The devastation from the Australia wildfires has reportedly wiped out a billion animals, leading to what one scientist describes as an “extinction crisis”.
Professor Chris Dickman told Metro that the fires mean the total dead could rise in the coming weeks and months, as temperatures in the country start to rise again.
Worse still, Prof Dickman, a leading ecologist from the University of Sydney, believes some species may be wiped out for good due to a lack of wet refuges.
Previous estimates of animals killed in the fires were in the range of half a billion, with 8,000 koalas wiped out in New South Wales alone – nearly a third of the total population in the region.
Recent video footage showed desperately thirsty koalas clinging to cyclists while being given water to drink, while kangaroos were seen fleeing terrifying walls of fire.
Harrowing images have also showed the cockatoos falling dead out of trees.