Australian animals face extinction threat as bushfire toll mounts
I read sometime before that an Australian volunteer Sarah Price found a baby kangaroo frightened but miraculously alive in the pouch of its dying mother surrounded by the embers of Australia’s bushfires. It seems right to name it Chance . Price, a member of wildlife rescue group WIRES, told AFP ,“We think that a lot of animals have perished in the fire.” Haunting images of koalas with singed fur, possums with burnt paws or countless charred kangaroo carcasses have flashed all over .this event shows that how a nation and its environment buckling under the weight of a crisis brought by the climate change.
The populations of less visible creatures, such as frogs, insects, invertebrates and reptiles, are also expected to have been devastated. Experts warn that even those animals that survive face a threat to stay alive.
“A lot of the animals die after the fire because they lack food and shelter,” Mathew Crowther of the University of Sydney told AFP. They could be get eaten by other animals or they can’t get enough food for themselves. In Victoria state, where the fire season is still in its early stages, veterinary surgeons said they have come across koalas, birds, wallabies and possums suffering from not just burns, but respiratory problems..
Australia’s extinction rate for mammals is already the highest in the world, but there is growing fear that this year’s bushfires could cause a major extinction rate increase. “The (kangaroo) mobs will generally try and regroup when they would come back, Obviously the grass isn’t green anymore, the foliage isn’t there, the bushes have gone, the trees are burnt,” Price said.
One third of Kangaroo Island has been razed due to wildfire and there are fears some species unique to the area might have been wiped out.
“There’s almost no considerable habitat remaining for many species. That leads to local extinction events,” John Woinarski of the Threatened Species Recovery Hub told national broadcaster ABC, describing the fires as a “holocaust of destruction” for wildlife.
At least half of Australia’s only infection-free koala population on Kangaroo Island, a key “insurance population” for the species’ future, is feared dead and many more badly hurt.
The Kangaroo Island Dunnart, already one of 10 priority threatened mammal species targeted in the national government’s Threatened Species Strategy, could face extinction.
University of Sydney Professor Chris Dickman said his estimate is that more than one billion animals have been killed.
Some parts of the bush will take decades to recover and experts say substantial investment may be needed to restore habitats if animals like Chance are to have another shot at survival.
Bushfires in Australia impact extensive areas and cause property damage and have accounted for the so may death of people and animals Major firestorms that result in severe loss of life are often named based on the day on which they occur, such as Ash Wednesday and Black Saturday.
Bushfires have always been a part of Australia’s ecology and environment problem. Aboriginal Australians used fire to clear grasslands for hunting and to clear tracks through dense vegetation; however, this was only in periods of high rainfall and in very small grassland zones bordering desert.
Fire management, logging and farming strategies changed significantly with the arrival of European settlers in the 19th century. This led to more frequent bushfires. Heatwaves and drought associated with global warming have enhanced the problem. Humans also cause extinction of a species through overharvesting, pollution, habitat destruction, overhunting, and other influences. Explosive, unsustainable human population growth is an essential cause of the extinction crisis
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