The final report on the impact of these “bush fires” at the initiative of the Australian branch of the NGO World Wide Fund (WWF) points out that no less than 3 billion animals were on the path of these fires which have burned no less than 19 million hectares of land in the south and east of the island continent.
Populations of koalas in New South Wales and Queensland were already in rapid decline before this natural disaster.
The fires have also been devastating for other native Australian species which have suffered death, injury, trauma, smoke inhalation and loss of habitat.
The report highlights that 143 million mammals, 2.46 billion reptiles, 181 million birds and 51 million amphibians have been affected by the fires.
These figures remain unchanged from the first interim study published in July.
WWF-Australia CEO Dermot O’Gorman announced his organization is implementing a plan to “regenerate” wildlife in Australia, which includes “an ambitious vision to double the number of koalas east of the ‘Australia by 2050’. It is that the number of koalas affected by these fires is “deeply disturbing” for an already endangered species.
“WWF is determined to help restore wildlife and habitat, revive communities impacted by bushfires, boost sustainable agriculture,” said O’Gorman.
Under the “Koalas Forever” project, WWF-Australia will attempt to create corridors for koalas using drones and encourage landowners to create safe spaces for koalas.