Australia Could Lose Nearly 500 Million Animals
Posted on 8 January 2020
Australia’s east coast is battling some of the worst bushfires in the country’s history, with much of the inferno sweeping across national parks and wildlife habitats. Local mammals, birds and lizards have been heavily impacted by the fires, and experts fear that as many as 480 million of them may have been wiped out in the state of New South Wales since the blazes started in September.
The estimate was made by ecologists from the University of Sydney, who also suggest that the number could go much higher as the fires continue to burn. This figure includes nearly 8,000 koalas (a third of the regions population), most of which live on the mid-north coast of New South Wales. The region has the biggest koala population in Australia (approximately 28,000) but around 30% of the koalas’ habitat has been destroyed in the fires.
Several wildlife rescue services are doing their best to treat and save local animals. The Australian government has also announced a plan to help address the threat to native wildlife, putting around $6 million towards the project.
If you’re keen to support the fight against the bushfires, you can chat to your parents about making a donation to one of the many organisations involved. The NSW Rural Fire Service, South Australian Country Fire Service, the Country Fire Authority in Victoria, WIRES (which rescues animals in NSW), the Red Cross, Wildlife Victoria and more all accept donations.