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Native animals face extinction in the wake of bushfires

Australia is seeing some of its worst bushfires in over a decade, engulfing farms, forests, homes, and threatening to eradicate complete species of native animals.

Native animals face extinction in the wake of bushfires

Global warming has spurred some of the hottest summer days on record. As a result of the mercury consecutively rising above 40 degree Celsius, wildfires have ignited and spread across three states in Australia. After the Victorian bushfires of 2009, wildlife sanctuaries were left totally devastated. The Healesville Sanctuary in Victoria is still reeling from the effects of the Black Friday fires.

In Western Australia, some species of native animals and birds have been completely eradicated, according to the Australian Geographic. Possums, black cockatoos, and about 90 per cent of native wildlife in and around the Margaret River are now on the verge of extinction. That’s assuming they aren’t already there.

The Wilderness Society has listed another five native species as being close to extinction; the Sooty Owl, Leadbeater’s Possum, Barred Galaxias, Spotted Tree Frog, and Ground Parrot.

And larger animals are not exempt from the distress. While wallabies kangaroos and some bird species are agile enough to seek refuge in time, koalas, sheep and cattle have all been victims of the raging fires, treated around the clock by vets and animal workers. 

Another problem faced by native animals, is the destruction of their natural habitats. On average, experts predict it takes a decade before a habitat returns to its livable state – time that has not yet transpired between the 2009 fires and today. 

Plant species are also feeling the bite, with badly scorched tree trunks and badly burnt native plants unable to regenerate for a few seasons after.

The CSIRO fears that total ecosystems are at risk, predicting that within the next few decades, some of the country’s natural landscapes will be totally transformed, with others completely wiped out. What might once have been an area rich with native animal life, bird noise, and lust plantation, might look completely different by the year 2030.

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