480 Million Mammals, Birds And Reptiles Killed In Recent Australia Bushfires

Published : 3 Jan 2020 7:46 AM GMT
480 Million Mammals, Birds And Reptiles Killed In Recent Australia Bushfires

Nearly 480 million mammals, birds, and reptiles were killed due to the Australia bushfires, which have been engulfing the continent since September 2019, Ecologists at the University of Sydney told News.com.au. Almost 8,000 of these animals are believed to be koalas.

As of yesterday morning, January 2, over 130 bushfires were raging in New South Wales and Victoria.

Animals that live in this area include koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, possums, wombats, and echidnas.

While the bushfires have destroyed some 1,400 homes, at least 18 people have lost their lives. Across five states, over 9.9 million acres have been razed by the increasing flames.

According to Tracy Burgess, a volunteer at Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Services, a major cause of concern is that rescuers are not getting as many animal patients as expected.

“Our concern is that they don’t come into care because they’re not there anymore, basically,” she told Reuters.

A number of rescuers have shared images and videos of dehydrated and burned animals, many of which are being looked after by local residents.

Up to 30% of koalas in New South Wales have died due to the fires, Federal environment minister Sussan Ley told ABC Radio.

According to Nature Conservation Council ecologist Mark Graham, koalas tend to eat leaves from eucalyptus trees, which are highly flammable. He also said that koalas are not able to move very fast and hence cannot escape the fires.

“The fires have burned so hot and so fast that there has been significant mortality of animals in the trees, but there is such a big area now that is still on fire and still burning that we will probably never find the bodies,” Graham said.

In remote areas of southeastern Australia, food and fuel have begun to run out. Through the week, weather conditions are expected to become worse.


Also Read: Video| Famous Koala Bear Rescued From Australian Bushfires Is No More, Species Declared Functionally Extinct

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