Australia’s 2019 bushfire crisis killed or harmed more than 60,000 koalas — WWF

More than 60,000 koalas were killed or harmed during last summer’s bushfire crisis, according to a report commissioned by the World Wide Fund for Nature-Australia.

Revealing the findings, WWF-Australia CEO Dermot O’Gorman said “Sixty thousand koalas impacted is a deeply disturbing number for a species already in trouble. That’s why WWF has just announced Koalas Forever – a bold vision to double the number of koalas in eastern Australia by 2050.”

Koalas in Australia, particularly in New South Wales and Queensland, were in rapid decline before the fires, with a cross-party committee having previously warned that the species could be extinct in the state by 2050 due to habitat destruction from fires and logging. 

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In July, the WWF published a temporary assessment that claimed 3 billion animals had been impacted by the bushfires, with 53 million frogs, 143 million mammals, 181 million birds and 2.46 billion reptiles hit by the event. 

The WWF’s latest report was released to coincide with the group launching a new program aimed at doubling the number of koalas in eastern Australia within 30 years. Koalas Forever will include a trial of seed-dispersing drones to create ‘koala corridors’ and set up a fund to encourage landowners in the region to create habitable areas for the animals. 

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Source:RT World News

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