Park management

Bushfire recovery

South Australia’s 2019-20 summer bushfires burnt over 90,000 hectares of national park land resulting in the closure of some parks on Kangaroo Island, in the Adelaide Hills and in the South East until future notice.

National Parks and Wildlife Service South Australia (NPWSSA) are working to reopen bushfire-affected parks as soon as possible.

What parks are closed?

The following Kangaroo Island parks are closed until further notice:

The following Adelaide Hills parks are closed until further notice:

  • Porter Scrub Conservation Park

The following South East/Limestone Coast parks are closed until further notice:

  • Bunbury Conservation Park
  • Carcuma Conservation Park

See the closures and alerts page for up to date information.

When will these parks reopen?

Currently closed parks will reopen as soon as it is safe and possible to do so.

What parks have reopened?

How is wildlife recovering?

Work is underway in partnership with other organisations to support native animal recovery, particularly for the endangered Kangaroo Island dunnart and glossy black-cockatoo.

Our wildlife recovery efforts include immediate food and water drops, monitoring with motion-sensing cameras, population counts, feral cat and pig control, plantings as well as providing the environment time and space for natural recovery.

Some of the more widespread, abundant and mobile species, such as koalas, kangaroos and wallabies, have suffered significant mortalities, but their populations are expected to recover as habitat recovers.

The exact number of native animals that perished has not been confirmed.

Several endangered species were severely affected. Specific recovery actions are underway for the Kangaroo Island dunnart and the glossy black-cockatoo.

Find out more in this Environment SA News story.

What is NPWSSA doing?

We have taken action to support park and wildlife recovery, including:

  • Establishing a ‘Reimagining Kangaroo Island Parks’ engagement
    Through the devastation of the bushfires, a unique opportunity has emerged to reimagine visitor experiences in Flinders Chase National Park, as well as Kelly Hill Conservation Park (including Ravine des Casoars and Cape Bouguer wilderness protection areas and Cape Borda) and Seal Bay Conservation Park. Share your ideas and get involved with this engagement by registering your interest at: reimagine-ki.parks.sa.gov.au
  • Using cameras to monitor wildlife
    Cameras have been installed in unburnt areas of Kangaroo Island to monitor wildlife. Once it’s better-known what has survived, options can be considered for how to protect these species.
  • Introducing a citizen scientist online ID program
    Anyone can support bushfire recovery by becoming a virtual citizen scientist. You can help bushfire recovery by identifying animals in photographs taken by our motion sensor-activated cameras located across Kangaroo Island’s bushfire-affected parks. Register to become a virtual citizen scientist by visiting: https://volunteer.ala.org.au/Bushfire-Recovery-Projects
  • Giving parks time and space
    We are giving South Australia’s bushfire-affected parks time and space to recover naturally. Many native plant species are adapted to survive, regenerate and thrive after fire.
  • Developing a Wildlife and Habitat Bushfire Recovery Plan
    NPWSSA with advice from the Wildlife and Habitat Bushfire Recovery Taskforce is developing a comprehensive Wildlife and Habitat Bushfire Recovery Plan, with the assistance of conservation and rescue organisations, as well as other community and volunteer groups.
  • Carrying out feral animal control
    Feral animal control includes working with landholders to report sightings and then implementing measures such as trapping and humane destruction. This supports native plant and animal recovery for the long-term.
  • Developing a new park management plan for fire affected parks on Kangaroo Island
    The new management plan will include 15 parks across the central and western end of Kangaroo Island and will set a long-term vision for the parks and describe the foundational policy settings, management arrangements, key values and threats to those values. The plan will contribute to supporting community aspirations, wildlife and ecological recovery, the reimagining of tourism experiences and future fire management needs. For more information and how to get involved register your interest at https://reimagine-ki.parks.sa.gov.au/new-park-management-plan
  • Translocation of koalas to Cleland Wildlife Park
    The bushfires burnt nearly 300,000 hectares across the state, misplacing many native wildlife, including koalas. Cleland Wildlife Park is caring for bushfire-affected koalas from the Adelaide Hills and Kangaroo Island. These koalas were taken in to help prevent them dying from starvation due to loss of habitat, as well as to rehabilitate injured koalas. The Kangaroo Island koalas now form part of a special disease-free koala population on mainland South Australia

How can you get involved?

Here are three things you can do to support South Australia’s park and wildlife recovery:

  • Get involved with reimagining Kangaroo Island’s parks
    Through the devastation of the bushfires, a unique opportunity has emerged to reimagine visitor experiences in Flinders Chase National Park, as well as Kelly Hill Conservation Park (including Ravine des Casoars and Cape Bouguer wilderness protection areas and Cape Borda) and Seal Bay Conservation Park. Share your ideas and get involved with this engagement by registering your interest at: reimagine-ki.parks.sa.gov.au
  • Donate to the Wildlife Recovery Fund
    Donate to the Wildlife Recovery Fund to assist with the recovery and restoration of native plants and animals to re-establish habitat for wildlife in the state’s bushfire-ravaged regions. The Fund is a partnership between NPWSSA and Nature Foundation SA.
  • Become a virtual citizen scientist
    Support bushfire recovery by becoming a virtual citizen scientist. You can help bushfire recovery by identifying animals in photographs taken by our motion sensor-activated cameras located across Kangaroo Island’s bushfire-affected parks. Find out more about becoming a virtual citizen scientist by reading this Environment SA News story.

News

You can find out the latest bushfire recovery news by visiting our news page.

More information

Kangaroo Island story map

Use our story map below to explore the 2019-20 summer bushfires and its impact on Kangaroo Island’s parks and wildlife. You’ll also learn about the recovery journey.

Image and video packages

Flinders Chase National Park - Bushfire recovery imagery and footage package is available for promotional use. To request a copy of the package, please email DEWtourism@sa.gov.au.

Downloadable fact sheets

SA fire and disaster recovery

Visit www.dhs.sa.gov.au/recovery for the latest state recovery information. If you are not able to access the website please call the Bushfire Recovery Hotline on 1800 302 787.

The recovery of South Australia’s national parks and reserves is ongoing. This page will be updated as more information becomes available.

*Page last updated: 3 July 2020

Parks and forests

Emergencies that affect parks and forests may force the closure of roads, tracks and visitor facilities. The department tries to reopen any closed area as soon as possible. However, reopening may take some time.

The department’s recovery role involves:

  • supporting local community recovery from the natural disaster
  • rehabilitating and restoring the damage caused by fire control operations within parks and forests
  • reopening the department's strategic road network and protecting it from erosion
  • restoring forest and park infrastructure
  • protecting water quality and supply
  • protecting cultural heritage sites
  • monitoring important plant and animals
  • weed and abundant animal control.