Nearly half a billion animals have been killed in Australian wildfires

by Jordyn Pair · Jan 2nd, 2020 9:02 am

Fire and Rescue New South Wales | Twitter

Last Updated Jan 2nd, 2020 at 12:18 pm

Nearly half a billion animals have been killed in Australia's wildfires, with ecologists estimating around 480 million mammals, birds, and reptiles have been lost since September.

Koala populations have reportedly been hardest hit, because koalas are slow-moving and eat only the leaves of the eucalyptus tree, which are full of oil and highly combustible. Nearly a third of the koala population — around 8,000 animals — are believed to have been killed in less than four months.

Fires in Victoria and New South wales have also left several people dead or missing, as well as displaced several thousand people after the fires destroyed homes along the east coast.

Stand Up for Nature, an alliance of 13 organizations, is calling for a moratorium on logging in natives forests in New South Wales until the full impact of the wildfires is known.