The 2019/2020 bushfires were catastrophic for Australia’s already fragile and under-protected wildlife. Recent reports indicate that more than three billion native animals were killed or harmed by the fires.
Scientists have identified 119 species that require immediate help and the ongoing fallout of the fires is threatening Australian biodiversity. In addition to ongoing recovery efforts, we need better policies, environmental laws, and climate action to ensure the survival of Australia’s unique wildlife.
Counteracting the long-term fallout for survivors
The 2019/2020 fires were worse than usual because of the occurrence of megafires in dense forests. These megafires did not leave as many unburnt areas as is the case with smaller bushfires. This means that those animals that did manage to escape the blaze have lost critical habitat and food sources. While supplementing food and water can provide some relief, re-introducing native plants will be necessary to ensure animals can survive.