This powerful image, called “Survivor” comes from photographer David Yarrow, who has launched the campaign with WildArk to raise $2 million to support recovery efforts in Australia. Fifty percent of the proceeds raised through this campaign will be directed to Earth Alliance’s Australia Wildfire Fund, and WildArk will use the remaining donations to support local organizations working on wildlife rehabilitation and habitat restoration. Wildlife experts estimate that more than a billion animals have been killed, including up to 30 percent of the koala population living in New South Wales. This is particularly devastating for the country with the highest rate of mammalian extinctions on Earth. For more information visit the campaign’s official website.
“‘Survivor’ portrays the heartbreaking bleakness of this crisis, but it also serves as a symbol of hope for the future; the solidarity behind this effort has been inspiring,” said WildArk CEO John Hardman.
“The koala, as an iconic Australian animal, represents all of the wild places in need of restoration. Supporting species rehabilitation and habitat restoration on Kangaroo Island and throughout New South Wales and Victoria will be essential for the koala recovery process and for the thousands of other species who are represented in these targeted areas.”
“The day in Australia when I saw 500 dead animals for every live one will remain with me forever,” Yarrow said. “This is a call to arms and we are blessed with a celebrated army of passionate conservationists.”
“I hope that this photograph of a lone koala I found sitting dumbfounded at the base of a tree, which we are calling “Survivor”, becomes known and emblematic of a period in time when we all became aware of our planet’s deep fragility – and that it can help us raise money to make a difference.”
“We found one live koala this morning – that was it. He was just sitting dumbfounded by the base of a burnt tree. We approached cautiously, but sadly he summoned enough energy to climb up and out of our reach, otherwise we would have rescued him. 99% of koalas being rescued are on the ground – not surprising really as they are better climbers than us,” – Yarrow wrote on his Facebook. “As he looked down from his tree, I would imagine he could see the bodies of at least a dozen koalas in a small tennis court radius. The problem is that 600,000 hectares are burnt to the ground. In this case, the good news is the authorities now know exactly the location of this koala and will do all they can.”