Thus far, estimates state that over one billion animals have died as a result, while the human death toll is in the twenties. Far in excess of 2000 homes have been lost to the fires and the number of koalas in the wild has taken a huge hit.
Chris Dickman, an ecologist at the University of Sydney told The Huffington Post:
“The original figure ― the 480 million ― was based on mammals, birds and reptiles for which we do have densities, and that figure now is a little bit out of date. It’s over 800 million given the extent of the fires now ― in New South Wales alone.
“If 800 million sounds a lot, it’s not all the animals in the firing line.“
Efforts to salvage what wildlife and habitats can be saved are underway by charities who have received funding from the public, celebrities, and people selling nudes alike, all in a bid to do the job the government seemingly won’t.
Nearly 200 people have now been arrested for starting bushfires, either deliberately or otherwise, and the laws regarding fires – starting them or even disposing of cigarettes improperly – have been intensified to inhibit any more fires from spreading.
While this is by no means too little too late and the wildlife in Australia can recover, survive and thrive once the fires are subdued, the current state of things is pretty heartbreaking, with photos of Kangaroo Island showcasing the damage.
Over 160,000 hectares of the island were destroyed by the bushfires with the famously rich and dense biodiversity facing the brunt of it, and the previously beautiful and vivid landscape now resembles that of a dystopian hell-scape, devoid of time and burnt to ashes.
Southern Ocean Lodge
Let’s hope that things cool dawn as soon as possible.
Images via Twitter, Instagram, Getty
Alfie Powell joined as an apprentice and was probably hired because he was likely the only person who applied. He's been blagging his way through writing articles for four years now and he's definitely showing signs of slowing down. When not writing for The Hook, Alfie finds time to indulge in his favourite hobbies, such as drinking and sitting down. You can contact Alfie at [email protected]Follow