Australia's fires 'killed or harmed three billion animals'

International Desk
28 July 2020, Tue
Published: 06:09

Australia's fires 'killed or harmed three billion animals'

Nearly three billion animals were killed or displaced during Australia's devastating bushfires of the past year, scientists say.

The findings meant it was one of "worst wildlife disasters in modern history", said the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), which commissioned the report.

Mega blazes swept across every Australian state last summer, scorching bush and killing at least 33 people.

Mammals, reptiles, birds, and frogs died in the flames or from loss of habitat.

During the peak of the crisis in January, scientists had estimated that 1.25 billion animals had been killed in New South Wales and Victoria alone. But the new estimate takes in a larger area, according to BBC reports.

About 11.46 million hectares - an area comparable to England - was scorched from September to February.