A Global Network of Animal Health Professionals Concerned About Climate Change and the Environment
Late effects of bushfires
Everyone is aware by now of the incomprehensible scale of animal death in the Australian bushfire event this summer, with the loss conservatively estimated at one billion mammals (plus other vertebrates and COUNTLESS invertebrates). It's really staggering.
If you're following this blog you know about our fires in November. Here are photos of two reptiles that have emerged from our burned area in the last few weeks (for non-Australians, they are a "land mullet" (a large skink) and a red-bellied black snake) . Both of these animals should be round and shiny, not concave. They survived the fire itself, only to end up starving 2 months later. Obviously there are millions like this around Australia, not counted as initial casualties, who didn't happen to make themselves known to friendly veterinarians.
As follow-up, I'm happy to say we were able to relocate these two individuals to better feeding grounds. We haven't seen the snake again but the land mullet has been seen sunning himself a week after the relocation, looking much sleeker already.
I also want to share this statement from the Australian Entomological Society, that I think is really powerful in its brief, simple statement of plain fact. It's only a little more than a page long, and it says so much: https://www.austentsoc.org.au/AES/Documents/AESCC_Response_to_Bushfire_Crisis_Jan_2020.pdf
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Hi, my name is Angela. I'm a biologist, veterinary oncologist, mother, small business owner and climate advocate.