Thursday, February 12, 2009

Victoria fires responsible for massive animal loss

Bushfires raging in Victoria, Australia have probably taken more than one a million native animals which is really a tremendous blow to Australia's rich biodiversity. The massive effort to rescue animals caught in the fire has begun with triage centers set up to assess injured wildlife at staging posts at Kilmore, Whittlesea and Redesdale near Bendigo but many animals have already lost their lives.

Many animals are found in critical state, and sometimes all vets can do is to make the agonizing decision that they need to be euthanased to prevent further suffering. Wildlife experts believe there is wide variety of animals who were killed including gliders and all sorts of possums, antechinus (a mouse-like marsupial), bandicoots, birds, and many other. These fires have really done an unthinkable damage to Australian wildlife, and it will take a lot of years before we can talk about the recovery process.

This little koala is so thirsty after surviving fires.

Animals have lost their homes and habitats, and it is impossible to rebuild the forest in one year or two so there is another problem beside the tremendous animal loss, namely what about animals that survived, where will they live without forests? Not only forests were destroyed in terrible fires but also four wildlife shelters including the famous Stella Reid's Wildhaven shelter at Kinglake. Really a disaster of gigantic proportions...

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