They say that some people just want to see the world burn. But does anyone really want to see a billion-plus animals set ablaze like a thatched-roof hut in a pillaged village? Does anyone really want to hear that a billion marsupials and other critters have been incinerated? We think not, nevertheless, that day is upon us, because according to the University of Sydney, those Australian wildfires have now claimed the lives of a billion or more native animals.
Even worse, those fires, which cover much of the country, have destroyed the habitats of 100 endangered species, per Science News.
The estimate was “extrapolated based on previous calculations of the number of Australian animals lost over a given area due to land-clearing practices.” However, the true number is likely much higher, because the estimate didn’t factor in “bats, frogs or invertebrates.” Considering that invertebrates account for “95 percent of animal species and the vast majority of animal biomass,” the sheer scale of death and destruction these fires have caused is hard to wrap your head around.
The Land Down Under is under fire
Science News reports that the “extreme intensity of the fires and the speed with which they have moved – thrust forward in some instances by winds of up to 60 kilometers per hour — have also added to the death toll,” making it nearly impossible for slow-moving animals like koalas to escape, and creating strong, smoky winds that disorient birds.
If you’re waiting for the good news … well, there isn’t really any. Even if animals do survive, their habitats are gone, “setting up a crisis that will continue long after the fires die down.” They’ll have little to no food, and no shelter or cover to hide from predators like cats, who you don’t have to worry about as much. So there’s that.
The only silver lining is that you can help by taking care of your corner of the Earth, limiting your resource intake, and if you feel obliged, donating to a worthwhile relief fund for the people and animals affected by the wildfires.
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