The bush fires currently raging the highly-bio-diverse Australia are making an unprecedented wildfire-related catastrophe (1), putting millions of acres ablaze, destroying habitats and homes, and killing hundreds of millions of animals. Professor Chris Dickman, an ecologist from the University of Sydney, stood to report on January 3. Accordingly, he and his colleagues estimated Australia wildfires could have affected about 480 million animals. The number was assumed based on the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) 2007 report he co-wrote. In the report, the authors explored the land-clearing impact on mammals in NSW and similar habitats in Australia. They came up with the figure based on the mammal population density, multiplied by the land hit by Australia wildfires.(2,3)
Australia wildfires impact, possibly higher
Despondently, the nearly half a billion of animals affected by Australia wildfires were only a conservative reckoning of the true impact. The actual figure is likely higher and more devastating. The estimate accounted only the birds, the reptiles, and the mammals and not the insects and other animals.
Animals engulfed by fires indeed trod an agonizing path to their demise. And some of those that survived failed to endure; eventually, they succumbed due to shelter losses, food depletion, and heightened predation.(3)
A call to action
At this rate and the persistence of the raging wildfires across Australia, there is indeed a need to step up and implement fast and effective directives so as to put off the Australia wildfires that seem to threaten the existence of many animal species, especially those that are already ticketed as endangered.
— Written by Maria Gonzaga
- Why the Fires in Australia Are So Bad. (2020, January 1). The New York Times. Retrieved from Link
- Reality Check team. (2020, January 4). Australia fires: How do we know how many animals have died? BBC News. Retrieved from Link
- A statement about the 480 million animals killed in NSW bushfires since September. (2020). Retrieved from The University of Sydney website: Link