Build a koala wildfire sanctuary

a koala built in LEGO bricks

The issue – Wildfires

If you live in a cold country, a fire can be great because it keeps you warm and provides energy. But fires in places where they shouldn’t be are a big problem and they are getting worse because of climate change.

Wildfires are…well, what they sound like…big, wild fires that burn through large areas of vegetation like woodland, grassland and scrubland. Sometimes, a wildfire can start naturally - from a lightning strike for example. But some wildfires are caused by human activity. Climate change is also making the issue of wildfires worse because global warming is making hot, dry parts of the world warmer and drier. This makes vegetation even dryer and as dry vegetation is fuel for wildfires… this is a recipe for disaster!

Wildfires are very dangerous because they are hard to control and can spread quickly. They burn large areas of land and can destroy the homes of people and the wildlife that live there - such as the koala. These cuddly-looking, wild animals live in Australia which is a hot, dry country where wildfires are happening more often. Sadly, the koala population has been reducing here and recent wildfires have affected koalas even more. What can be done to help them?

Help for koalas

Luckily, there are ways to help manage and prevent wildfires. There are also organisations who work to protect and save koalas affected by wildfires. They have creative ideas such as using drones which spread lots of seed across land as they fly. The seed grows into ‘corridors’ of new trees which koalas love and it’s here that they can sleep and eat! People who own land are also encouraged to create safe places for koalas to live in. What great ideas!

So, our challenge for you is…

Create an invention that helps koalas stay safe if there is a wildfire!
It could be an invention that stops wildfires from damaging koala habitats or something for each koala to use if there is a fire. To make your invention, use whatever materials you like - just make sure you use your amazing imagination to create something that will help these cool creatures! For more inspiration to spark ideas, check out the fact boxes or do some research of your own on how wildfires affect koalas.

Facts

  • A NEED FOR SPEED?

    Koalas can run on the ground at around 32 km per hour (that’s about 20 miles an hour) but that’s not fast enough to outrun a bushfire…when they need more speed to survive!
  • CREATING SAFE SPOTS

    Safe spots are places that have no flammable vegetation and therefore do not set on fire when there is a blazing wildfire all around. For example: a rock slide, a green meadow, a large rock slab or a lake.
  • FIRE FIGHTS FIRE

    It may sound strange but burning out areas of land will clear all the vegetation that provides fuel for the wildfire. This also creates safe zones that wildfire won’t affect.