After the destruction of the recent bushfires in what is now described as Australia’s Black Summer at the end of 2019 and the start of 2020, it was estimated that a staggering 1.25 billion native Australian animals had died with numbers continuing to rise. The death toll included mammals like the Australian icons koalas and kangaroos to lesser-known species of reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates.
On World Wildlife Day (March 3, 2020), Port Macquarie Koala Hospital presented ‘Wildfires and Wildlife’ to the UN, to remind us of the animals that have been endangered at the hands of the fires.
With the help of the many donations and even drinking stations funded by the public, the not-for-profit Port Macquarie Koala Hospital has brought forward their plans for the future of the koala population up to a decade ahead of time.
The number of koala deaths may have reached upwards of 1000 in NSW alone with those numbers continuing to increase. By creating the world’s first wild koala breeding program, they hope that surviving koalas can be looked after and cared for during moments such as these.
The Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and Jackson Wild also joined forces to organise an international film showcase that will highlight wildlife as a part of the Earth’s biological diversity.
“I believe, we can all make a difference. Together our voice is stronger and wildlife needs our support. In Australia, all species have lost habitat due to the catastrophic fires over the summer,” said Cheyne Flanagan, Clinical Director for the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital.