(Photo: Nico Jacobs/Shutterstock.com)

More Than A Billion Animals Killed By Australian Fires

by | January 8, 2020

As the bushfires continue to blaze in Australia, experts have estimated that more than a billion animals will have already died in the crisis. 

25 people have so far been killed by the flames and at least 2,000 homes destroyed. 30,000 square miles of land have been ravaged by the Australian fires — which have been ongoing for months in several parts of the country.

A previous estimate of 480 million animal deaths had been reported, with this figure being updated to include additional species likely.

“The original figure – the 480 million – was based on mammals, birds, and reptiles…and that figure now is a little bit out of date” explained Chris Dickman, an ecologist at the University of Sydney.

“It’s over 800 million given the extent of the fires now – in New South Wales alone. If 800 million sounds a lot – it’s not all the animals in the firing line.”

Stuart Blanch, an environmental scientist at the World Wildlife Fund Australia, has claimed that a billion would be a modest guess, adding that “it’s our climate impact and our obsession with coal that is helping wage war on our own country.”

australian fires fire fighter
The Australian fires have been raging for several months (Photo: Toa55/Shutterstock.com)

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Dickman believes that “the only remaining glimmer of hope amid this disaster” is that the Australian government may start to take the climate crisis seriously.

“With any luck, now the government will actually come back and think, OK, we do need the science,” said Dickman,“we do need the modelling predictions. We do need really good, informed advice about what we should be doing.”

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has dismissed the idea of reducing coal industry action in the country to tackle climate change, claiming that Australia is “meeting and beating our targets.”

Do you think the government should be doing more for climate justice? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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