Australia’s unprecedented forest fire season has dealt a devastating blow to the country’s unique flora and fauna,media have reported. One ecologist even suggested that more than a billion animals may have died in the series of fires. On Tuesday, local time, a panel of environmentalists, ecologists, scientists and industry representatives, convened by Australian Environment Minister Sussan Ley, released a new report.
In the report, experts listed the number of species in need of urgent attention: 113.
The list includes 22 crayfish species, 20 reptiles, 19 mammals, 17 species of frogs, 17 species of fish, 13 species of birds and 5 species of invertebrates (like spiders and butterflies).
The report notes that the initial assessment may change as further ground assessments and analysis of spatial data are carried out. In addition, more invertebrates and vitow plants may also join, but both classification units are difficult to assess because their species are too large.
Sarah Legge, an ecologist, said in an interview: “As we increasingly learn how species on Earth respond, we will further refine the list. “
It is understood that the most dangerous species on the list are Kangaroo Island Kangaroo Island Kangaroo and Northern Corroboree frog. Although the bag is not classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the main authority on the status of the natural world, most of the species’ natural habitat was destroyed in a fire in January. But the Koroo-Oao stoic has been listed as a critically endangered species by iUCN, with more than 80 per cent of its habitat being taken away by fire.
So what happens next? In its report, the Group of Experts proposes a framework for management action, which recommends two actions for all species:
Field investigation to determine how many animals died.
Protect the nearest burning area or adjacent unburned areas
Since 2015, the government has pledged $170 million to improve the survival prospects of 20 endangered birds and 20 endangered mammals. In the latest progress report released in 2019, only eight of the 20 mammals and only six of the 21 species of birds were identified as having an “improved trajectory,” meaning the population either grew faster or declined more slowly than before 2015. Some of the species on the list have been affected by the bushfires.
In addition, the report notes that the current forest fire season is not over and that the assessment will continue, with the team updating the new data.