WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT OF DEAD ANIMALS
An estimated 1 billion animals have been killed during or as a result of Australia’s catastrophic bushfire season, and experts fear some species now face extinction. Huge numbers of mammals, birds, reptiles, insects and other species have been lost, with images of burned koalas and kangaroos fleeing the fire front beamed around the world. Slow-moving native animals have been hit particularly hard.
‘We really sleepwalked into this disaster,’ says University of Sydney ecology professor Christopher Dickman, who explains what the crisis means for the country’s wildlife and why it may take up to 100 years for the ecosystems the animals depend on to bounce back.