Monday, January 6, 2020

3302. Nearly 500 Million Animals Lost In Australia’s Devastating Wildfires

Australia’s divesting wildfires are growing as fire season rages on across the country, particularly in New South Wales and Victoria destroying homes, forests, animals, and virtually anything in its path. These are the worst wildfires that Australia has seen in decades.
Similar to California, Australia has its fire season every summer when the hot, dry weather makes it very easy for fires to naturally start and spread. However, unlike California, the embers are often carried by the wind which exacerbates the spread of these brushfires, making them challenging to control.
The deadly bushfires have destroyed over millions of hectares of national parks and forests, devastatingly impacting wildlife and plant populations across the country. According to ecologists from the University of Sydney, about 480 million mammals, birds, and reptiles are estimated to have perished since September.
A wallaby licks its burnt paws after escaping a bushfire on the Liberation Trail near the township of Nana Glen on the Mid North Coast of NSW, November 12, 2019.
Hospitals around the country are flooded with animal burn victims, especially koalas who are slow-moving and live in eucalyptus trees. They also mainly eat eucalyptus leaves which are rich in oil, making them quite flammable victims.
“Almost a third of koalas in NSW may have been killed in the fires, and a third of their habitat has been destroyed,” said Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley. Koala experts are working with the government, which has allocated $6 million to establish corridors and a plan for releasing animals that have been in hospitals, according to Ley.
A koala named Pete from Pappinbarra at The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital on November 29, 2019, in Port Macquarie, Australia. Koalas rescued from fire grounds have been brought back to the hospital for treatment.
The Irwin family has also joined in helping the recovery efforts to help with the wildlife affected by the deadly fires.
Sadly, the scope of the destruction is likely to continue to soar as temperatures continue to remain hot, dry, and windy through the weekend and summer season. Firefighters and volunteers will continue their efforts to tame the fires and save as many animals as possible.

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