Writer Katie Byng-Hall looks closer at the reasons attributed to the latest climate catastrophe.
Since September 2019, fifteen million acres of forest in New South Wales, Australia has been destroyed by wildfires: an area around the size of Belgium.
As well as the detrimental impact on Australia’s wildlife, a smoke haze ten times thicker the safe level for humans to breathe in has descended on Sydney. The smoke has travelled so far that glaciers in New Zealand have begun to change colour. This coincides with Australia's hottest ever day being recorded at 41.9C. And yet, is the world really paying this crisis enough attention?
Probably the most talked about consequence of these fires is the death of 8000 koalas – around 30% of New South Wales’s population of the marsupial. This is because they are too slow to be able to escape the blaze as it tears through their habitat.
Koalas are not the only animals to have fallen foul of the fires, and some species are even more threatened. Indeed, the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney estimates that in some areas affected by the fires, up to thirty rare plant species and thirty rare animal species may have been lost in just a few months.One species which is at severe risk of being the next victim of this trend is the regent honeyeater.