Science

Australia: nearly 500 million animals have died from fires

In Australia, almost half a billion animals have died in the wildfires that have hit the country since September. A third of the koalas have disappeared. Things could get worse on Saturday due to another expected heat spike.

The results of forest fires in Australia are catastrophic. Environmentalists at the University of Sydney, relayed by the Australian media News.com, estimate today that 480 millions of mammals, birds and reptiles have disappeared since last September . This figure could further increase due to a heat peak expected on Saturday.

Thousands of tourists have 48 hours for leave tourist areas on the southeast coast of Australia before arriving. This peak is likely to favor the progression of immense fires ravaging the country.

Au moins 5 millions d'hectares de forêts ont brûlé depuis le début des incendies en Australie.
At least 5 million hectares of forest have burned since the start of the fires in Australia.

Photo credit: SAEED KHAN ARCHIVES / AFP

Australia has been devoured by forest fires since September. At least five million hectares were destroyed by fire, i.e. more than the area of ​​Belgium . Consequently, the rich fauna of the country is devastated.

# Australia – #kangaroos flee en masse from prey areas in flames … Almost half a billion animals have already succumbed to the gigantic fires ravaging the country. #AustraliaBurning #Australianfires pic.twitter.com/DNPdf0bRFH

— Millions of Friends (@ 30 millionsdamis) January 2 , 2020

Are the Koalas the most vulnerable?

Many videos and photos have been circulated on social networks: on one of them, a dehydrated koala drinks directly from a cyclist’s gourd. The species is among the hardest hit. The reason ? Koalas move very slowly and eat only eucalyptus leaves, filled with oil and therefore very flammable. According to Minister of the Environment Sussan Ley, 30% of koalas from the New Wales area reportedly perished in flames, or near 8000.

The minister added that the exact number of dead animals would be known only “when the fires have subsided and an appropriate assessment can be made”.

Des milliers de touristes ont 48 heures pour quitter les zones touristiques sur la côte sud-est de l’Australie avant l’arrivée d’un nouveau pic samedi.
Thousands of tourists have 48 hours to leave tourist areas on the southeast coast of Australia before the arrival of a new peak on Saturday.

Photo credit: ARCHIVES PETER PARKS / AFP

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