Australia’s notorious feral animals, like cats and foxes, are some of the biggest threats to vulnerable wildlife hit hard by recent bush fires, authorities said on Thursday.
The bush fires across all six Australia states have already burned over 11.8 million hectares of land.
It has been particularly disastrous for the wildlife; with scientists estimating over 1 billion animals have been killed.
Australia’s federal government already announced putting aside 50 million Australian dollars (34.5 million dollars) for wildlife and habitat recovery package.
Sally Box, Australia’s threatened species commissioner, who is heading the wildlife efforts, said that the government will focus on both immediate actions to protect the vulnerable species that have survived the fires and a long-term restoration effort.
She told Australia’s ABC radio that one of the first priorities would be to protect vulnerable species from the additional impact of feral predators.
“We certainly know that after a fire that our native species are more vulnerable to predation by cats and foxes.
“Native animals will have lost much of their shelter, their cover that they can hide under after a fire, so, it does make them more vulnerable to predation.
“That is a real risk. It is one of those secondary impacts of fire,’’ Box said.
She added that a large number of threatened species have been in the path of these fires over south-eastern Australia; however, it will be some time before the extent of the impact will be known. 2020