According to a new report by the WWF, almost 3 billion animals were killed or displaced because of the Australian bushfires. As a result, this event is now one of the worst modern wildlife disasters to occur.
The report found that 143 million mammals, 2.46 billion reptiles, 180 million birds, and 51 million frogs were directly affected. The reptile count may stand out to some, but the report suggests it is higher because there are far more reptiles in every hectare compared to mammals and birds.
The numbers are still not final, but researchers say the number is not likely to decrease.
Megafires Will Become More Common
Megafires refer to forest or bush fires that burn between 1,000 and 10,000 hectares.
The Australian bushfires consisted of 15,000 fires between 2019 and 2020. They ended up in the destruction of 11.46 million hectares, which far exceeds the definition of a megafire.
And as climate conditions worsen, megafires will also become more likely. This is because the temperature will rise, making forests and bushland dryer than normal. This means even the slightest of sparks will trigger the event.
Koalas Are In Danger
Koalas were one species that were heavily affected by the fires. An estimated 5,000 koalas were killed during the disasters. That’s about a one-third decrease in their population.
As a result, conservationists are calling for Koala to have their status changed from vulnerable to endangered as an emergency. This will help them receive the help they need to recover from this terrible event.
Another problem that the koalas face is that their habitat was destroyed. Like many other animals, the ones that were not killed or injured in the fire were instead displaced from their homes. Or in some cases, no longer have a home to return to.
You can help them by either donating or adopting a koala today. This ensures that they receive some of the relief they need.