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Australia Animal death toll most likely higher than 480 million

03:50  03 january  2020
03:50  03 january  2020 Source:   9news.com.au

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Ecologists from the University of Sydney estimate 480 million mammals, birds and reptiles have been killed since September, news.com.au reported. Mark Graham, an ecologist with the Nature Conservation Council, told parliament that the actual animal death toll is likely much higher .

Millions of animals are dead and hundreds of thousands more will perish over coming days as a result of killer bushfires terrorising southeast Australia. Native wildlife and agricultural livestock are among the fatalities, with already-endangered species at greater risk of extinction.

a tree with a sunset in the background: A koala caught in bushfire flames on the NSW Central Coast.© 9News A koala caught in bushfire flames on the NSW Central Coast. The University of Sydney academics who said 480 million animals had been killed in the NSW bushfires have explained how they made their sobering findings.

The authors of yesterday's confronting revelations said they used World Wild Fund estimates for mammal density in NSW, and calculated how it would extrapolate to bushfire-destroyed areas.

"The authors deliberately employed highly conservative estimates in making their calculations," the university said in a statement.

Pictures: Australia's bushfire emergency

Property damaged by the East Gippsland fires in Sarsfield, Victoria, Wednesday, January 1, 2019.

"The true mortality is likely to be substantially higher than those estimated."

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A staggering 500 million animals are believed to have died in bushfires since September, sparking Ecologists from the University of Sydney now estimate 480 million mammals, birds and reptiles That figure is likely to soar following the devastating fires which have ripped through Victoria and the NSW

Those devastated to learn of the likely deaths of thousands of koalas in Australia's wildfires should take a deep Ecologists from the University of Sydney now estimate some 480 million animals Environment Minister Sussan Ley says the true toll on animals won't be known until "the fires have

The 480 million animals estimated to be killed would have died from either the fires themselves, or the depletion of food and shelter and predation from feral cats and foxes.

That figure does not include insects, bats or frogs, and only includes animals killed in NSW.

The death toll for animals killed in bushfires in Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania is not known.

a man riding a motorcycle down a dirt road: Steve Shipton prepares to shoot an injured calf in his paddock after a bushfire in Coolagolite, NSW, January 1, 2020. © AAP Steve Shipton prepares to shoot an injured calf in his paddock after a bushfire in Coolagolite, NSW, January 1, 2020. a car parked in a parking lot: The remains of a car yard in the industrial estate at Batemans Bay.© Kate Geraghty The remains of a car yard in the industrial estate at Batemans Bay.

Thirty-four mammal species in Australia have become extinct since European colonisation, the highest rate of loss for any region on Earth.

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The real death toll might be even higher , the author warns. “Indeed, we may never know the total direct death toll in these wars. For example, tens of thousands of civilians may have died in retaking Mosul and other cities from ISIS but their bodies have likely not been recovered,” Crawford says.

"We will likely have lost more chickens than anything else," Jimmy Dixon, a state representative and former turkey farmer, said after touring eastern parts of the state by helicopter Tuesday. The death toll might've been worse had many farmers not moved animals out of at-risk areas before Florence hit.

There are more than 300 native mammal species on the continent.

The dire assessment comes as the NSW South Coast and eastern Victoria face a horror day tomorrow.

The weather forecast has led authorities to conclude the still-burning blazes will take greater strength and destroy much more bushland tomorrow.

At Microsoft News Australia we've partnered with the giving platform Benevity to raise funds for Australian Red Cross, St Vincent De Paul Society and The Salvation Army; these organisations are helping communities across the country devastated by bushfires. You can help these organisations by donating here and for the latest news and RFS links visit Bushfire emergency.

'Many, many billions' of animals feared to have died in bushfires .
Extinctions are feared for at least one species, as scientists continue to raise their estimates for the animal death toll from bushfires that have swept across Australia.At least one species is feared extinct as scientists continue to raise their estimates for the animal death toll. Hundreds of billions of insects are also feared dead.

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