- Last summer, huge flames devastated all the states of Australia, ravaged the forests, and also killed at least 33 people.
- “The interim findings are shocking," WWF-Australia CEO Dermot O’Gorman said in a statement.
- Australia has set up a commission of inquiry to study the fire and damage caused by the forests, which will submit its report in October.
Scientists say that about three billion animals either died or had to flee due to the massive fires in the forests of Australia. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) set up a commission on this, which found in its report that “the fire in Australia’s wilderness last year was the most dangerous tragedy in modern history for wildlife.”
Last summer, huge flames devastated all the states of Australia, ravaged the forests, and also killed at least 33 people. Mammals, insects, snakes, creeping animals, birds, and frogs either died of drowning or died due to the destruction of their natural habitat.
“The interim findings are shocking,” WWF-Australia CEO Dermot O’Gorman said in a statement. “It’s hard to think of another event anywhere in the world in living memory that has killed or displaced that many animals. This ranks as one of the worst wildlife disasters in modern history.”
When the wildfires were at their peak in January, scientists had estimated that around 3 billions animals had been killed in New South Wales and Victoria. However, according to the new statistics that have come out now, there was a terrible fire between September (2019) to February (2020), in an area of about 1100,000 hectares, which is equal to England.
Professor Chris Dickman, head of this project of 10 scientists from the University of Australia, said, “when you are thinking that about three billion animals have been killed by fire, this is a huge number, it is very difficult to guess.”
They say that right now, they cannot even tell the exact number of animals that have died. However, due to lack of food and housing, there is a little scope that the animals must have escaped from the fire and been safe.
“When you think about nearly 3 billion native animals being in the path of the fires it is absolutely huge. It’s a difficult number to comprehend,” said the University of Sydney Professor Chris Dickman, the scientist overseeing the project by 10 scientists from Australian universities.
According to him, these figures have been prepared based on the number of animals and the density of animals before this disaster. These figures also have some limitations, as they did not include animals without spinal cords, fish, or turtles.
During the fire in February, the Australian government identified 113 such animal groups that needed immediate help. Nearly 30 percent of all animals in that list were those who had lost their natural habitat.
The government has announced $35 million for the restoration of wildlife and natural habitat. However, environmentalists say that the government needs to strengthen its natural conservation law.
Australia has set up a commission of inquiry to study the fire and damage caused by the forests, which will submit its report in October. The Commission has heard the evidence submitted through scientists who say that due to climate change, such unexpected and such intense fire has occurred. Experts say that only 445 lives were lost due to fire smoke.