Wildlife Experts Say A Billion...

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Wildlife Experts Say A Billion Animals Will Die In Australian Wildfires

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Newsroom

12:16 PM - 5 Jan 2020



Up to one billion animals will die in Australia's devastating bushfires and those who make it through the flames could die in the coming weeks.

As the blazes rage across the country, Stuart Blanch of conservation organisation WWF Australia said mammals, birds, reptiles, bats, frogs and insects are all victims - and those who survive the infernos may still be doomed.

"Animals that make it through the fires will continue to die in the next weeks and months because of dehydration, starvation, disease and being easier prey for feral cats and foxes," he said.

"Nearly all of Australian wildlife is well-adapted to cope with normal bushfires - but this is not normal, this a climate emergency-driven bushfire catastrophe and a lot of our wildlife simply cannot get away from the fires - they're too fast, they're too big, they're too hot.

"So even animals that are not being burnt to death are cooked because of extreme temperatures, or they get very confused and lost because of the smoke haze so our animals don't stand a chance from these mass mega-fires that burn flames up to 200ft high."

He added: "We can keep exporting coal, or we can keep our wildlife - but we can't do both... otherwise, with even the best-managed national parks, our forests will continue to burn."

A state of emergency has been declared in the states of New South Wales and Victoria.

In New South Wales alone almost four million hectares have been burnt.

It has been estimated that over 480 million animals have been killed in the New South Wales bushfires since September.

This includes the death of thousands of koalas, with many more injured and countless others homeless.

The majority of koalas on Australia's east coast live within the 'Koala Triangle' - a region where the species could be extinct in as little as 30 years.



Read more about

Animals Australia WWF Wildfires

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