The Australian bushfires have devastated millions of species. One that has been hit the hardest are the hardest is the koala, whose number has already been plummeting in recent years.
Even without the fires, the koala’s habitat is under threat; trees are being bulldozed and land is being cleared at an unprecedented rate. These fires have ripped through what was left. Koala populations have declined by a staggering 42% over 20 years alone and the koala is at serious risk of becoming extinct in both New South Wales and Queensland.
By the end of February, more than 12 million hectares of Australian land had been burned. More than 1.25 billion animals are estimated to have been killed either directly or indirectly by the fires, including 30% of the entire koala population in the mid-north coast of New South Wales.
Climate change does not cause bushfires, but it does make them worse. Australia is a land of bushfires, but this season’s bushfire catastrophe has not been normal. Australia has been experiencing more frequent intense heatwaves and prolonged dry periods that have created tinder box conditions. Global heating is making droughts worse and fires hotter and more frequent, as we have seen this season.
Now that the fires have been contained, we need to to assess what we have lost and begin the long road to recovery.
Become a Koala Protector and your generous support will enable us to:
> Provide emergency funds to care for injured koalas
> Help restore homes for koalas and other wildlife, planting the first 10,000 trees urgently needed in koala habitats
> Support in the recovery and restoration in any other way we can
> Crucially, fund our other essential work around the world including tackling the climate and nature crisis
Adopt a better future for this iconic species.
Find out more at: wwf.org.uk/koalaprotector