Wildfires In Australia Have Killed Over 30% Of The Koala Population
For more than 2 months Australia has been battling with wild bushfires. In New South Wales alone, about four million hectares have been lost due to these wild bushfires.
The ongoing crisis in New South Wales has likely caused the deaths of a third of the entire Koala population in the area, according to Australian Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley.
“Up to 30% of the koalas in the region may have been killed, because up to 30% of their habitat has been destroyed… We’ll know more when the fires are calmed down and a proper assessment can be made,” Ley told ABC’s AM Radio program on Friday.
8,000 Koalas that were living in the wild are believed to have been burnt to death due to the fires. The entire population in the area was said to be around 28,000 before the fires began.
Unlike other quicker animals in the wild, the Koala finds it incredibly difficult to escape from the fire and smoke before being affected.
Firefighters have managed to save a few of the Koala’s that have been spotted trying to escape the fires. The saved animals have been taken care of in hospitals and in some cases in ordinary homes.
Photographs and videos showing the koalas drinking water after being rescued from the wildfires have gone viral on social media in recent days.
“I get mail from all around the world from people absolutely moved and amazed by our wildlife volunteer response and also by the habits of these curious creatures,” Ley said.
She has also stated that the government has allocated $6 million to establish corridors and a plan for releasing animals that have been in hospitals.
The wild bushfires haven’t only affected Koalas. The wild fires have also led to the deaths of around 9 people as well as the destruction of 1000 homes throughout the whole nation.