Canberra, Dec 7 (FN Bureau) About 143 million native mammals were lost during the 2019-2020 Australian bushfires, including over 60,000 koalas, the World Wildlife Fund Australia (WWF-Australia) said on Monday. “Over 60,000 koalas lost! About 143 million native mammals, including over 60,000 koalas were likely in the path of the 2019-20 Australian bushfires, one of the ‘worst wildlife disasters in modern history’,” WWF-Australia said on Twitter.
Since September 2019, Australia has been ravaged by serious bushfires. In February, Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed that 33 lives were lost as a result of the 2019–20 bushfires. According to the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council statement in February, over 17 million hectares (about 42.07 million acres) had been burned, and around 3,094 houses had been lost across New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, ACT, Western Australia and South Australia. An interim report that was released by the WWF in July, shows that around 3 billion animals were impacted by the bushfires. In October, a roadmap to recovery called ‘Regenerate Australia’ was released by WWF-Australia. The $300 million program is to help restore wildlife affected by the bushfires, over 5 years. One of the program’s key projects includes doubling the number of koalas in Eastern Australia by 2050.