Dead, injured and homeless: More than 60,000 koalas have been hit by wildfires in Australia

The Australian Fire Department reported a “very painful and exhausting” fire season. Nearly three billion animals have been affected by the devastating wildfires. In eastern and southern Australia, an area of ​​about 19 million hectares has burned.

Over 60,000 koalas entered due to devastating wildfires in the summer of 2019/20
Dead, wounded, displaced or traumatized. This emerges from the WWF environmental report.

In all, nearly three billion animals were affected by the fire – about 143 million mammals, 2.46 billion reptiles, 181 million birds, and 51 million frogs. They also experienced smoke inhalation, heat stress and dehydration.

About 19 million hectares have been burned in eastern and southern Australia – more than half the size of Germany. WWF Australia Managing Director Dermot O’Gorman has announced that they are working on a ‘renewal plan’. It contained a bold vision: By 2050, the number of koalas in eastern Australia must double.

The number of koalas affected by the recent fires is “extremely shocking” – especially for species that are already in trouble. Under the “Koalas Forever” plan, WWF will test drones in Australia that are spreading seeds to create pathways for koalas. In addition, a fund should be created to encourage landowners to create safe havens for koalas. The fires have been particularly devastating to the marsupial mammals, which are native only in Australia, where animals do not escape from the fire, but rather remain in their trees.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 201207-99-600201 / 2 (Dpa)

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