About 3 billion animals have died or been injured in wildfires in Australia. The University of Sydney released the data in a final report commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund.
According to a report from the University of Sydney commissioned by WWF Australia, more than 60,000 koalas were among the animals affected by wildfires in Australia.
About 143 million mammals, 2.46 billion reptiles, 181 million birds, and 51 million frogs lived in the burned areas.
The study clarifies data on specific animal species. Among the victims:
- 50 million indigenous rats and mice;
- 40 million possums and gliders;
- 5.5 million bettongs, bandicoots, quokkas, and potruos;
- 5 million kangaroos and wallabies;
- 5 million bats;
- 1.1 million wombats;
- 114 thousand echidnas;
- 61 thousand koalas;
- 19 thousand cuolls and Tasmanian devils;
- 5 thousand dingos.
The fires affected more than 41,000 koalas on an island in South Australia, over 11,000 in Victoria, almost 8,000 in New South Wales, and almost 900 in Queensland.
Dr. Lily van Eden led the study of how many animals were affected by the fires under the supervision of Professor Chris Dieckman of the University of Sydney’s School of Life and Environmental Sciences. Their recommendations include mapping and monitoring plants and animals in regions most at risk of future fires and developing strategies to protect these areas during fires.
People were shocked by our research and told me: “We cannot allow disasters of this magnitude to continue in the future.”
Professor Chris Dieckman of the University of Sydney’s School of Life and Environmental Sciences.
WWF Australia general director Dermot O’Gorman said the number of koalas in New South Wales and Queensland was rapidly declining before the fires.