Actually, that’s one billion animals killed

And even those who survive may have no habitat to return to. From the Washington Post:

A billion animals have been caught in Australia’s fires. Some may go extinct.

Some of the rarest species on Earth are threatened by fires scorching their habitats, scientists warn.

…More than 1 billion mammals, birds and reptiles nationwide — some of them found nowhere else on Earth — may have been affected or killed by the fires sweeping across Australia, according to a University of Sydney estimate. The potential toll is far greater when other types of animals are included.

“We’re not just talking about koalas — we’re talking mammals, birds, plants, fungi, insects, other invertebrates, amphibians, and bacteria and microorganisms that are critical to these systems,” said Manu Saunders, a research fellow and insect ecologist at the University of New England in Armidale.

Individual animals might survive, but when their habitat is gone, “it doesn’t matter,” Saunders said. “They’ll die anyway.”…


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