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January 09, 2020 - The Age

‘Many, many billions’ of animals feared to have died in bushfires

‘Many, many billions’ of animals feared to have died in bushfires
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Scientists fear many billions of animals may have been killed by the bushfires that have swept across Australia’s south-east.

The fires have raged through more than 6 million hectares in Victoria and NSW so far, including rainforest normally considered too wet to burn. Ecologists fear that rainforest may never grow back. The true death toll will not be known for a long time, with scientists yet to re-enter burnt areas. “Realistically, the number of animals killed in these fires is many, many, many billions. And we’ll never know what that true number is, because for some species we don’t know their abundance and what we have lost.” The last remaining habitat of the long-footed potoroo, a critically endangered miniature kangaroo, was right in the path of the blazes.

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