Interested in volunteering? Sign up here and we'll get in touch with any local opportunities as they come up.
One aspect of the bushfires that has caused it to gain so much attention is the impact on wildlife. As many as 480 million animals have been killed in the fires. All animals have their own defense mechanisms when it comes to natural disasters. But now the mechanisms once used have been diminished by previous fires and deforestation.
For example, the devastating effect the bushfires have had on the Koala population. They are a slow moving animal which does not allow them to flee fast enough from the fires. The Koala's defense mechanism is to climb up towards the treetops and curl themselves into a ball until danger passes. While they have adapted and evolved along wildfires, deforestation caused by human development and climate change is affecting the koalas' ability to survive. It is estimated that as many as 8,000 koalas have died from the current bushfires, and the loss of eucalyptus trees and water supply will continue to affect them when the fires are finished. About 30% of their key habitat has been destroyed.