project.


Weed control post fire

Weed control can be a very important factor for consideration after a bushfire. There is a brief window of opportunity after fire to have a big impact on many weeds including some early invaders.

The Weeds at the Early Stage of Invasion Project has prepared a feature in the Early Invader Update; ‘Weed management and fire’ pdf. This pdf contains a synopsis of useful weed/ fire related projects and reports which could assist in undertaking weed control programs after fire events.

Early Invader Update; ‘Weed management and fire’ pdf


Weed management after fire 

View the four sessions on SWIFFT YouTube, recorded from 25 Novemebr to 16 December 2020.

Weed management after fire webinars

weed management after fire


Citizen Science

Citizen Science Bushfire Project Finder  - http://www.csiro.au/bushfireprojects

Australian Citizen Science Association - Citizen Science Bushfire Response Project Audit



Further information

SWIFFT seminar notes contain further information related to this topic:


surface temperature change

View video - https://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/animations/5year_6y.mp4

On average across Australia, we are experiencing about 1-degree Celsius increase in mean annual temperature since the industrial revolution, in line with global temperature increases, and more extreme events.


Maximum temperature anomaly Victoria
Source: Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Australian climate variability & change 





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