Up To 100 Species Affected By The Ongoing Australian Fires

Thanks to a success story that happened more than two decades ago back in 1995, the Kangaroo Island glossy black cockatoo has become one of Australia’s best efforts of animal conservation, managing to increase its wild population from 150 to 400, therefore downgrading its status from critically endangered to just endangered.

However, 25 years later and it’s fast becoming a part of an unfolding horror story that’s currently engulfing almost all of Australia and its natural wilderness.

This is because at the moment, almost 50 percent of Kangaroo Island’s 4,400-square-kilometer isle (located off the coast of the state of South Australia) has been raged by the growing Australian wildfires, destroying the habitat of the majority of animals that live there, including birds. Furthermore, environmental experts are still unsure how many of the endangered bird species survived and how any of those who did pull through can manage with scarce food and little to no shelter.

“Many years of hard work have gone up in smoke and it’s a big step backwards for the recovery team,” Daniella Teixeira, a conservation biologist at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, said. For the last four years, Teixeira has studied and protected the birds, and even minimal loss can pull its numbers back to the critically endangered category.

It’s not just with the birds either since similar stories are playing out in the Australian outback. For example, as of Sunday, wildfires (that had been going on for months now) had burned around 11 million hectares, which is larger than the land area of Guatemala itself. Twenty-nine people have already been killed as well and more than 22,000 homes have gone up in flames.

Per Christopher Dickman, an ecologist at the University of Sydney, more than 1 billion animals have been killed so far. And with two more months of bushfire season left to go, it’s hard to think that the numbers can still significantly climb.

Wildfires are common in Australia’s hot and dry climate. However, 2019 was the worst year so far, pushing the bushfire season to start earlier than usual.

Wildfire The rising temperatures amid climate change is expected to increase the risk of wildfires in the U.S. Pixabay

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