On The Perch Bird Park Closes After Fire Emergency

Hi everyone, Steve from On the Perch Bird Park here. The largest bushfire emergency in Australia’s history has resulted in the disastrous loss of life, thousands of homes, millions of hectares of habitat, more than 1 billion native animals, and now the closure of On the Perch Bird Park, one of the most successful bird sanctuaries in Australia. Located near Tathra, the region has been decimated by bushfires with more than 350 homes destroyed in the local area. The emotional stress on the founders of the sanctuary has been immense. Since the Tathra 2018 fires, the sanctuary has been at risk and mass evacuations of birds has taken its toll on our mental well-being. The safety and well being of the birds is and always has been our highest priority, and since these fires, we have acknowledged that we can’t guarantee this given that the sanctuary is not defendable from the types of fires we have seen in recent weeks. Like many businesses on the NSW south coast, the bird park also relied heavily on the large numbers of tourists that normally visit the region over the summer holidays, to enable us to survive through the rest of the year. But with a full tourist evacuation ordered by the NSW Rural Fire Service for the entire south coast, the tourists who had just arrived in the region, left. The ban has since been lifted, but few tourists have returned. Our January income is down by more than 90%. The sanctuary was very successful in the 4 1/2 years that it was open. Presenting a new model on how we can learn about wildlife, the bird park has large walk-in planted aviaries where the birds have adapted to people and so up close and personal encounters with endangered species were common. Our many breeding programs were also highly successful and our work with Conservation and education very well respected. More than 70,000 people have visited the sanctuary since it opened in 2015 all of which have experienced intimate wildlife encounters, hopefully creating positive thinking about nature. The sanctuary now aims to move all of these birds to other wildlife sanctuaries and parks across Australia, enabling this unique model to continue. Now more than ever and as the bushfire emergency slows, positive interactions with nature and a mental and physical reconnection between people and wildlife is extremely important in the healing process during this overwhelming natural disaster. Funds raised will be used to look after the health and well-being of the birds while other sanctuaries and facilities get ready for their arrival. Funds raised will also be used to dismantle the aviaries and send these materials for use by others caring for our unique wildlife. Any funds remaining will be donated to another sanctuary or zoo affected by the bushfire emergency.

Donations ()

  • Adrian Pulfer 
    • $100 
    • 8 d
  • Jen & Trev ROACH / KITT 
    • $100 
    • 13 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 14 d
  • Jennifer Atkins 
    • $200 
    • 15 d
  • Pamela Gray 
    • $25 
    • 17 d
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Steven Sass 
Cobargo, NSW
Linda Sass 
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