Friday, January 3, 2020

Australian Wildlife Decimated in Inferno

Body of a dead koala (Scientific name: Phascolarctos cinereus) killed by forest fire in Australia’s east coast. 

A dead young flying fox (Scientific name: Pteropus poliocephalus) on the ground at Glebe Park in Bega, NSW, Australia. 

A juvenile kangaroo (Family: Macropodidae) was caught in a fence trying to escape. 

A young girl stumbled upon the burnt body of dead kangaroo along a scorched property at Mallacoota in the East Gippsland region of Victoria, Australia. 

An RSPCA Inspector gives water to a thirsty young kangaroo as bushfires destroy its home in South Australia.

A helping hand for a koala 

A severely burnt brushtail possum (Scientific name: Trichosurus Vulpecula) rescued from fires. 

A kangaroo with burnt feet pads after it was rescued from bushfires. 

Fires are still raging out of control across Australia. 

The tragedy is not confined to just people and property. Wildlife are victims too. 

Ecologists at Australia’s University of Sydney have estimated that around 480 million animals may have been killed in the wildfires since September, and including 8,000 koalas. 

Officials fear that 30 percent of the koala colony in New South Wales had been wiped out as 10 million acres of land burnt to the ground in the state. 

Nature Conservation Council ecologist Mark Graham told parliament: “[Koalas] really have no capacity to move fast enough to get away [from the flames]. The fires have burnt so hot and so fast that there has been significant mortality of animals in the trees, but there is such a big area now that is still on fire and still burning that we will probably never find the bodies”. 

Rescuers at Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Services (Wires) told Reuters they were concerned about not receiving as many animal patients as they expected in the crisis. 

Tracy Burgess, a volunteer, said grimly: “We’re not getting that many animals coming into our care. So our concern is that they don’t come into care because they’re not there any more, basically”. 

Animal casualties refer to mammals, birds and reptiles and does not include insects, bats or frogs. The true extent of the carnage may never be known.

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