MELBOURNE | Near-three billion animals have been killed or displaced by the forest fires of unprecedented which have ravaged Australia in 2019 and 2020, according to a study made public Tuesday about a “of the worst disasters in modern history for the wildlife”.
This extensive study conducted by several australian universities, argues that 143 million of mammals have been affected by this crisis, as well as 2.46 billion of reptiles, 180 million birds and $ 51 million of frogs.
It does not encrypt the number of animals killed, but the outlook for those who have escaped the flames “are probably not terrible” because of a lack of food, shelter and protection against predators, said Chris Dickman, one of the authors.
These lights, which come back every year at the end of the austral winter, but has been particularly virulent during several months in 2019-2020, have destroyed 115 000 square kilometres, an area three times larger than the netherlands, with 30 people dead.
A previous study, in January, had an estimated one billion the number of animals killed in the most affected areas in the States of Victoria and New South Wales. The study made public Tuesday, is the first that takes into account all of the areas that were burned in Australia, according to Lily van Eeden, of the University of Sydney.
“It is difficult to think of any other events elsewhere in the world, from human memory, which has killed and displaced so many animals,” said Dermot O’gorman, executive director of the australian branch of the world wide Fund for nature (WWF).
“This is one of the worst disasters in modern history for the wildlife.”
The fate of koalas had moved public opinion, but a government investigation has recently cited 100 other plants and animal species endemic threatened, who have lost more than half of their habitat in the flames.