Poster Presentation 64th International Conference of the Wildlife Disease Association 2015

SAVEM at the Sampson Flat bushfire: data gathered during the Veterinary Response. (#175)

Claire ER Moore 1
  1. SAVEM, Adelaide, SA, Australia

South Australian Veterinary Emergency Management (SAVEM) Inc. is a formal part of the South Australian Government’s State Emergency Management Plan. SAVEM sits under Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA), and is a 100% volunteer agency of veterinarians, wildlife carers and others with specialist skills. SAVEM’s mission is to rescue, triage, treat, reunite or rehabilitate all species of animals in emergencies. In January 2015, the Sampson Flat fire in the Adelaide Hills was the largest in South Australia for 30 years. Twenty-seven homes were lost in a fire scar of over 12,500 hectares of rural holdings, farmland, native and pine forest. Extensive domestic animal, livestock and wildlife losses occurred, with kangaroo and koala populations being severely impacted.During a six week activation, SAVEM rotated 70 volunteers who attended over 750 taskings. This Response afforded an opportunity to gather and collate data as never before in a bushfire event.  Data from multiple agencies and the public now fills a comprehensive spreadsheet, logging date, district, species, injuries and final outcome for each task. Overall 234 animals received attention, with many more monitored in the field. Injuries included fractures, burns, capture myopathy, and smoke inhalation. Data analysis will explore links between the type of injury and fire intensity, terrain and escape corridor availability in each zone documented, as well as examining triage and treatment efficacy pertaining to recovery and outcome. Additional data was collected for epidemiological studies from hospitalised patients at ZoosSA, and a longitudinal cohort study is planned for a mob of rehabilitated juvenile Western Grey kangaroos to be soft released in nearby habitat.This spreadsheet allowed efficient record keeping, tracking of field teams and data-mining of the whole event, which, when merged with Geospatial Information System maps, presents a detailed overview of the bushfire, as a useful resource for future bushfire responders.