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The bushfires last summer were one of the worst natural disasters Australia has ever seen. 34 people lost their lives and just over 3,000 houses were destroyed by fire. Today, Australia continues to heal its wounds one year after the “Black summer” the terrible fire season of 2019-2020. “About a year after the bushfires, we now have a better idea of the losses it caused to our environment: around 3 billion animals have been killed or displaced and nearly 7 billion trees have been destroyed or damaged.“says Kita Ashman, ecology at WWF Australia.
Among the species most affected is an emblematic animal: the koala. Some were saved by volunteers, sometimes helped by dogs. Many koalas died, others were moved to forests untouched by the flames or to veterinary centers. In all, out of a total population of 80,000 to 329,000 koalas according to various estimates, 61,000 of them were affected by bushfires. In November 2020, the government pledged 18 million Australian dollars, or 11.5 million euros to finance in particular the restoration of their habitat and a large inventory to assess the number of individuals remaining. For their part, the NGOs WWF and IFAW plan to replant tens of thousands of eucalyptus trees to form ecological corridors.
In the future, fire seasons are expected to be longer and conditions conducive to more frequent fires, due to global warming.